"For every fog in October, a snow in the Winter!"
"When great leaves fall the Winter is at hand"
"Evening red and morning grey,
Are sure signs of a fine day!"
I love the autumn, which as the years go on, seems to get later and longer. The leaves stay on the trees longer, the grasses become wistful and graceful, autumn colours enrich slowly on the trees, Dahlias create exuberance, Michaelmas Daisies/Aster and Sedums attract the butterflies, bees and hoverflies...
October can be a fickle month, really warm one minute then gales and rain, even a touch of frost. As the days get shorter and the clocks go back, you really notice the shorter days and longer nights. It's that time of year to gather in the Harvest, sort out what you want to store, apples, onions, shallots, squash and pumpkins, make jams and preserves and fill up the log store in readiness for the Winter. Always a favourite time for looking for mushrooms and toadstools whether to eat or just to photograph?
Jobs to tackle:-
Leaves either collect and add to the compost heap using a rotary mower or garden vacc to shred them up, or blow them under hedges and shrubs to decay naturally. If you do the latter, you will be helping all manner of wildlife, creating hiding places for critors to hide in - Frogs, toads, newts, hedgehogs to hibernate. Plus lots of insects and worms for the birds to feed on during the winter months. The leaves will also feed your hedges and shrubs as they break down, creating valuable organic matter to hold moisture during the Summer, so please don't be too tidy with leaf collecting!
Finish bulb planting except tulips - plant in November
Replant tubs and containers for Autumn, Winter, Spring with bulbs, pansies, violas, winter flowering heathers, wallflowers, forget me nots and winter hardy herbs
Gather and store apples and pears. Only store unblemished fruit, make sure they are not touching and are in a cool shed or cellar or outbuilding which is mouse and rat free
Lift last potatoes
As the vegetable area is cleared of plants cover with a layer of compost or organic matter and let the worms do the work
Take photos of the garden to remind you what you wish to move where and change things around or fill in the gaps..?
Lawns - keep off if wet and squelchy. If dry enough consider scarifying or aerating. Over seed with Johnsons Tuffgrass which has deeper roots and is more drought resistant. Don't cut the grass too short either
Cut hedges and topiary
Split herbaceous plants
Garlic is best planted in Autumn
Keep bird baths and bird feeders clean, empty and clean out nest boxes
Make a list of 'Successes and Failures'