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Jobs for October 2023

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Divide your herbaceous perennials to keep them vigorous, enrich the soil with compost before replanting.

Lift Dahlias, Cannas, Begonias and Gladioli. Clean and remove dead foliage before storing in a frost-free shed or garage.

Prune back flowered wood on Rambling Roses once they have finished flowering, and tie in new growth.

Cut back plants that are overhanging paths.

Tidy borders and mulch slightly tender plants before the temperature drops.

Move tender plants into a greenhouse or conservatory.

Reuse spent compost from bedding and pots as a mulch on flowerbeds.



Plant – Spring Cabbage plants, overwintering Onions and Garlic.

Sow – Aquadulce Claudia or the Sutton Broad Beans towards the end of the month either directly in the soil, or in modules to crop next spring. Protect against mice and slugs.

Clear out tomato plants by the end of the month. Any green fruit can be ripened indoors on the windowsill or made into chutney.

Harvest – leeks, potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, radish, spring onions, chard, carrots, beetroot, turnips, spinach, and herbs.

Pumpkins and squashes should be cut before the first frosts. Cure them in a warm room for a couple of weeks to harden the skins before storing them in a cool, frost-free place.

Continue picking the last few beans, marrows and courgettes. Carrots and beetroot can be lifted and stored for the winter in damp sand or old potting compost in a cold shed. Trim back leaves before storing.

Reuse growbags by planting them with winter salad crops, add some growmore or chicken manure before planting.

Check stored veg. for rots and dispose of promptly.

Start to dig over beds and add manure while the soil is still easy to work. If possible cover the ground after digging to stop the winter rains leaching away the nutrients. Remove weeds as you work, as they can act as over-wintering hosts for pests and diseases. Sow green-manures such as mustard or ryegrass on uncultivated areas to improve soil structure and stop winter weeds growing.



Cut down fruited canes of summer raspberries if you haven’t already done so, and tie in new canes.

Every 3 or 4 years dig up and split Rhubarb roots. Replant them with plenty of manure as a mulch, they are hungry plants.

Bring Citrus trees into a frost-free conservatory or greenhouse to overwinter. Start feeding them with Citrus winter food. Reduce watering.

Continue harvesting Apples, Pears, Quinces, Grapes and Nuts. Pick the last fruit before the gales start at the end of the month; store in a cool, airy place such as a shed or garage.

If the weather is warm there may still be a few autumn raspberries to pick.

Remove netting from fruit cages to allow the birds to pick off pests.


General Tips

Lawns – Continue to cut grass if it’s not too wet, but set the blades on high.

Edge the lawn and remove fallen leaves. Rake out any thatch to help aerate it.

Protect half-hardy plants with fleece or bring into a frost-free conservatory. Check for pests when you bring them in.

Set up the greenhouse heater ready for frosty nights.

Sweep up fallen leaves and compost to make leaf-mould. Dispose of dead leaves from under fruit trees and roses in the bin as they may harbour diseases.

Give Evergreen hedges a final trim early in the month to tidy them up before winter sets in.

Bare-rooted hedges and trees can be planted once the leaves have dropped. It is also an ideal time to move trees and shrubs.

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