Skimmia PLANT OF THE MONTH Skimmia Evergreen shrub providing winter colour. Skimmia are compact evergreen shrubs, grown for their foliage, flowers and red fruits. find out more FIND OUT MORE

October garden advice and maintenance


General gardening

  • Clear up fallen Autumn leaves regularly
  • Cut back perennials that have died down
  • Divide herbaceous perennials and rhubarb crowns
  • Plant out Spring cabbages
  • Harvest apples, pears and grapes
  • Prune climbing roses
  • Last chance to mow lawns and trim hedges in mild areas
  • Renovate old lawns or create new grass areas by laying turf. This month is an ideal time to make a new lawn from turf as it unlikely to dry out
  • Plant Winter and Spring flowering bulbs such as Daffodils, Narcissi and Crocuses should be planted in the garden or patio containers
  • Check the supports and ties on young trees and climbing plants
  • Re-position tender plants into a frost-free environment such as a greenhouse of conservatory
  • Help to drain your lawn by using a lawn aerator
  • Tidy up the garden shed and clean and sharpen secateurs in preparation for Winter pruning

In the greenhouse

  • Protect plants in your greenhouse from cold winter nights with a heater
  • Water plants in the morning so that the foliage is not wet during the night
  • Clean the greenhouse glass inside and out to maximise the Winter sun and remove any greenhouse shading
  • Ventilate the greenhouse to keep up air movement and alleviate dampness

Wildlife gardening

  • Replenish birdfeeders. All feeds, including whole peanuts, are safe, as the breeding season is now over
  • Leave some seed heads standing, rather than cutting them back, to provide food and shelter for wildlife.
  • Leave mature ivy uncut if possible, as it is an excellent late source of nectar for insects.
  • Make a leaf pile for hibernating mammals and ground-feeding birds overwintering in the UK.
  • Buy a hedgehog hibernation box