The nights are drawing in and before long the clocks will be going back and there may even be the first frosts in colder parts of the country.
Time in the garden might feel curtailed by the shorter sunlight, but the days are often glorious, highlighted by wonderful autumn colour.
Things To Do
- Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials. Autumn is the perfect time to plant; the weather is cooler, rain more plentiful, and the soil still warm. Plants put out terrific root growth, giving their above-ground growth a head start in spring.
- Clean up foliage from roses, peonies, and any plant with diseased foliage. But don’t compost; the pile may not get hot enough to cook the pathogens.
- Divide spring-blooming plants such as iris, brunnera, dianthus, lamium, and primrose. Later bloomers that can also be divided include black-eyed Susans, geraniums, daylilies, hostas, coneflowers, and yarrows.
Garden Care Calendar
This video gives you an overview of some jobs to do in the garden in October.
What Not To Do
- Don’t cut down dead stalks of purple coneflower, black-eyed Susans, sunflowers, and other plants whose seeds or berries feeds birds through the winter.
- Don’t remove logs, brush piles, or dead ground cover; leave it for beneficial insects such as spiders, solitary bees, lady beetles, and other beetles to overwinter in.
- Don’t plant these trees in autumn: magnolias, birches, firs, hemlocks, ginkgos, or ornamental pears. They root slowly, so they may not survive the winter.
- Don’t put your fallen leaves in the bin. Either bag them and let them break down over the winter, or go over them with the lawnmower and rake the pieces into your flower borders.