• 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. 

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: October


  • Cut back autumn fruiting raspberries to ground level
  • Continue to trim hedges
  • Continue to plant new fruit trees and bushes
  • Tidy strawberry beds, cutting back old foliage and congested runners and removing weeds
  • The strawberry runners can be planted now in well-prepared soil
  • Strawberry runners planted in containers in your greenhouse will give you a bumper early crop next season
  • Rake autumn leaves as a build up will damage your lawn
  • Fallen leaves added to a compost heap are high in nutrients
  • Fallen leaves raked into a pile in a dry sheltered corner makes the ideal home for overwintering wildlife
  • Sow sweet peas in pots, and overwinter under cover
  • Prune suckers away from the base of ornamental trees
  • Treat your lawn with an autumn feed
  • Cut back and dig up dahlia tubers, leave upside down to dry in a well-ventilated area

In the greater scheme of things all plants have a purpose and sometimes their purpose is not readily recognised.  So we tend to pick plants for the beauty of their flowers or the perfume they exude.  As we get into autumn one has to look more closely at plants to see their beauty.  It may be in the form of leaf colour, stem colour, berry or seed head.  Personally, I choose plants for how they look in the off-season rather the height of their glory and there are always exceptions of course.  Some plants only flower for a very short time and must be included in the garden.  I’m thinking of Romneya coulteri for instance with its silk like blooms but back to my favourite time of year autumn,

The simple Virginia creeper which has been green all season is now at its most glorious.  The best variety to plant is known as Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Boston Ivy), it’s the best on for clinging to a wall, will grow in any reasonable soil not too wet.  Rhus typhina or Staghorn sumach as its often known as is an old, old favourite, glorious autumn colour, grows in any reasonable soil, can sucker a little but these suckers can be dug up this time of year to spread the colour in your garden or a friends.  Acer Bloodgood is fiery red just now, suitable for the smallest of gardens or a large tub.  Acer Sango-kaku (Coral Bark Maple) is a splendid mix of pink, orange, gold and red at the moment, again suitable for any sized garden.  If you have room for a medium sized tree Liquidambar has to be considered.  If your garden is small a small tree called Stewartia is well worth seeking out.  Next week I will cover plants with interesting fruits and berries for colour into the winter.

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: October


  • Collect fallen leaves smothering alpines and other plants
  • Plant spring bedding, including wallflowers and forget-me-nots, among tulips
  • Pick apples and pears before the wind blows them down
  • Prepare area to plant roses
  • Sow green manure crops over soil
  • Prune out fruited blackberry canes and tie in new shoots to replace them
  • Pick and lay out green tomatoes  or place in a paper bag with a banana
  • Put cloches over tender herbs like basil and coriander
  • Pot up mint, chives and parsley to keep on a bright window sill
  • Sowing seeds of sweet pea in autumn means that plants are not only more robust in spring, but that they flower earlier.
  • There might be a lot of berries in the gardens and hedgerows but the wild birds need as much support as they can get. Supplement their wild harvest with quality food to boost them before the weather changes. If you choose your bird food carefully you can actually attract different species to your garden.

Autumn Natures Natural time to plant. Nowadays, of course, you can plant all year round as most plants can be planted from containers at any time of the year. It’s not that long ago that planting could only be done in the dormant season, traditionally any month with an ‘R’ in it. There is an old saying ‘throw them into the garden in autumn and they will grow but you must plant them carefully in spring’ it makes sense, the ground is quite warm in autumn after the summer and plants planted now will have bedded in much more equipped to weather the winter and poised to benefit from the rising sap in spring which actually starts in mid-January. When planting is furthest from our minds, September evenings are still long enough and hopefully some gardening weekends still to be enjoyed. Another advantage with autumn planting is that you are choosing plants when you can appreciate their autumn shades as some plants only come into their own this time of year. I’m thinking of trees like the mountain ash with their pink, red, yellow or white berries. Ornamental crab apples are looking good, even the sight of juicy red apples on an apple tree is one of the joys of autumn. Pride of place right now must go to a relatively new variety of tree called Autumn Blaze, it does exactly as the name suggests. There are numerous shrubs coming into flower just now to prolong your colour season in the garden or containers. It seems too soon to be saying get out and plant your tulips and daffodils for spring colour, but it’s time to get planting.

How to properly store dahlia tubers. Gardening as we all know is not done to the exact time of the year but by on conditions prevailing at the time, so I leave my dahlias in the ground until the first frosts whenever they may be. So using a secateurs, cut down your dahlia stems to a few centimetres from ground level and throw the leaves in the composter. .Dig all around the dahlia clump and lift the tubers with a fork, taking great care not to damage them with the spikes. Shake off as much soil as you can. Rinse off the soil, and then stand the tubers upside down to dry. Pack the tubers in a box lined with newspaper, as this helps to draw out any moisture and cover them with dry compost. Store them in a frost-free place, such as under the greenhouse staging or a dry shed. Or given our past winters under your bed! Don’t forget to label your dahlias, for ease of planting next year.

January 17, 2021 — omearas gardencentre
Tags: October