Gardening in October

Autumn bedding plants

October is a great month to keep the colour going in your garden, that will last into winter with cold hardy plants. The weather is warm enough to give the plants a good start, and the colder weather due later in the year won’t affect them. Plant up cyclamens, pansies, violas, heucheras, bellis, and primroses, and remember that these plants will grow just as well in pots or hanging baskets as in beds in your garden.

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Pot of the month

Plant up a pot this month that will look good for months. Start with Carex elata ‘Aurea’, which is a grass like sedge with golden leaves.    Add in a Stipa arundinacea which is a grass, with multi -coloured leaves, more intense in winter. Complete the pot with some yellow pansies. You need a decent sized pot – put a few stones over the drainage hole so it doesn’t block up, then fill with compost, with a few handfuls of topsoil mixed in. In spring you can replace the pansies with seasonal colour.

Perennials

Persicaria affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’ is a very pretty low growing plant that likes damp conditions. It gets numerous red flowers in summer, and then the foliage goes red in autumn so it has long lasting appeal in your garden

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ carries a mass of white/pink flowers in autumn, on long stems that sway in the breeze. They like a sunny spot, and will grow in dry conditions. They are easy to grow, come back year after year, and look best in a group.

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Shrubs

This month, cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter fire’ is the featured shrub. Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ are normally grown for winter colour, although they also have colourful autumn foliage, followed by bright bare stems in winter.  Plant in a sunny place, close to evergreen shrubs. Cut back in spring to keep them colorful and not too big.

Fruit and Vegetables

Plant up bare rooted berries this month – try raspberries, blackberries or gooseberries, in the ground or a large pot, for fruit next summer.

Fruit trees need to be grown in the right conditions if they’re to flower and fruit to their full potential.

Bare-root fruit trees are generally cheaper to buy than potted trees, and the time to buy and plant them is from November to March. When planting them, good soil preparation is vital, especially if you want your tree to give you years of enjoyment.

Choose a site in full sun, making sure there’s room for the branches to grow and develop over time. To grow different varieties of fruits in a small space, consider a family fruit tree, which consists of two to three fruit varieties grafted onto one tree.

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