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Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips for October

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Gardening tips for December

As winter sets in there are still jobs you can be doing in the garden and home

  • Evergreen
A graphic of a garden fork and trowel

Spend some precious time in the garden before the clocks go back!

October is the perfect time to prepare your garden for the winter months, planting out new shrubs and trees, especially evergreens.

Jobs for the month

  • Replace summer bedding plants in containers and borders with some hardy flowering bedding plants such as pansies, viola and primula, or add some cheery autumn colour with heathers, cyclamen and pop in a few spring flowering bulbs for interest during winter and early spring. Remember to refresh or replace the compost to provide the best start for your plants – take advantage of our special offer on all outdoor composts, soil improvers and manures throughout October.

  • There’s still plenty of time to plant spring bulbs, October is the best month to plant snowdrops, crocus, grape hyacinths, daffodils, fritillarias, alliums and hyacinths. Tulips are better planted in November or December. Whether you plant them in the border or in a container, you will have some lovely flowers to welcome you next year.

  • Cut back summer flowering plants such as cannas and dahlias and lift any bulbs and plants which may not survive the winter months. Dry and store in a dark, cool but frost-free place and replant in spring.

  • Cut back hardy perennials as they finish flowering, removing old foliage and flowers to ground level. Whilst the soil is still warm, you can lift and divide overcrowded herbaceous perennials, replanting to form new healthy plants. Our special offer this month is 10% off selected perennials so fill up any gaps in your garden ready for next year.

  • There are still many flowering plants available which will provide some late colour in your garden; rudbeckia with its yellow daisy-like flowers will bloom well into October and chrysanthemums are long-lasting and bring some welcome colour to the garden. Asters are a favourite with gardeners as they make a spectacular display in late autumn, with their vivid daisy flowers. From low growers providing great ground cover to tall plants for the back of the border they love the sun or grow well in the shade. Hardy cyclamens will bring some much-needed colour to the garden when not many plants are flowering and can flower right through from autumn into spring.

  • With our discount on selected alpines this month, why not create a rock or container garden. There are so many attractive, colourful alpines that will brighten up your garden, and they are a hardy plant which can withstand harsh conditions.

  • Cut back buddleias to about half their height to neaten its appearance and prevent wind damage during winter storms. They will need cutting back in spring too.

  • To protect plants against early frosts, move containers to a sheltered spot close to buildings and group them together. Remove any saucers and raise them off the ground with pot feet to help prevent the compost getting too wet over the winter. For better insulation cover the top of the pots with a thick layer of mulch such as bark – see our 10% off offer this month!

  • October is the perfect time to plant out new shrubs and trees, especially evergreens such as camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons. Plant these now and you can look forward to an abundance of colour in spring. The soil is still warm and the rain we have had will make the ground moist so the plants can get established before the next flowering season arrives.

  • Between October and March is one of the best times to move any shrubs, as long as the ground is not waterlogged. Ensure that you include as much of the rootball as possible and make sure the new hole is large enough. Do not plant it any deeper than before as this may cause the roots to rot. Make sure that the plant is watered thoroughly during any dry spells. Take note that some plants can take a couple of seasons to begin to grow and flower again.

Indoor Gardening

  • Continue to feed house plants once a week throughout autumn with a liquid fertiliser.

  • Houseplants like a humid atmosphere and will need regular misting in autumn when the central heating is switched on, making the air drier.

  • Make the most of a sunny windowsill to grow some herbs, they need around four hours of sunlight a day. You can either plant rooted pieces of herb from garden plants or sow seeds. Try basil, coriander and parsley, sowing a new crop every few weeks to ensure a constant supply this winter.

Lawn care

  • Now is the time to prepare your lawn for winter. The grass is still growing and will have time to repair before the temperatures drop too much and it stops growing for the winter.

  • Scarify or rake out the dead grass, moss etc and spike it to aerate the ground. This makes it easier for the rain to penetrate through and will avoid waterlogging in winter. Finish by applying a topdressing to encourage stronger grass.

  • Remember to continue to rake up fallen leaves before they block the light and air to the grass.


  • Birds are a gardener's friend, encouraging birds into the garden can help with pest control. In preparation for the winter, take down your nesting box and remove any materials, giving it a good clean with boiling water (no chemicals) and allow it to dry well. We stock a wide range of bird feeders and nesting boxes for different breeds of birds, or invest in one of our gorgeous bird baths.
Gardening Tips for October