Gardening jobs this month: October
What to do in the garden in October, from the gardening experts of Prima and Country Living
From Country Living gardening editor Stephanie Donaldson:
■ Sow sweet-pea seeds under glass. Read more on sowing sweet peas
■ Pick up and burn any diseased rose leaves
■ Tie in climbers to prevent potential gale damage
■ Turn compost heaps and tuck them up for winter. Read more on compost heaps
■ Harvest squashes and pumpkins and ripen in the sun or undercover for 10 days before storing
■ This is the best month for laying turf; make sure the soil is carefully prepared first. Read more on preparing your lawn for winter
■ Tree peonies and camellias will now benefit from bonemeal and a top dressing with compost (not manure).
■ Turn the compost heaps and make sure that they are covered over for winter.
■ Cut back and remove dying foliage from pond edges, and net pond if you haven't already done so.
■ Take cuttings form gooseberry bushes.
■ Tie in new growth on climbers to prevent damage in gales.
■ Apply grease bands to fruit trees and their stakes.
■ Self-sown forget-me-nots can be divided and transplanted.
■ Stack shredded leaves before using them as mulch, especially laurel leaves, which release a toxic gas for a month.
■ Remove mulch from around soft fruit bushes to expose pests. Burn debris rather than composting.
■ Remove saucers from under container plants to prevent frost damage to plants or pots.
■ Buy bare-root wallflowers and plant deep to prevent them from becoming leggy.
■ Remove saucers beneath containers to avoid frost damage and waterlogging.
■ Plant all spring bulbs except tulips which need to wait until next month.
■ Sow green manure on bare ground in a vegetable garden.
■ Spread leaf mould where you are planning to grow root vegetables next year.
■ Harvest orchard fruit - store only those in perfect condition.
■ Pick and ripen squash and pumpkin: stand them outdoors on a slatted surface and bring under cover if frosty.
■ Lift maincrop potatoes.
■ Rake fallen leaves and stack them to make leaf mould
■ Weed paths before winter - they look tidier and are cleaner to walk on.
■ When you are tidying the borders, resist the temptation to cut back any of the more tender plants you are planning to leave in the ground over winter. Mulch them deeply and they will come through fine, unless it is a particularly hard winter.
Planting and sowing
■ Finish planting spring bulbs
■ Autumn-flowering cyclamen will establish well if planted now while they are in flower.
■ Herbaceous plants will establish well before winter if planted now.
■ Sow winter lettuces under cloches.
■ Sow sweet peas under glass, then move them to a cold frame when they have germinated.
■ For a table-top spring display, plant miniature bulbs in small, shallow pots.
■ Plant lilies in pots now to flower in May and June inside or July and August outside.
■ Plant wallflowers as soon as you buy them.
■ Generously spread last year's leaf mould where you plan to plant carrots and other root vegetables next year.
■ Prepare bean trenches for next spring.
■ Remove all leaves from gunneras and use them to cover the crown to protect from frost.
■ Cover parsley with cloches so that it crops through winter.
From Prima gardening expert Ann-Marie Powell:
■ Lift and divide large clumps of perennials.
■ Start planting bulbs, trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials.
■ Sow new lawns from seed, or turf.
■ Scarify, aerate and feed existing lawns.
■ Lift and store maincrop potatoes.
■ Sow hardy salads and radish.
■ Harvest courgette, beetroot and sweetcorn.
■ Clear summer bedding plants.
■ Take box cuttings.
■ Deadhead roses to prolong bloom.
■ Take cuttings from geraniums.
■ Net ponds to protect from leaves.
■ Collect flowers and veg seeds.
■ Clip hedges and topiary.
■ Clear falling autumn leaves.
■ Plant out spring cabbages, autumn onion sets and garlic. Read more on growing garlic
■ Sow hardy broad beans and peas.
■ Plant spring bulbs. Read more on growing bulbs
■ Harvest grapes, nuts, tomatoes, apples and pears for storing.
■ Start planting new trees and shrubs.
■ Mow lawns and trim hedges for the last time this year. Read more on trimming a hedge
■ Keep deadheading, watering and feeding your hanging baskets to keep them going for as long as possible.
■ Plant up lilies in pots.
■ Turn the compost heap.
■ Sow sweet pea seeds in pots in the cold frame to produce early blooms next year.
■ Sow hardy annuals.
■ Take hardwood cuttings of buddleja, cut-leaved or purple elders, forsythia, willow, flowering currant, gooseberries, and red-, white- and blackcurrants.