October garden

House & Home

Tom Strowlger


October is a very important month in the gardening calendar, it’s our last real chance to get garden jobs done before the nights pull in and temperatures dip further. An exciting job for this month is to plant spring bulbs in preparation for a beautiful floral display in springtime 2022. Our love of spring flowers and the optimism they bring us on those lengthening days of spring is well worth our effort now.

We must therefore get planting daffodil, hyacinth, crocus, allium and tulip bulbs into our favourite beds, borders, tubs and pots. Our local garden centres sell all types of spring bulbs to select from, buy and plant. We plant spring bulbs in autumn to allow them time to fully establish their roots before a period of dormancy over winter. They will be ready to spring into action once the temperatures rise in the new year.

Make sure to pick borders, beds, planters, tubs and pots with well-drained soil with part to full sun to get the best results from your bulbs. The golden rule for planting spring bulbs is to measure the depth of the bulb and dig a hole three times its depth, this ensures they are deep enough to be protected from ground frosts and hungry wildlife. You may want to dig a shallow trench for a beautiful formal row of tulips or randomly plant daffodils into your borders; whatever your preference you will need a hand trowel and spade.

A bulb wants to be planted the right way up with its root base in the hole first and the top of the bulb facing upwards — if in doubt plant the bulb on its side, this means the roots grow downwards and the green grows upwards. Gently backfill the hole and let the bulbs do the rest, they will give us such a wonderful surprise in spring of next year. Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.

This month’s top tips:

  • Cut the grass on the highest lawnmower setting to keep it healthy during the colder and darker months.
  • This is the last month for trimming any hedges and shrubs.
  • Give the garden a general tidy up including greenhouse, ponds and water butts.
  • Check and maintain fences, trellises, sheds and gates ready for windy days.