Digby's Gardening Tips for October
Digby's Gardening Tips for October.
Now the temperature is dropping and the leaves are falling there are some things that need to be taken care of. Look below at our great gardening tips on how to get the most out of your garden in October.
Pests and diseases
Now the weather is turning cooler most pests and diseases are in decline, but mildew and botrytis (grey mould) can still be present in warmer moist days. Good garden hygiene will prevent the spread of pest and disease, making sure that any contaminated material is disposed of correctly by burning or binning but not composted. Keep weeding beds and borders as weeds can act as a host for pests and diseases. Now is also a good time to clean out your pots and check for vine weevil and their eggs as the adults will eat leaves of ornamental plants and fruits and the grubs will eat the roots especially if these are grown in pots.
Digby recommends:< Bug Clear Ultra Vine Weevil Killer> £9.99 https://www.alton-gardencentre.co.uk/bug-clear-ultra-vine-weevil-killer
- Carry on thinning out pond plants and remove any yellowing leaves from plants
- Dead growth on marginal plants can be cut back
- Remove blanket weed
- Continue removing leaves if you have not netted your pond
- Lawns can now be cut less frequently but put the mower back on the highest cut
- Continue to remove thatch, top dress and reseed any bare patches
- Rake any fallen leaves on the lawn
Digby’s top tip: - This is an ideal time to make your own leaf mould which can be used as a mulch or soil conditioner. If you haven’t got enough room in the garden for a separate leaf heap you can bag up the leaves in black sacks piercing holes in them for air to circulate.
This can be left to decompose for a year or two.
Trees shrubs and climbers
- If you are planning to plant bare-root trees and shrubs now is the time to prepare the ground now by digging in plenty of organic matter.
- Plant climbers that are hardy.
- Plant evergreens for hedging if unable to do so then wait until spring
- Deciduous hedging can be planted throughout the winter providing the ground is not waterlogged or frozen.
- Prune tall shrubs which are pruned hard in the spring can be cut back by about a half their height to prevent wind rock.
- Prune climbing roses if not completed last month.
Digby recommends:< Composted bark for mulching and improving your soil can also be used for ericaceous beds (acid-loving plants) 2 for £15 70L https://www.alton-gardencentre.co.uk/bed-border-chipped-bark-70l-buy-2-for-15
- Start cutting back perennials that have finished flowering but if the foliage is still green then leave until it is blackened by the frost or has died off naturally.
- Lift and divide perennials if soil conditions allow.
- Plant herbaceous perennials.
- Lift and divide Crocosmia
- Lift and store bulbs such as gladioli.
- Lift and store dahlias.
- Continue bulb planting.
- Finish planting spring bedding.
Digby recommends:< Maxicrop Plant growth stimulant for one last feed to harden plants up over winter £12.99 https://www.alton-gardencentre.co.uk/maxicrop-seaweed-extract-plant-growth-stimulant
Digby’s top tip:- When lifting dahlias cut the stems back to 10cm (4in) from ground level and label the variety, dig carefully around the plant so not to damage the tuber, remove much of the soil as possible and turn the tuber stems upside down for a couple of weeks in a cool dry place to allow any moisture to drain out. Once dry box up the tubers in peat-free compost making sure the crown is not buried and cover with something loose like bark chippings and store in a cool frost-free place.
- Finish picking runner beans
- Finish lifting potatoes
- Remove yellow leaves on Brussel sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli
- Finish planting garlic
- Plant spring cabbages this is the latest to plant out
- Sow broad beans
- Finish picking apples
As always, we are here for help and advice
Alton's Plant Advice Team