Tips for October 2023

September 30, 2023 10:23 am Published by

For early flowers, sow sweet peas indoors this month or next. Sow seed in root trainers or 9cm pots.. Keep young plants in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse over winter.

You can plant hardy spring-bedding plants such as wall flowers, primulas, and forget me nots now into prepared beds or pots.

Now is a good time to plant or lift and divide rhubarb. Remove dead leaves to expose the crown to frost. This will ensure a good crop of stalks the following year.

If you are planning to establish a flower meadow in existing areas of lawn, sow fresh seed of Rhinanthus minor (Yellow Rattle) this month. This semi-parasitic wild flower will suppress the growth of grass species.

Fit grease bands or apply barrier glue to fruit tree trunks and stakes by the the end of the month to help control winter moth.

Lift Dahlia and Canna tubers and store them in a frost-free place. The best time to do this is after the first frost has blackened the foliage.

Use a spring-tine rake to scarify or remove thatch (dead grass, moss, and other debris). To improve growth, aerate compacted areas with a border fork or aerator pushed 10cm into the ground.

Plant nectar rich spring flowering bulbs and corms such a s snowdrops, winter aconite and crocus to provide food for pollinators.

Finish planting autumn onion sets such as Electric or Autumn Champion cultivars for harvesting next summer.

When summer crops have finished take time to clean and disinfect your greenhouse before moving any tender plants inside. Doing so will optimise light levels and help reduce pests and diseases.