Getting your garden winter-ready. 7 essential October tasks.

Whether you’re managing a large estate or just a small window box, October is an important time in the garden.

The growing season is at an end, and you get the chance to prepare your new and existing plants for next year, so follow our top tips for October jobs in the garden. 

Clean up that path!

As the cold and wet weather approaches, now is the time to make sure your path is clear of Moss and lichen. This can be done mechanically with a scarifier or rake, link this one or chemically. Different products are needed for grass and paths, so speak to your local Garden centre for advice.

Whilst you’re at it, clearing your lawn of dead leaves, debris, thatch and dead grass will ensure that the grass underneath doesn’t miss out on the winter sun.

Prepare for spring planting. 

There’s nothing better than seeing tulips, crocuses and daffodils bursting out of the ground in the spring, and now is the best time to plant bulbs for this to happen. Plant the bulbs between 4 and 8 inches down depending on the size to avoid the frost, either in a random pattern ( just throw them out and plant them where they fall) or patches of colour combined with your borders and bedding plants

Mulch to protect and grow.

Mulching around plants is a great way of protecting plant roots from the winter frosts, but it also helps to both revive the nutrient content of the soil and ensure that winter rains don’t leech existing nutrients

Rearrange your garden perennials. 

Autumns is a great time to rearrange the perennials in the garden, as residual heat in the soil allows the roots to grow and helps the plants to re-establish themselves before the winter kicks in.

Plant new trees and hedges.

Re-Wilding is a major new movement which seeks to return a proportion of our existing green spaces and gardens back to nature, encouraging insects and wildlife back to Ireland ( but maybe not wolves just yet!).

This is a great time to plant wildlife-friendly trees and hedges, such as Hawthorn and Pussy willow, which will bring small herbivores and Moths back, ultimately leading to more bats and birds visiting your garden

Prepare your garden for winter visitors

In a similar vein, now is a great time to ensure your bird feeders are clean and filled and that bird boxes are cleaned and clear of debris. Also, make sure that natural winter food sources, like Holly and Ivy are not cut back too far, ensuring there is ample food for Robins and other winter visitors. 

Know your pests!

Slugs and snails will hide in leaf and grass piles, and now is a great time to get rid of them, leaving out food as bait and removing them when then congregate is safer than slug pellets, especially if you have pets.

Keep an eye on spiders and Ladybirds though, both of these are invaluable in controlling the aphid populations and reducing other destructive insects.

Taking a bit of time to prepare your garden now, whilst little is growing, can give you a head start on next years growing season, ensuring you have the best looking, most colourful wildlife-friendly garden in 2020.

So once the Rugby’s finished, get your wellies on and head outside!

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