pumpkins ready for Halloween

Garden Jobs in October

The nights are drawing in and there is now less time to spend in the garden. However there are still plenty of jobs to do in the garden. Main activities will revolve around clearing up after summer and preparing for the winter and spring ahead.

Here are a list of important jobs to do this month to keep your garden looking good:


  • Plant drifts of spring bulbs informally in a lawn, such as crocuses and daffodils
  • Lift tender Cannas and Dahlias to avoid frost damage, dry off the tubers and store in cool dark conditions until spring
  • Plant up pots with winter colour, such as Cyclamen, Winter Pansies and Skimmia
  • Lift and pot up tender perennials to protect them over winter
  • Plant evergreen shrubs and conifer hedges while the soil is still warm
  • Collect seeds from hardy perennials and sow straight away
  • Take hardwood cuttings from ornamental trees and shrubs
  • Reduce the height of shrub roses to avoid wind-rock damage over winter

Fruit and veg

  • Take cuttings of shrubby herbs, such as Rosemary, Lemon Verbena and Thyme
  • Cover salad plants with cloches to prolong cropping
  • Plant garlic cloves in a sunny well-drained spot, 15cm apart, with their tip 5cm below the surface
  • Wrap grease bands around the trunks of apple, pear, cherry and plum trees to trap the crawling female winter moth
  • Cut autumn-fruiting raspberries down to the ground after harvesting
  • Order bare-root fruit trees and bushes for planting from late autumn to early spring


  • Clean out the greenhouse to get rid of debris that can harbour overwintering pests and diseases
  • Wash greenhouse glazing to let in as much of the weaker autumn daylight as possible
  • Sow quick-growing micro-greens, such as kale and mustard, for nutrient-rich pickings in just a few weeks
  • Line greenhouse glazing with bubble insulation, as night-time temperatures start to drop
  • Water plants more sparingly as conditions turn cooler and the days get shorter
  • Sow sweet peas in deep pots for early flowers next summer
  • Inspect plants you bring into the greenhouse over winter for any pests and diseases

Garden maintenance

  • Rake up fallen leaves from lawns, borders, driveways and paths, and store in bin bags to rot down into leaf mould
  • Spike compacted lawns and brush either sharp sand or horticultural grit into the holes to help improve drainage
  • Apply an autumn lawn feed to revive the grass after the rigours of summer
  • Empty any pots that aren’t frost proof and store in a garage or shed over winter


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