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Gardener's Diary

October


In association with the Royal Horticultural Society

The Royal Horticultural Society

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK's leading gardening charity dedicated to advancing horticulture and promoting good gardening.

Their goal is to help people share a passion for plants, to encourage excellence in horticulture and inspire all those with an interest in gardening.

In this section on Laterlife they share their expertise to provide your Jobs for the Month - making sure that your garden is ready for the season ahead.

Find out more about how to become a member of the RHS

Jobs to do in October

The autumn chill sets in

Top 10 jobs this month

Although we had some warmer days over September, the autumn is now definitely here for real, and it feels colder. It's a beautiful time of year, with the trees changing colour. Sometimes it may seem pointless raking, when the wind blows even more leaves onto the lawn, but just think of all the lovely leafmould you can make! It's also time to start preparing for early frosts.

 

  • Divide established rhubarb crowns to create new plants

  • Cut back perennials that have died down

  • Divide herbaceous perennials

  • Move tender plants, including aquatic ones, into a greenhouse or conservatory

  • Plant out spring cabbages

  • Harvest apples, pears, grapes and nuts

  • Prune climbing roses

  • Finish collecting seeds from the garden to sow next year

  • Last chance to mow lawns and trim hedges in mild areas

  • Renovate old lawns or create new grass areas by laying turf


Lawns

In many colder areas, this month is the last opportunity to scarify, aerate and top dress lawns. Scarification removes layers of thatch and can be done with either a spring-tine rake or a powered scarifier.

Afterwards apply an autumn lawn feed; these are low in nitrogen, so discouraging lush green growth that would only succumb to cold and diseases over the winter months.

This is definitely your last chance to sow grass seed in mild areas of the UK. Cover newly sown areas with clear polythene to protect them from cold or fierce rain, if these are forecast in your area. Light to moderate rain will aid germination.

Rake fallen leaves off lawns before they block out light and air penetration to the grass. On large lawns a leaf-blower will make the job much easier, but only powerful models are capable of shifting leaves from damp lawns.

This is the last chance to mow recently sown grass areas, to neaten them up before the winter. Don’t cut lower than 2.5cm (1in). Topping with the mower will also prevent weeds getting out of hand.

Troubleshooting

To assist walking over lawns plagued with worm casts or muddy areas, consider laying paths or stepping-stones across main routes of access, so that the lawn is not spoiled by treading in the winter weather.

Toadstools and fairy rings appearing in the lawn may be a sign that scarification and autumn lawn care is necessary.

It is too late to apply a weedkiller now - effectiveness will be much reduced. A final mow will keep weeds in hand until the spring, when weedkillers can again be used.

 

 

The Royal Horticultural Society

Want more Gardening tips?
Why not view the Royal Horticultural Society's website.



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