Tasks for October.
The tang of autumn is in the air and there's a certain urgency creeping in this month, as you've only a few weeks to get the harvest in and settle the garden down for its long winter rest. Here's what to do:
Hold off pruning hedges which have berries, like hawthorn, blackthorn, bramble or dog roses, so birds can enjoy this essential food supply.
Turn compost bins one last time before winter and cover with cardboard for protection against winter rain.
Clear away spent annuals and add to the compost bin: give seed heads a little shake first to encourage next year's seedlings.
Finish planting evergreen shrubs so they have plenty of time to get established before winter hits.
Plant new climbers at the feet of sturdy supports, removing canes and ties and spreading out branches before re-tying them in.
Leave pumpkin stalks attached when you harvest them to prevent the crown rotting and help it last longer in storage.
Plant autumn-sown onion sets (also known as Japanese onions) for overwintering and early crops next year.
Spray cabbages with insecticidal soap to nip late outbreaks of cabbage whitefly in the bud before they take hold.