Gardening in October: what to do in your garden this month

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The life of the pond

Pond pumps should be removed from your pond, drained and stored for the winter. Fish can be deprived of oxygen if the pond surfaces freeze over later in the year, so float a ball on the surface now, to keep the water moving.

Turn to ash

If you have a bonfire to get rid of all your accumulated trash and pruning debris, use the potash-rich ash. Any ash that is pure wood – not charcoal or smokeless fuel – is useful on the plot. When it’s cool, scatter it around the roots of fruit trees and bushes for beautiful flowering and fruiting next year.

Feed the birds

Purchase bird feeders and baths if you are not already fully equipped for the winter needs of the birds in your garden. It’s also time to hang fat balls, as birds need more energy to get through the cold nights.

Test acidity

Pine needles and conifer hedge trimmings take much longer to decompose than other leaves, and it’s not a bad idea to make this a separate bin, so you don’t get stung when you dive into the depths of your compost. After two or three years, they will decompose into an acidic leaf mold perfect for use around ericaceous plants such as blueberries, azaleas and rhododendrons.

Need to weed

Once the border growth has started to wear off, go through and uproot all those weeds that have escaped you during the more lush times. This is a good time to add a layer of mulch, to keep the heat in and keep your border weed-free.

Sprinkle with lime

An application of lime can help release nutrients into your vegetable garden soil. Now sprinkle it on the bare ground: this way it will have an effect on the new shoots in the spring, but you will not risk damaging the young shoots.

Cut for fruit

Prune the blackcurrants. They give better fruit on younger wood, so remove about a third of the older wood, right down to the base. Order bare root bushes for later in the fall. ‘Big Ben’ has big, sweet berries.

Relieve the disease

Anywhere your plants have struggled with stains and disease this summer, be sure to pick up and discard the leaves as they fall. Many problems can overwinter in fallen leaves and rebound in the spring.

Using the fork

These months can reveal hidden problems in your lawn as rain collects and collects in compacted spots. You can walk over such places with a garden fork, pushing it into the ground to make holes, and then brush it in sharp sand.

Tighten the ties

Check tree stakes and ties. They need to be strong and tight, otherwise the storms will knock over the saplings and they will rub and hit the stake. Even if you think a tree may be ready to do without its stake, now is not the time to remove it: wait for spring.

Award action

If you have new areas of a subdivision to clear, now is a good time to start a “no dig” bed. Cover the entire surface with a good layer of sturdy cardboard, then stack a thick layer of well-rotted horse manure or compost. In the spring it will be ready for planting.

Keep the bananas

The rustic Musa basjoo banana may not live up to its name. If you live in a cold area or if yours is young, you will need to protect it with fleece or straw.

Gladioli in store

In cooler areas, lift your gladiolus bulbs now that the foliage has turned brown. Break off the leaves and store in a cool, frost-free place. In warmer areas, you can get by by simply covering them with thick mulch.

Cross the pond

Ponds smothered by growth and weeds can be cleaned now: do not leave it until spring, when pond dwellers are breeding. Leave whatever you remove on the side of the pond for several days to allow those who are accidentally kicked out to reenter.

Management of germs

Brussels sprouts are tall and heavy and can be tossed around in the wind. Give them a little support: Those who suffer from wind rock are more likely to produce soft, puffy shoots. Push a large piece of wood such as a piece of hazel into the ground next to each plant and tie them tight.

Dry begonias

Once their foliage is blackened by the first frosts, lift and dry your begonia tubers. After a week or so, brush off the dried soil, then store the tubers in something insulating, such as sawdust or dry sand, in a cool, but frost-free place.

Mark locations

This may be the last chance to mark the location of perennials as they die, which is a good idea if you are planting bulbs or moving around during the winter. Even an unlabeled length of bamboo will prevent you from slicing through your scabiosa during a trim renovation adjustment.

Go without a mower

Spend the fall and winter planning your new life without a mower. The sickle manual by Ian Miller contains all the information you need to buy, maintain and use a scythe for any grassy area, from a meadow to a lawn.

Compost mix

Anything that grows in the garden can be composted, but if you are cutting walnut, eucalyptus, bay leaf, and juniper be aware that they are poisonous to other plants, so it’s best to leave them out of the mix. general.


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