A Guide To Gardening in October | Love The Garden

Gardening in October

October’s weather is usually very unpredictable. We could experience the first severe frost, or it may remain mild – we may even be blessed with an Indian Summer! Strong and cold winds can be expected in some regions – so it may be time to batten down the hatches! Keep an eye on the weather and treat your plants and garden accordingly.


Things to do this month

Lift fuchsias, pelargoniums and all the other half-hardy bedding perennials for overwintering frost free.
Lift tender summer-flowering bulbs, such as gladioli, and keep them in a cool shed or similar until planting out again next year.
Tidy up beds and borders, clearing away dead and dying leaves.
Cut down the old and dead flower stems of herbaceous perennials to ground level.
Don’t panic if you didn’t plant your spring-flowering bulbs last month – October is an excellent month to plant them.
Plant up containers with winter-interest plants to give you some cheery winter colour.
Raise all patio containers on to bricks or pot feet to avoid them sitting in water in autumn and winter.
Lawn Care
If you didn’t get around to all the autumn lawn care jobs in September, they can be done this month.
Lawn Care
Kill moss with a suitable mosskiller – only rake out dead moss.
Lawn Care
Rake and scarify the grass to remove dead grass, thatch and other debris.
Lawn Care
Aerate compacted soil – especially clay soil – with a garden fork or a hollow-tine aerator.
Lawn Care
Feed the lawn with an autumn lawn food to build up its strength and harden it for the onset of colder weather.
Lawn Care
This is a great time to start new lawns from seed or turf.
Lawn Care
Repair bare areas or those with a thin grass covering using grass seed or a lawn patching kit.
Sow a hardy overwintering variety of broad beans for an early crop next year.
Plant autumn or Japanese onion sets for a crop in early to mid-summer next year.
Plant garlic cloves, but make sure it is a variety suitable for autumn planting.
Although there's lots to do in the garden in autumn, don't overdo it and take frequent rests.
Clean garden furniture before you store it away for the winter.
Give the barbecue a thorough cleaning before putting it away for the winter.
Start digging over the soil in the vegetable patch if you garden on heavy clay soil.
Lift and divide old, unproductive crowns of rhubarb and replant in well-prepared soil.
Pests & Disease
Remove and destroy apples, pears and plums affected with brown rot disease to prevent it spreading.
Pests & Disease
Rake up and destroy fallen leaves affected by disease, particularly black spot and rust.
Move citrus trees and other houseplants into a frost-free greenhouse or conservatory for the winter.
If bush roses have finished flowering, prune back their stems by up to half to help prevent wind rock.
Layering is a good way to propagate many climbers and lax-stemmed shrubs, such as magnolias and rhododendrons.
Take hardwood cuttings of various shrubs, such as dogwoods, philadelphus, flowering currant and forsythia.
Lift and divide large clumps of herbaceous perennials that didn't flower well. This will improve flowering and produce more plants.
Check tree ties and stakes are secure, especially on newly planted trees.
Weed Control
As perennial weeds start to die back, this is a good time to give them a final application of weedkiller.
Pests & Disease
Slugs and snails may become more active in cooler, damper weather – so protect plants with suitable controls.
Feed wild birds with high-energy bird foods to help them through the autumn and winter.
When water temperatures drop below 21C (70F), feed fish with easier-to-digest, wheat germ foods.
Clear ponds of excess pond weed and blanket weed.
Cover over ponds with netting to prevent leaves from falling into the water.
Give tools a thorough clean before you put them away for winter.
A good pruning saw is the best choice for large pruning jobs.
Cut sunflower seed heads and leave them out for garden birds to feed on.
When tidying up old flower stems, leave those that produce seeds for wild birds to feed on.

Seasonal guides

Protecting Your Plants Over Winter

We grow a wide range of plants in our gardens - from plants that are fully hardy and able to withstand all manner of freezing cold winter weather to those that need full frost protection.

Planting winter containers

If your patio looks a little drab and uninteresting after a colourful summer, then plant up your containers with late season interest plants to give you some cheery colour to look out at.

Winter Flowering Plants

Is your garden looking a little bit dreary in the winter months? Why not freshen it upwith some winter florals such as pansies and snapdragons?  Winter doesn’t need to mean dull and drab.


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