As I write this blog for the month of October, Nights are drawing in and getting much cooler but the days are still quite mild. Winter is definitely on its way but there are still plenty of jobs that can be done in your gardens to prepare them for their sleep through the dark months ahead.
October is a month full of Autumnal colour where the leaves turn a rich selection of colours from the scarlet red of the Euonymus Alatus to the deep maroon reds of the evergreen shrubs, Leucothe and Nandinas not to mention our native trees turning a beautiful golden yellow ready to shed their leaves so that the trees may lay dormant until spring. Berries are in abundance at this time of year and some wonderful examples on display in autumn include the cotoneaster, pyracantha and the unusually purple coloured berry of the callicarpa. Malus (or crab apple) are usually covered in their fruits too and make a great jelly if you have the time or a great feast for the birds if you do not!
Jobs that can now be done, and in some cases must be, include the lifting of tender plants to bring them in to protect from frosts, to bring your alpines into a sheltered dry spot to stop them rotting in wet winter, lift dahlias and other tubers or cover with straw or Strulch to protect them from frost also. Digging over your soil at this time of year is also beneficial, especially if you have clay soil. Raking up any fallen leaves and leaving them in a pile to rot down to leaf mould is a good way of encouraging wildlife to your garden especially hedgehogs who will be able to hide in these piles and hibernate.
Planting those last few shrubs and trees you may not have got around to doing last month because the ground was still too hard is now a must to allow the roots to get down and the plant to establish. As we mentioned last month, we have a huge selection of hedging here at Capel Cottage Nursery including, Laurel, Privet, Beech, Eleagnus, Griselinia and holly. However this month and next are the months to start thinking about root ball hedging and is a far more economical way to plant a hedge than container grown. Please feel free to contact us for further information on this option.
October is also the final month that spring flowering bulbs can be planted together with your annual winter bedding. Why not pop down and see what we have to offer here. A warm welcome is guaranteed along with any help or advice you may need.