October In The Garden


The cold weather has started to set in. It’s misty in the mornings and usually cold and damp until the sun breaks through. October is a time for harvesting and tidying up. Don’t be too neat though – why not leave the odd Sunflower head for the birds. They will appreciate it.



Flower Garden

  • Lift and store pelargoniums if necessary
  • Protect early flowering chrysanthemums from frost
  • Finish bringing in late flowering chrysanthemums
  • Clear out summer annuals
  • Plant any newly purchased perennials and divide existing perennials
  • Continue planting out biennials and spring flowering bulbs
  • Plant Lily-of-the valley
  • Sow sweet peas
  • Thin annual seedlings
  • Pot on young plants
  • Collect seed from allium seedheads and sow straight away into seed compost
  • Plant evergreen shrubs and conifer hedges
  • Carefully dig up gladioli corms and overwinter in cool, dry storage conditions
  • Lift and pot up tender perennials to protect over winter
  • Collect fallen leaves from under rose bushes so they don’t carry diseases over to next year
  • Lift and divide congested clumps of perennials
  • Plant crocuses and dwarf bulbs in areas of rough grass
  • Make sure tall, late-flowering chrysanthemums are well staked
  • Divide large clumps of crocosmia and replant into freshly prepared soil
  • Spread a thick mulch of compost or bark over the soil around dahlias and agapanthus
Alliums 3



  • Sow sweet peas and pinch out the growing tips of seedlings for bushier plants
  • Continue harvesting chillies, peppers and other crops
  • Reduce watering potted tuberous begonias to allow the top growth to die down
  • Bring pots of tender bulbs like agapanthus and eucomis into the greenhouse for the winter
  • Let achimene, gloxinia and gloriosa die down in their pots
  • Keep potted azaleas constantly moist using rainwater
  • Plant bowls with hyacinths and spring bulbs
  • Check greenhouse heaters are in working order and that you have fuel in stock
  • Pot up roots of lily-of-the-valley to provide fragrant winter flowers
  • Sow hardy annuals, like calendulas, in pots for early flowers

Around the Garden

  • Clean out bird boxes
  • Level out dips in lawns with loam-based compost and sow fresh grass seed
  • Clear away debris that could be sheltering slugs and snails
  • Check bonfires before lighting, in case they are sheltering sleeping hedgehogs
  • Send off for seed catalogues
  • Mow lawns during dry weather with blades set high
  • Bring garden hoses and sprinklers under cover for winter to avoid damage in freezing weather
  • Collect canes and plant supports, and store them in the shed
  • Sow a green manure crop over bare areas of ground, to dig into the ground as fertiliser in spring
  • Throw a net over branches of holly berries to protect them from hungry birds