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Gardening through the year

Gardening jobs for October

Article 10 of 13

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Gardening jobs for October

Our expert Which? guide to the gardening jobs you need to do in October such as clearing autumn leaves and planting spring bedding.

Plant up spring pots

If you haven't already planted some containers with spring colour, there's still time to plant now using bedding plants such as violas and wallflowers, plus spring-flowering bulbs. Be sure to use a Best Buy compost for containers.

Keep your pots in a sheltered spot, such as under a porch, to encourage blooms through the winter and to avoid plants rotting off in the winter wet. Cyclamen and ornamental cabbage are particularly vulnerable to rotting in damp conditions.

You won't get masses of blooms during colder weather, but any milder spells should see a good show.

Clear leaves

The simplest method of clearing leaves off the lawn is to run over them with a lawn mower. The cutting action of the mower blades will help to shred the leaves and make them quicker to rot down.

Collect leaves this way once a week - any longer and the grass will start to grow long and get harder to cut. 

For clearing patios, paths and other surfaces, a leaf blower is a better bet. Either blow the leaves onto the lawn for the mower to pick up or blast them on to a tarpaulin and drag them to the compost heap.

Autumn leaves are great for adding to the compost bin, or for rotting down in black plastic bags on their own to make a finer type of compost called leaf mould.

Read our advice about what to do with autumn leaves.

Bring tender plants under protection

If you've got tender plants, such as canna, now's the time to bring them indoors before they get killed by the frost. Choose a light, frost-free place such as a greenhouse or coldframe. Then keep them on the dry side during the winter, so they don't put on much growth.

To reduce the threat of disease, check the plants on a regular basis and cut off any dead leaves and flowers before they have the chance to rot.

The plants can then be brought back into growth in spring by gradually increasing the amount of water they receive.

Turn the compost heap

As the garden is tidied in preparation for winter, lots of material is generated for composting. To encourage it to rot down quickly, turn the contents regularly to stir it up and allow in lots of air.

In the colder weather, the rate of decomposition will naturally decrease, but it will soon speed up during warmer spells.


Veg garden jobs

October sees the start of the winter-veg season.

Jobs to do include:

  • Sow winter salads
  • Clear out greenhouse crops
  • Buy garlic

Read our full guide to the veg jobs for October.