Jobs to do this October

It’s the best time of year for planting trees, roses, hedges, shrubs and most fruit. The plants will settle in over winter and get off to a great start next season.

Pick any remaining apples and pears before the weather turns. Eat any windfalls or damaged fruit – don’t try to store these as they’ll rot. Any surplus autumn ripening raspberries can be frozen.

The grass is still growing, although slowly, and will need a light trim from time to time.  Raise the cutting height to 4cm/1.5in so you don’t cut too much off. Brush off any wormcasts before mowing or they’ll get squashed and form muddy patches.

Prepare for the cold weather. Insulate the greenhouse with bubble wrap and turn off outdoor taps at the stop cock or protect them with some lagging. Drain hose pipes and put them in the shed

Pansies, polyanthus and all other spring flowering bedding plants should be planted as soon as possible so they can establish a decent root system before winter. This will also help them start flowering earlier next spring.

Check the ties and stakes on young trees, and make sure they are secure. Climbing plants may need tying back to prevent them getting damaged in winter gales.

Prune buddleia , shrubby mallow (lavatera) and tall rose bushes by a third to lessen the chance of wind damage over winter.

Overwinter young rooted geranium cuttings in a light, cool but frost free spot. Keep them fairly dry as they’ll rot if they are over watered. Take off any leaves that turn yellow.

Have you read?

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