October autumnal tasks

Autumn season is upon us and usually with the wet and windy weather comes a drop in temperature, before it gets too cold you can still manage to squeeze in a few more garden tasks.

Hedges – give them a final trim. Remember to angle the cut, good crisp outlines and shapes can look amazing following a hard frost. The 500W 56cm (222) Electric Hedgetrimmer is a great value for money product suitable for small to medium gardens.

Ponds – as the trees start to lose their leaves and the wind blows across the garden it is difficult preventing the leaves from falling into your fishpond. Once there they will sink into a sludge on the bottom. As they decompose, they give off gases which are poisonous to fish and other aquatics. To prevent this happening it is a good idea to net your pond during the autumn months. This can be a simple square net held down by stones or pegs which will catch the majority of the leaves. Or for rather more money bespoke nets can be purchased that fit the contours of your pond. Whichever you choose it will be a bonus for your fish! 

Lawns – keep mowing if you can on sunny days, perhaps with a slightly longer cut. Now is the time to sow grass seed onto the bare patches or maybe even re-turf whilst we still have relatively mild temperatures and lots of rain. 

Thinking ahead – time now to start planting for spring. There are bulbs for all parts of your garden, underneath shrubs and trees, scattered through grass, in a sunny border or maybe a planter by the front door. Try some Eranthis for the shade – there are many different colours available from a zingy lemon to a deeper bronze. Crocus and Bluebells love dappled shade and Tulips, Scillas and Grape Hyacinths all love a sunny spot. If you have a greenhouse or even just a sunny window-sill sweet peas can be started. Soak the seeds overnight then pop into a bit of compost. Poppies can be sown now too, just scatter the seed where you want the flowers to grow next Spring. For the vegetable garden broad beans can be sown now, directly into the soil for an overwinter crop that will be ready early next spring. 

Lastly, don’t tidy up your garden too much. Leave some piles of leaves or even better a “wild corner” with perhaps some raggedy grass and a nettle or two. If you cut down some untidy looking flower stems and stalks, tie them into a bundle with a bit of string and pop them under a shrub or behind the trellis especially if they are hollow – they make great overwintering nests for countless little creatures. If you really need to have a bonfire, stack everything to one side and then move it to the final position just before you light it. This way no hedgehog will be inadvertently burnt. 

A special thanks to the Lady Gardener who has put these top tips together.

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