Action for October Top jobs
Top three jobs this month
Bring in tender plants
Lift cannas, cut off any flowered stems and pot them in the smallest containers they’ll fit in. Keep them just moist through the winter.
Pelargoniums can be potted up and allowed to dry out – their leaves will fall but resist pruning them until spring or the cut surfaces may die back.
Fuchsias can be cut back now, potted up and kept just moist until spring. Bring small olive trees, agaves and other tender plants in pots indoors.
Tidy up your borders
Remove spent flower stems from perennials and any annuals that are still going strong, and cutting off dead foliage.
If you have a pond, cover it with netting to catch autumn leaves so they don’t sink into the water. Try not to be too fastidious about clearing away seedheads and stems of perennials
Leave some seedheads and stems as food for birds and a hiding place for ladybirds and frogs to hibernate in.
Harvest the last of the season’s fruit and veg
Leave squashes and pumpkins on the plants as long as possible so that the skins harden – they’ll then store well.
Beetroot and carrots can be lifted and stored in layers of dry sand or old potting compost.
Leeks are hardy and can be left in the ground until you need them.
Pick apples and pears and store them wrapped in newspaper in a cool, dark, slightly damp place.
‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ are prone to shrivelling and should be put in plastic bags with a few ventilation holes in them to keep them crisper.