MID OCTOBER IN YOUR GARDEN
  • Prepare areas to plant new roses
  • Move shrubs that have outgrown their position or are in the wrong place
  • Lift and store carrots
  • Prune out fruited blackberry canes and tie in new shoots to replace them
  • Install water butts to collect rainwater over winter
  • Gather up hoses, sprinklers and watering equipment to store away for winter and remove pumps and filters from ponds and bubble fountains
  • Dig over vacant soil and spread a thick layer of compost over the surface
  • Clear fallen leaves from greenhouse gutters
  • Clear out old crops and growing bags, adding material to the compost heap
  • Bulbs are still the best value in gardening. Plant now for mass-spring colour.
  • Plant out spring bedding including pansies, wallflowers and forget-me-nots
  • Start to plant tulips in pots and borders. Wallflowers are tulips companions in spring, plant them together for coordinated displays
  • Pile bark mulch over the crowns of hardy fuchsias to provide extra protection
  • Garden birds do much more than look pretty. They are part of the food chain and act as vital predators in terms of insect pests. A flock of long tail tits will make short work of an aphid infestation and without the need for pesticides.

Make your garden a safe haven for birds and enjoy their delightful antics, with natural food such as berries and seeds are in short supply, supplement their diet with quality food that mimics their natural diet

How to Grow Onions from Sets. By planting autumn onion sets now you can be guaranteed the earliest crops next year. It will ensure that you can have a tasty home grown crop of superb onions from late spring to early summer. Bear in mind that each set (mini onion bulb) will swell and grow into a bulb up to the size of a tennis ball, so you need to leave plenty of room between each one. Plant them with 10cm (4inches) or more between each bulb and when growing in rows leave at least 30cm (12inches) between the rows. Choose an open and sunny site. Dig over the soil until it is crumbly and easy to work. Dig in some compost to improve the soil, and add a dressing of Growmore to the soil. Gently push each mini onion bulb into the prepared soil until just the very tip is protruding, leave at least 10cm (4inches) between each bulb. Plant them in blocks or rows for convenience. Weed between the onions and keep the soil moist until they have established. Onions are shallow rooted, so take care when weeding. In mid to late summer when the leaves have started to yellow and die off, place a fork under the swollen bulbs and lift them out so that the sun can ripen the base of the bulbs. When the foliage has died off completely string them up for winter use.

Give it a try.. It will take a few years to get there, but a mature, heavy cropping apple tree is a big asset in the garden. Tasty fruit aside, there is the abundance or decorative spring blossom early in the year, and after harvest in late summer, some varieties go on to offer really great autumn foliage colour too. October is a good month to plant apple trees in the garden. Clear the planting site of weeds and unwanted plants. Improve heavy or light soils with the addition of compost. Beef up nutrient content by digging in a balanced feed such as fish, blood and bone. This will break down over winter to release nutrients ready for uptake in spring when the tree comes back into growth. Dig a planting hole twice as wide as the tree’s container and a good 10-15cm deeper. Cover the base of the hole with 10-15cm of compost, plus a handful of fish blood and bone. Mix in and level. Thanks to dwarfing roots stocks and a range of space-saving pruning and growing methods, there is room for an apple tree even in the smallest garden. 

October