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For many, October marks the best time to enjoy autumn squash harvests. Better known as pumpkin season. With the last of the summer’s allotment harvests picked and packed away, it’s time to finally embrace the change of weather. And while there might be a little less to do in the garden, there’s still plenty of October gardening jobs to get ticked off your list. Here are our gardening tips for October.

Tidy Up and Compost

October’s rise in leaf fall serves as a helpful reminder that it’s time to tidy up in the garden. Foliage, excess cuttings and dead (but not diseased) plant should be cleared away and added to the compost. Give your greenhouse a thorough clean, along with any pots and gardening tools. This will prevent plant diseases from harbouring over winter. Water butts will also benefit from a water clearing treatment to prevent unpleasant smells.

At this time of year, rainfall and frost may start to affect the consistency of your compost. Continue adding dead leaf and plant matter to improve the nutrition and remember our essential tips to keep your compost healthy.

If you aren’t already composting, now is the perfect time to start. Read our guide to 5 composting methods that any gardener can try. There’s something for everyone. Whether you’re short on growing space or prefer low maintenance gardening.

Crop those Crops

Now is your last chance to harvest your remaining summer vegetables such as courgettes, sweetcorn and tomatoes. Meanwhile, there should be an abundance of a seasonal favourite, pumpkins!

Make sure they’re well cured. Stored correctly, most autumn squashes will give you plenty of shelf life.

Planting

October is the prime time to sow overwintering crops with the hopes of being greeted with late spring and early summer harvests. Bulbs are a great choice for planting now, with options available for both vegetable and flower gardeners.

For vegetable gardens

Plant autumn garlic cloves and onions bulbs. Prepare the ground or containers with well-draining soil to prevent the plants from being waterlogged.

Once planted, apply a nutrient-rich cold weather fertiliser to give them a kick start. Our Early Starter fertiliser stimulates plant growth to create resilience to harsh cold weather environments. Perfect for October planting!

In flower gardens

Try planting a differing range of tulip, iris and daffodil bulbs for the ample display of colours come March and April. Originating from warmer environments, tulips and daffodils require a lot of daily sunlight so be sure to plant them in a sunny area. Again, like the garlic and onions, keep your flower bulbs well-drained to prevent rotting in wet soils.

Reflect

Although the amount of sowing is limited this month, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Put your focus into sowing less but sowing better to set yourself up for success. This post-summer, ‘down season’ is the ideal time to reflect on the past season’s success and mistakes and think about how to improve for next time around.

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Monalisa

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