GARDEN | October Top Tips

The month of ghosts and ghouls! The weather is turning and Autumn is in the air. Your garden will be changing a lot this month as the leaves begin to fall, but don’t despair! Summer may be over but now we can all look forward to chunky knitwear, bonfires and warm spiced rum (at least that’s what we’re into at our house!).

Capture the last of Summer Relive the delicious summer you’ve just had by harvesting the last of your summer crops. Grab all the tasty veg you’ve grown and start cooking – this time of year is great for making those last few preserves for winter or chucking everything you’ve got into a huge hearty pie.

Jack Frost The last few years have given us some very mild winters but always be aware of potential frosts. Once you’ve harvested the last of your crops you don’t need to worry about them, but you do need to think about your pot plants. Geraniums are a common sight on most patios with their beautiful colours, but make sure they’re inside once the cold mornings start. If you look after them properly you can bring them out again next year.

Composting It’s not just the crops that are useful to you as a gardener. When you’re clearing out your beds and patches make sure you get all that lovely plant goodness into your compost. I’m constantly amazed at how incredible nature can be and once you’ve seen what good home-sourced compost can do you’ll never buy a bag again.

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Clear up bean poles once all your juicy runner beans have been harvested and the plants have been composted make sure you put your poles away! Last year I left them out thinking that they’d be fine but the delicate wood doesn’t take long to become sodden and begin to rot. This year I’ll bring them into the polytunnel and keeping them nice and dry.

Make your bed Be Prepared! Now’s the time to start thinking about next year. The effort you put in now will go such a long way when it all goes crazy again in the spring. So dig over your empty beds, remove all weeds and then cover with polythene. Not only will you thank yourself later but you’ll also be able to start sowing things a little earlier next spring.

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So if you don’t love the nights drawing in and the temperature dropping – you should. At this time of year you can get your garden organised, invite friends round for hearty dinner parties and watch the colourful change of the seasons. And at the end of the month you get to dress up as something scary and party – what more could you want from a month!

About the author: Adam Willcox
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