What to do during October in your garden

Flowers

  • Plant drifts of spring bulbs informally in a lawn, including crocuses, daffodils and snake's-head fritillaries

  • Lift tender cannas to avoid frost damage, dry off the tubers and store in cool dark conditions until spring

  • Plant up cheery pot displays with winter colour, such as heathers, cyclamen, winter pansies and skimmia

  • Lift and pot up tender perennials, such as chocolate cosmos, gazanias and coleus, to protect over winter

  • Plant evergreen shrubs and conifer hedges while the soil is still warm

  • Remove any pot saucers and raise pots up onto feet to prevent waterlogging over winter

  • Transplant deciduous shrubs that are in the wrong place or have outgrown their current position

  • Wrap layers of fleece or straw around banana plants and tree ferns to protect from frost

  • Collect seeds from hardy perennials, such as astrantia, achillea and red valerian, and sow straight away

  • Take hardwood cuttings from ornamental trees and shrubs

  • Reduce the height of shrub roses to avoid windrock damage over winter

  • Empty spent summer pots and hanging baskets, and compost the contents

Fritillaria meleagris

Snake's head fritillary

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Gazanias

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Red Valerian

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Fruit and veg

Shrubbery herbs

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Broad Beans

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Sweet Marjoram

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Blackberries

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Tips for growing good health in your garden this year:

1. Reap what you sow: Growing a plant from seed to bloom is an extremely satisfying activity, instilling a responsibility on the gardener while also rewarding one’s efforts. Getting smaller hands involved can also raise a newfound appreciation for nature and its tangible results. Being outdoors also benefits overall health by breathing in better quality air, and getting necessary Vitamin D through sensible sun exposure.

2. Be Active: With the weather getting warmer, the ‘green gym’ can help to enhance and maintain overall fitness levels. Gardening activities combine, strength, endurance, and cardio exercise to great effect. Mowing a lawn with a push mower for just 30 minutes burns approximately 243 calories in exertion – that is the equivalent to the more strenuous activity of chopping wood for the same duration. Turing a compost pile for approximately 15mins exertion can burn in excess of 100 calories, or if you have restricted space, lifting a 5 litre watering can that is full of water in each hand is equivalent to holding 5kg dumbbells.

3. Get grounded: There are proven psychological benefits to connecting directly with nature through gardening activities. Whether weeding, planting, or trimming hedges; re-connecting with nature encourages people to see the beauty around them, and it also allows us to experience wildlife in their natural habitat.

4. Remove visible weeds: An unattended flower bed is much like an unattended mind, it can become overgrown with weeds. By physically clearing a garden of unwanted growth and weeds, it can also provide inner clarity and calmness. The colour green is proven to have relaxing effects, helping to lower stress and blood pressure levels.

5. Meditate in nature: The traditional seated act of mindfulness can easily be done in an outdoor setting, simply choose a comfortable area to sit in and be present. Allow nature sounds or nearby water features to guide the meditation for a relaxing experience. Alternatively, you might prefer to avail of mindfulness

benefits through gardening. By focusing attention on completing a specific duty, this removes distracting thoughts and allows us to be present on the task at hand

GroMór is a countrywide campaign that aims to encourage Irish people to get growing, and through its website provides a wide range of useful tips, family-friendly activities, and advice for growing plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. The initiative is supported by Bord Bia and a network of independent garden centres and growers from all over the country.