October – this month’s gardening jobs

Last year’s narcissi pots

The season is coming to an end but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in the garden. In fact it is quite a busy time of year as you can start planning and preparing for next year – exciting! These are some of the jobs I will be doing in October:

Ordering spring bulbs

For me it’s too early to start planting bulbs yet but it’s definitely time to get planning and to buy the bulbs before the best ones sell out. I order the majority of mine online because that gives you such a huge variety of gorgeous things to choose from, but of course you can pick them up from a garden centre or DIY store too. If you like to have flowers in the house I would definitely recommend buying a few extra bulbs to grow for cutting – I can’t tell you how much happiness I got from my tulip cutting patch last year! More about bulbs and tulips specifically to come. It’s all I think about right now…love them!

Hardy geraniums that need dividing

Dividing perennial plants

Now is a really good time to dig up and divide perennials that have grown too big or look like they need reviving. This is such an easy and satisfying job – creating new plants for free from what you already have in the garden. I like to get this done before I start planting bulbs so I don’t disturb them once they’re in the ground. I have some geraniums that have got really huge so I will be digging those up for sure. Other perennials that are easy to divide are japanese anemones, hostas and Lady’s Mantle Alchemilla mollis.

Best nasturtiums I have ever grown

Collecting seeds

My nasturtium arch has been amazing this year and I definitely want to try this again next year, although I’m slightly nervous it won’t work nearly as well when I try to replicate this years look which was a complete accident. I will be collecting seeds from this years plants to dry and keep for next season. All you need to do is look for the nice plump ones, pick them when they come off really easily and leave them on a piece of kitchen towel until fully dry. Then you can put them in an envelope or paper bag until springtime when it’s time to sow them. This way you can get tons of plants absolutely free – win win! As well as nasturtiums I will save sunflowers seeds, calendula and a few other things. A top tip is to keep your eyes peeled when you’re out in a park or walk past any public planting. If you see plants with ripe seeds on them, go ahead and take some. As long as you do it in a careful, considerate way there’s no harm done and you get lovely seeds for free.

Viola grown from seed

Planting up winter pots

Normally I shut the back door at the end of November and hardly go outside until spring comes around, but this year I am going to make an effort to use the garden more in autumn and winter too. To have some colour going on all year round, I will be planting up some winter pots with viola, cyclamen and other goodies. I will put the pots close to the back door so we can enjoy them even on rainy indoor days.

Rooted rosemary cuttings

Taking cuttings of Rosemary and Thyme

So happy to finally have my greenhouse up because it means I can start growing things from cuttings – I have never been able to do this before because my house doesn’t have a single useful windowsill to put tender young plants on. Rosemary and Thyme are both quite slow growing and we use a lot of it for cooking so it will be great to have more of it. I like to root my cuttings in a glass of water before sticking them into a pot, that way you can see what’s going on and I have had a higher success rate when doing it this way.

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