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 Topical Tips for October

Autumn really has arrived this month, the nights are drawing in and there are some fantastic autumnal hues in the garden, it’s a great month to do a  little bit of tidying and lots of planting of bulbs and shrubs. Read on for our tips for this month.




 Frosted Sedum flower heads

Leaf Mold

Flowers & Shrubs

Top Tip:  Cut back perennials that have died down, remove and compost bedding plants that have past their best. Although we’ve just told you to cut down your perennials down feel free to ignore this if you like seed heads or just want to keep a few beautiful stems that look stunning when frosted.


Top Tip:  Once you have removed the leaves from the flower beds put them in a black dustbin liner and leave them to rot down to make fantastic leaf mold (as always mentioned by Monty Don on Gardener’s World)

Top Tip: Prune climbing and rambling roses.

Top Tip:  Cut down Buddleia, Lavatera   and other quick growing shrubs by one third to reduce wind damage.

Top Tip:  It’s worth lifting begonia tubers to protect then from the cold weather but in a sheltered London garden it’s worth risking leaving the gladioli bulbs and Dahlia  tubers in situ as they are a little bit more hardy, cover them with a few inches of mulch for some extra insulation.

Top Tip: Plant shrubs now, we have a great selection at the moment and they will get a chance to grow a good root system before the main growth spurt starts in the spring.

Top Tip:  If you haven't already planted some containers with spring colour, there's still time to plant now using bedding plants such as violas and wallflowers, plus spring-flowering bulbs. Keep your pots in a sheltered spot, such as under a porch, to encourage blooms through the winter and to avoid plants rotting off in the winter wet. Cyclamen and ornamental cabbage are particularly vulnerable to rotting in damp conditions. You won't get masses of blooms during colder weather, but any milder spells should see a good show.


Top Tip:  When planting try some Rootgrow, which contains the seeds or spores of mycorhizal fungi which create a secondary root system for plants, the main benefits include:

  Better and more balanced growth

  Healthier and more dense root system with hugely increased ability to uptake nutrients from the soil 

  More abundant flowers and fruit

  Reduced need for synthetic or chemical fertilisers

  Higher resistance to drought

  Reduced stress during transplanting

  Stabilisation of surface

  Improved resistance to soil pathogens and environmental stress

Now if that isn’t enough to persuade you to try it then just listen to Monty who also uses it!.





Top Tip:  If you have any half-hardy plants cover them with fleece just in case eg. Banana.


This really is the peak time to choose and pant bulbs, we have over 250 varieties in our bulb shop. Bulbs are incredible value and incredibly easy to grow. The earlier you plant bulbs the better for the soil is still warm and getting the roots established will help them to resist rot . However Tulips can be planted right up until the middle of December but do purchase them soon. One of this year’s hits has been tulip Peter Scherer, a tall elegant almost black variety, our customers are so stylish!


When planting a rule of thumb is to plant 2-3 times their own depth eg a bulb 2” high should be planted 4-6” deep. 


Paul scherer tulip



Allium in full flower, another ‘must’ bulb .


If you want to impress then make sure you have some alliums in the garden, they are easy to grow and lend an air of sophistication to any garden, not to be missed!

When planting bulbs we recommend Bulbstarter to provide the ideal growing medium for bulbs.


Worm casts on the lawn -  a good sign!


Top Tip:  it’s probably time for the last cut of the season so raise the mower a couple of notches and give it the last cut.


Top Tip:  Give the lawn a feed with Autumn Lawn food 2 in 1 which will prepare the lawn for the winter and kill any moss that maybe present. 

Top Tip:  Try not to leave any leaves on the lawn as they can reduce the light falling on the lawn can cause it to go yellow.



Top Tip:  If you have a problem with worm cast then it’s a good sign because it means that the worms are doing their stiff and helping to maintain a good lawn. If you do have too many then just wait for a dry day and sweep them off with a besom (which you can then use on Halloween).

Top Tip:   Clear leaves off the lawn as if they remain the lack of light will cause brown patches.  The simplest method of clearing leaves off the lawn is to run over them with a lawn mower. The cutting action of the mower blades will help to shred the leaves and make them quicker to rot down.




Grow Your Own

Top Tip:  Harvest the last of the year’s fruit and veg, leave squashes and pumpkins though to harden off so that they store well.

Top Tip:  Beetroot and Carrots can be lifted and stored in layers of sand or old compost.

Top Tip: Pick apples and wrap them in newspaper and store them in a cool dark place.

Top Tip:  Plant onion sets and garlic bulbs for a super crop next summer.

Top Tip:  Cut back asparagus foliage to within 10cm of the ground.


   Odd Jobs

Top Tip:  If you’re fed up with sweeping up the leaves them it’s tome to get a leaf blower!, we have electric modes which can also suck the leaves up and chop ready to compost from £54.99.

Top Tip:   If the weather remains dry don’t forget to water the plants , it’s easy to overlook at t his time of year.

Top Tip:  Don’t throw out compost used for summer bedding just put it in the flower beds as a mulch.