October is often a busy month, as temperatures start to dip many of us start preparing our gardens for the winter weather ahead.
A good place to start is clearing away the decaying vegetation of the summer and beginning the annual autumn tidy up. Time to roll up the sleeves!
Essential checklist for October
- Give your flowers and borders some TLC and replenish your soil
- Start on a project such as making a leaf mould bin, building a log pile, moving a shed or digging an area of soil over ready for winter
- Operation clean up; sweep patios, clean decking, guttering and pipes. Give the garden tools a good scrub and organise the shed
- Clear weeds from driveways, gravel and paths
- Feed the birds
Flowers and Borders
Now is a great time of year to plant new rose and shrubs into beds and borders to help to improve their shape. Choose plenty of evergreen shrub varieties to add interest all year round. Tidy borders removing any poorly placed or tender plants such as Begonias, Dahlias, and Cannas, drying them out to store over winter before the first frosts gets a chance to bite!
After the borders are neat and tidy try spreading a thick layer of either compost or bark chips across the area. Don’t worry about digging in as the worms will do the hard work for you.
Westland Bed & Border Chipped Bark to provide an ideal decorative mulch. It conserves water and provides thermal insulation for plant roots, or if you have a few additions to your garden, try our Gro-Sure Rose, Tree & Shrub Compost to get your new plants off to the best possible start.
Making a leaf mould bin
Make life easier for yourself, rather than bagging leaves why not create a leaf bin which you can use year after year? The leaves will eventually rot down to a leaf mould which can then be used for soil improvement or mulching for shrubs.
Depending on the amount of leaves you are regularly raking, you can make the bin as little or as large as you require.
Firstly shape some weed-smothering membrane in a square shape lining the base of your leaf bin, this will stop roots and weeds from muscling in and destroying your leaf mould.
Next step is to hammer four wooden fencing stakes into the ground around your lining.
After your posts are in place wrap some coated or galvanised chicken wire around your frame fixing it together with some twine or wire.
Finally fill your bin, it may be worth while giving your bin a stir every few months to merge any still, dry leaves in to the damper part in the middle of the bin.
Operation clean up
For a helping hand and try Hero Paving and Decking Power Cleaner, simply mix, apply and leave to dry. This time saving option will remove grime such as green algae and mould within a few days, allowing you to time to tackle the remaining chores.
Clear weeds from driveways, gravel and paths
Gravel paths and driveways add curb appeal to any home. However weeds can be a problem here, spoiling the look of all your hard work and money. Options such as hand weeding can be quite time consuming while digging can lead to damage and often the weed will reappear again anyway.
For fast action with very little effort try Resolva Pro weedkiller. It kills perennial and tough weeds from Brambles to Japanese Knotweed, Dandelions to Thistles. Containing Glyphosate Resolva Pro kills the weed right down to the root ensuring the pesky weed is gone for good!
Feed the birds
If you aren’t already feeding the birds in your garden, now is the time to start. Consider putting up bird feeders around your garden to help out wild birds during the colder months. Birds can lose up to 10% of their weight overnight during very cold temperatures, so they need all the help they can get.
For hassle free bird feeding try refillable Peckish Complete Easy Feeder, pre-filled and ready to use, suitable for hanging on a tree or placing at a dining station.
Wrapping up the month is Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve) on the 31st! If you decide to build a bonfire think about an escape route for any small animals that may have made their way mistakenly inside. Particularly if you have been building the bonfire over a period of time. Also it’s best to surround the bonfire with a wire fence to stop small creatures gaining access to it.
While the kids are busy Trick or Treating spare a thought for the small animals that could do with a treat before they go into hibernation. Many small animals that survive by feeding on invertebrate life often struggle this time of year as it becomes difficult for them to find insects and other small creatures.
Hedgehogs in particular struggle with this and will spend weeks building up fat reserves before going into hibernation, it's these fat reserves, plus the slower metabolism, that allow it to survive through long winters.
With numbers declining help the fight to save these small animals by treating them to Nature’s Feast Hedgehog Food.