October 22 Garden
I love gardening in October, it has a cosy yet productive feel about it. We can still enjoy slight warmth from the sun on ever shortening days whilst knowing that much cooler days are ahead. The garden is now a cornucopia of autumnal colour and has a truly magical feel about it. This month has several important gardening jobs for us ranging from clearing leaves, weeding, composting and most excitingly to plant spring bulbs.
The orange and brown leaves are falling from branches into every nook and cranny of our gardens and we should tidy those up before they become set in for the rest of autumn and winter. The falling leaves will naturally accumulate over autumn, so to ensure they don’t suffocate and damage the grass, we should rake leaves off the lawn and sweep them off paths and heap them up onto a compost.
This is the perfect time of year to create a compost, the garden is full of green and brown waste that can be heaped up into an unused part of the garden. The art of composting is to keep turning the compost heap with a garden fork to ensure air gets into it. The decomposition of the garden waste is slower in the colder months and quicker in the warmer months. It will create our own supply of compost and mulch to use next year.
The garden will always look like it needs more colour this month, so by planting cyclamen, primroses and winter pansies into beds, borders, tubs and pots we can give it a brightly coloured boost. The bright pinks and whites of Cyclamen look like beacons of light on a dark autumnal day, and primroses and hardy pansies burn bright with yellow, red, blue and white colours.
The most exciting job of this month is continuing to plant our spring bulbs; we can design and create our spring flower displays. The spring bulb range is wonderful, it includes daffodil, hyacinth, crocus, allium and tulip bulbs. They are all ready to bring our gardens alive again from late winter into springtime. We must make sure borders, beds, planters, tubs and pots have well-drained soil with part to full sun to get the best floral results from our bulbs.
The rule of thumb for planting spring bulbs is to measure the depth of the bulb and dig a hole three times its depth. This helps to ensure they are snuggled deep enough into the ground to establish solid roots, be protected from frosts and hungry wildlife. We can plant a formal row of beautiful tulips or randomly scatter daffodil bulbs into borders and beds. That’s the joy of bulb planting we pick what we want to grow and display, but whatever the preference we will need a reliable hand trowel and spade.
The Autumnal smell of a garden is with us with every spadeful of moist soil and touch of browning leaves. It feels like Mother Nature is freshening up our gardens and ensuring the green spaces are deep cleaned in readiness for next Spring. We can work alongside Mother Nature to enjoy our gardens at this homely time of year, as to achieve in the garden and come indoors to a hot drink is a simple but wholesome pleasure.
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Cut the lawn grass on the highest lawnmower setting.
The last month for trimming any hedges and shrubs.
Give the garden a general tidy up including sheds, greenhouses and ponds.
Maintain fences, trellises, sheds and gates in readiness for windy days.
We can support the birds by feeding them.