October in your garden

Wednesday, 11 October 2017  |  Alison

October in your garden

Did autumn seem to appear overnight this year where you live?  It certainly did here in Staffordshire. As September faded, autumn arrived on the 1st October. Trees that were full of green leaves one day were transformed into the dazzling colours of autumn - golden yellows, oranges and reds that signify summer is a distant memory and winter not too far away. As the month progresses the leaves will get evermore colourful until a hard frost and a windy day blow them all to the ground.

No time to stand and stare though as there are plenty of jobs to keep us gardeners occupied.

Brookside Nursery Top Ten Tips for October in Your Garden

  • I like to have all plant spring bulbs in October. Narcissus, Crocus and Alliums earlier in the month and Tulips by the end of the month.  Our small collection of various spring bulbs have been flying off the page, well the webpage, so order yours quickly. Bulbs are easy to grow. Just plant them at least three times their depth, pointy side up and let them do their thing.  Pop a label in the ground or pot to remind yourself where and what you have planted.

 Click here for our bulb collection 


  • If you want winter bulb displays inside then you need to get on and plant them now. Hyacinth and amaryllis are ideal indoor bulbs to give winter colour and scent. Choose prepared hyacinths as these have been heat-treated to burst into growth rapidly.
  • Whilst the soil is still warm it’s a great opportunity to move overcrowded perennials, so lift, divide and replant perennials now as this will give them time to settle in before the colder weather arrives.
  • Salad leaves to grow in the greenhouse or on a windowsill are ideal to give you tasty vitamin enriched greenery to add to stir-frys and salads. Easy and quick to grow click here to choose from our seed selection of salad leaf mixes.


  • Dahlias are just so fabulous for mid-late summer/autumn colour and will keep flowering until the first frosts blacken the leaves. This is then the time to cut them back, lift them and store somewhere frost-free until next spring when they can be potted up and grown on until after the last frost, when you can replant them back into the borders or cut flower garden.  If you prefer, you can leave them in the ground but label the spot first before cutting them back and mulch the area with leaf mould or organic matter to protect the crowns.
  • Take a walk around your garden if you have young trees and adjust any ties that have become too tight around trunks and ensure that the stake itself is sturdy and in place before winter storms begin.  Bark can be damaged if the tie or stake rubs against the trunk leaving it vulnerable to disease.
  • October is an ideal month to plant garlic, when the soil temperatures are still warm.   Plant individual cloves about 15cms apart and 3cms deep. Keep the pointy side upwards and leave about 30cms between rows.
  • Take care when digging your garden this autumn in areas that are slightly overgrown, for you may find that a hedgehog has started to make a home under drooping foliage. I found a hedgehog home under a pile of dry bamboo leaves, mixed leaves and twigs that were all made into a mound with a well-trodden slight tunnel entrance.  What an exciting find that was last year. I have left the area untouched this year in the hope that my nocturnal and most welcome visitor will be back again.


  • Feeding the birds is actually a joy to do as you can try to attract different types of birds that like particular foods.  Goldfinch love Niger seeds and a specific bird-feeder can be bought for these tiny seeds. You could always make your own fat peanut balls too to hang from branches.
  • October is traditionally pumpkin time, so make sure if you have been growing any for eating that they are lifted before the first frosts so that they store well.  With Halloween celebrated on the last day of the month make sure that you pick your pumpkin a week or so before to give the skin a chance to harden and then start designing your pumpkin face! Click here to see our seeds of Atlantic Giant and Jack O’Lantern that are available for you (and your children) to grow your own bumper sized pumpkins for next year.

Have fun and enjoy your garden!


Brookside Nursery