Guest post by Erin aka @hortihunny
Autumn is a lovely season, don’t forget to pause and enjoy it’s best offerings! Have a go at drying foliage, pressing your favourite leaves or making an autumn wreath.
I love to have a project to focus on when the evenings are long and dark, even better when you can make pretty decorations for the house! Collect bramble and sloe berries from hedgerows for jams and gins!
Here are my top jobs for October…
- Harvest Autumn Crops
It’s the month of Halloween and homegrown pumpkins and squashes are perfect for seasonal displays, spooky lanterns and soups!
Gather apples and pears for delicious crumbles and cakes.
Lift remaining main crop potatoes, beans and carrots.
If you’re left with a lot of green tomatoes, collect them to make chutneys.
- Sowing & Planting
Plant onion sets for earlier varieties in spring and continue to sow winter hardy salads in succession for an ongoing crop. Plant up narcissus, crocus, iris, hyacinths and muscari. Try and hold off for tulips until November/December.
Why not try a ‘bulb lasagne’ in a pot? Layer the bulbs starting with the latest to bloom on the bottom layer and the earliest bloomers at the top.
- Prepare for Wintery Conditions
Prepare the greenhouse for winter:
Clear out any summer plants that have gone over and wash out pots.
Clean glass with disinfectant so they’re not only sparkling but allow more light in on those darker days.
Line with bubble wrap/fleece to insulate the greenhouse.
Bring containers and pots into the greenhouse to protect them from the cold.
You may wish to lift and store tubers eg. dahlias and begonias. Keep them in a dark dry place ready to plant again next year.
- Soil Improvement
Whether you’re a digger or a no digger, it’s a perfect time to think about soil nutrition as beds and borders become clear.
Digging over ground can help to increase nutrients and improve drainage as well as aiding soil texture. Don’t forget to add some green goodness!
If you prefer no dig, mulch and cover your beds with a layer of compost/manure, rake it to a fine tilth and leave it over winter to allow the nutrients to feed the soil.
- Blustery Days
It can feel like a constant battle against the elements at this time of year!
Keep your rake/brush handy to tidy and gather any fallen leaves and twigs from lawns, paths and patios.
- Planning Ahead
Plan which bulbs you would like to grow in Spring next year. Whether you are reusing bulbs from last year or buying new ones, September is ideal for planting spring flowering bulbs such as Daffodils, Crocuses, Hyacinths, Alliums and Crocosmia.
Tulips can be planted later, ideally Oct-Dec.