Tips for October 21

September 27, 2021 8:32 am Published by

Prune tall growing shrubs that are hard pruned in Spring, such as Lavatera and Buddleia, by half now to reduce wind rock.

Apply barrier glue or grease bands to apple and pear trees to prevent wingless winter moths females crawling in to lay eggs.

Leave mature ivy plants unpruned. The flowers provide a valuable late source of nectar for insects and the berries food for the birds.

Take hardwood cuttings (1ft) long from gooseberries and currants. Insert into slit trenches or pots of compost. Make a slanted cut at the top of cutting and a straight cut below bud at the bottom.

For early flowers, sow sweat peas indoors this month or next. Sow seeds in root trainers or 3″ pots.

Plant lift or divide rhubard this month. Remove dead leaves to expose the crown to frost. This will help ensure a good crop of stalks the following year. When dividing rhubard only replant the outside sections of the crown.

Cut down asparagus and mound up the soil in rows.

Blackberries or hybrid berries such as Tayberry and Loganberry can be pruned now. Most produce fruit on the previous seasons growth so after harvesting prune off fruited canes and tie in the new canes.

Sow broad beans towards the end of October. Hardier cultivars can overwinter to provide an early crop next year and avoid attack from blackfly.

Remove any remaining larger figs that are unlikely to ripen now. Leaving only fruits that are pea sized or smaller. With frost protection these may overwinter to ripen next summer.