Autumn is officially here! October, in all its golden glory, gives us a wonderful display of colours. The trees are beginning to lose their leaves in abundance as they become dormant for winter, telling us that the change of season is in full swing. The days are much shorter and cooler, and we can feel an autumn chill in the air. Although trees are the stars of the month, October is the time to think about how our garden will look when it wakes from hibernation. There are plants to be cut back and left tidy for the winter, shrubs to be planted or moved, summer plants to be removed and replaced with winter hardy bedding, bulbs to be strategically placed in borders, and the lawn to be fed and given its final mow. October may bring with it the beginning of quiet times for the garden – but not for the gardener.
Looking Good This Month: Conifers
Why should you plant them?
Conifers are hardy evergreen trees and shrubs that suit any garden. They come in a huge range of shapes, sizes and textures, and the colour can be anything from yellow or light green through to dark green and blue. Easy to care for and long lasting, conifers are the ideal choice for any gardener looking for a low maintenance but high impact plant.
How should you plant them?
Dwarf conifers are good for containers, and larger shrubs and trees make good hedging or garden features. They are happy in any soil, in sun or shade. Newly planted conifers will need watering until established, but mature plants need little maintenance.
3 Essential Gardening Jobs for October.
Perennials are not difficult plants to care for, but trimming them after flowering finishes in autumn helps to improve their appearance and give a boost to next year’s flowering. Using a knife, shears or secateurs, cut stems close to the ‘crown’ or dormant base of the plant. Any overcrowded clumps of perennials can also be lifted, divided, and replanted. Take the opportunity to remove weeds as you prune, before applying a light mulch to protect from any hard frost.
Plant trees and shrubs
October is the ideal month to plant trees and shrubs. Although container grown plants can be planted at any time of the year, it is easier to care for them if you plant them in the autumn or winter. The ground is damp and still warm – perfect conditions to allow roots to become established before winter sets in.
Plant Autumn Bedding
Any remaining summer bedding will be looking very tired by now, and it is best to clear and replace it for a fresher display. Autumn bedding such as pansy and primrose will give an instant lift to the garden, and they look great planted between the shrubs in the border. Myosotis, which produces masses of small flowers with little white eyes, and Sweet William, which provides a colourful carpet of flowers from spring through to summer, are both ideal for overwintering if planted now.
Enjoy Your Garden! Adrian and Claire
Westfield Nurseries, Whittlesey is your local, friendly garden centre offering a great range of plants and outdoor products.