It’s October, the start of autumn and the beginning of everything changing in the garden before winter. It may seem like there’s not much to be done in the garden this month, but work put in this earlier in autumn will pay dividends when the garden begins to pick up in spring.
Follow out quick guide to October gardening to improve your garden this autumn.
It may seem boring but the start of autumn is likely your last chance to clean thoroughly before the horrible weather begins to roll in.
This month you should be looking to clean out greenhouses, sheds and raised beds. Thoroughly cleaning, now that your greenhouse crops are finished, will help prevent pests from hibernating in damp areas and causing unwanted damager when they immerge in spring as well as allowing as much of the weaker sun to get through as possible.
The varying temperatures of autumn and the increased moisture make it the perfect time to begin preparing your soil for next year. Begin mixing in composts, manure and other organic matter early this month. By the time spring planting season comes around you will have a rich, soft soil perfect and ready for planting hungry plants.
Now is the best time to get out into the garden and begin collecting seeds for sewing later on in the year. Store them in a clearly labelled paper envelope in a cool dry place until you’re ready to sow in your garden.
You should begin to look at moving delicate plants inside at this time of year, particularly those susceptible to frost. Place them into your newly cleaned greenhouse or cold-frame and keep them relatively dry to limit new growth and frost damage. Your green house should let in enough light to keep your plants happy yet protect them from the dangerous elements.
Mulch is a fantastic way to protect your plants from frost damage; October is most likely your last chance to protect those delicate plants that can’t be moved to the warm inside.
If you thought ahead to Halloween, now is obviously the time to begin harvesting your pumpkins. The outer skin of a pumpkin will be hard when rip. A common way to tell if they’re ripe is to try and puncture the skin with a fingernail, if the skin dents but doesn’t puncture, it’s ready to pick!
Regardless of the weather, don’t be afraid to get out there and work in the garden this October. When summer rolls around, you’ll be grateful that you put in the work early.
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