Garden jobs for October

Keep your garden in shape this autumn with these tips from Matt James

Keep your garden in shape this autumn with Matt James’ selection of garden projects to tackle in October.

  • Remove drip trays and raise terracotta patio pots with bricks or special pot feet (from garden centres) so they don’t sit in water over winter and crack when it freezes.
  • Plant bare-root trees, shrubs and roses.
  • Clear up fallen leaves into black bin bags or create a separate pile next to the compost heap to make leaf mould ready for next October’s soil conditioning.
  • Cut back and compost the stems of spent summer perennials.
  • Continue to create new lawns from turf until the end of the month.
  • Check tree ties and climber supports are secure before winter winds hit.
  • Tidy your ponds and remove the pumps for winter if you don’t need them to keep fish.
  • Lift and split poor flowering or congested perennials into large fist-sized clumps. Replant to the same depth as before, at least a trowel’s length apart.
  • Check greenhouse or conservatory heaters are working properly.
  • Replace frosted summer bedding with winter and spring displays.
  • Continue planting spring bulbs, but leave tulips until next month.
  • Stop feeding all plants outside until March.
  • Clear any spent vegetable crops and compost them.

 Photograph: Leigh Clapp