Gardening Tips For October

October is a wonderful month in the garden with crisp blue-skies and autumnal colours.


  • Put high energy foods like fat balls and sunflower seeds or hearts out for the birds.
  • Put hedgehog and bug houses in place if you have not already done so.
  • If you want to provide a natural source of food for birds choose from one of the many attractive berried plants like Holly or Cotoneaster.

Trees, Shrubs and Flowers

  • Autumn is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs or to move existing ones.
  • Lift and divide overcrowded perennials.
  • Trim hedges.
  • Compost faded bedding plants that you are not going to over-winter for next year.
  • Have a tidy up, cutting down faded stems and messy foliage (leave some seed heads like sunflowers and teasels for the birds.)
  • Pick up diseased leaves from around the base of roses.
  • Prune climbing and rambling roses.
  • Dig up Dahlias, brush off surplus compost and store through winter in a cool, dry place.
  • Plant containers for autumn and winter. Choose from winter interest shrubs for larger containers (eg Skimmia, the red stemmed Cornus Alba, Euonymus).
  • Underplant container specimens with some spring bulbs for a burst of colour and freshness early next year.
  • Herbaceous perennials such as Heuchera and many evergreen grasses will look good over winter and there are many bedding plants that will brighten up the dreary days.
  • Choose from the amazing variety of spring bulbs and plant them in clumps or drifts in the borders or choose smaller ones for containers.
  • Use grease bands on fruit trees with a smooth bark to prevent winter moth problems. If the bark is not smooth then an insect barrier glue is better.
  • Sow sweet peas for in cold frames or greenhouses/grow houses for early flowers next summer.
  • Plant Autumn bedding in borders.
  • Protect half hardy plants with fleece.
  • Plant prepared hyacinths in vases indoors for winter scent and colour.


  • Rake up leaves on lawns and compost them.
  • A last mowing can be made on a high level before winter.
  • Recut lawn edges if needed.
  • Aerate your lawn with a garden fork to help prevent waterlogging.
  • Apply an autumn lawncare to feed and weed.

Fruit and Vegetables

  • Sow broad beans such as ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ for an early crop next year. Can be sown direct or in pots for planting out next month.
  • Plant fruit bushes and raspberry canes either this month or next. Use Rose Tree and Shrub Compost in the backfill soil to help establishment.
  • Dry pumpkins and squash if not already done.
  • Cut back yellowing asparagus foliage.
  • Move citrus tress indoors to a sunny frost-free position.
  • Remove netting from fruit cages to allow birds to eat any pests.
  • Clear straw from around the base of strawberries.

General Maintenance and Structures

  • Cover or store furniture.
  • Create or buy a compost bin.
  • Clean out the greenhouse using if not already done to prevent pests and diseases over-wintering.
  • Clean out ponds and cover them with netting to keep the leaves off.
  • Clear gutters and drains.
  • Clean out water butts.
  • Use the last of the dry weather to paint preservatives onto fences or sheds.
  • Raise pots off the ground to prevent waterlogging and to prevent pots cracking.
  • Invest in a bird bath.
  • Have fleece, plant cosies and cloches at the ready to protect plants and crops in colder weather.