October hints & tips
Wild Bird Care
Now that the colder weather is here, make sure you don’t forget about the wild birds in your garden and put out high-energy feeds and water for them. We have an excellent range of food and feeders, bird tables and nesting boxes and much, much more, all of which will attract lots of different species.
Care for Chrysanthemums
Now’s the time to prepare outdoor florist Chrysanths for winter. Cut down the stems to 6 inches and then carefully lift the stools (roots) with a fork, labelling them so you know the variety and colour. Remove any loose soil and then box the stools in moist compost and place in a cool, airy, frost-free place. Good ventilation is essential and an electric fan heater is the perfect way to keep the plants both frost-free and to circulate the air.
Check For Colour Gaps
Check for gaps in your beds and borders and fill them with plants like Hardy Cyclamen, Hardy Chrysanths and winter flowering Pansies. Also, look out for scented winter flowering shrubs, such as Viburnum Farreri and Viburnum Bodnantense, Mahonia and Sarcococca. Just ask our friendly plant staff if you need any help choosing suitable plants for your garden.
Conifers give structure, form and colour to gardens all year round, and they grow to a range of heights from ground cover to large trees. So plant some versatile conifers now. Just ask if you need help in choosing the best conifers for your garden.
Cyclamen & Azaleas
Bring your home to life with our superb ranges of indoor Cyclamen and Azaleas. They will need somewhere cool and in good indirect light. Make sure you keep the compost moist for best results and feed weekly with a flowering houseplant fertilizer for long lasting blooms. Azaleas will need lime-free water. Just ask our friendly staff if you need any help choosing suitable plants for your home.
As gardens start to lose their summer colour it’s a good time to take stock and work out what new plants you’d like and which need to be moved, replaced or replanted. Autumn is the best time to replant your garden and there’s a wide range of plants available that will establish quickly from planting now. You can even plan new features, so ensure you get plenty of ideas from books and our well stocked planteria.
Get the greenhouse ready for winter by removing shading and sterilising it with Jeyes Fluid. Then put up bubble insulation to cut heating bills. Horticultural fleece can also be used to help provide a few extra degrees of frost protection. And, don’t forget to check that your greenhouse heaters are working and buy replacements if necessary. If you need any assistance just ask – we’re here to help.
Have a ghoulish Hallowe’en this year. We’ve got everything you need to ensure you have a devilishly good time on October the 31st.
Lift Half Hardys
Before the frost and cold weather takes its toll on your half hardy bedding and patio perennials, make sure you lift all your fuchsias, surfinia petunias, geraniums, osteospermums and all the others. Remove any dead, dying or diseased leaves and stems, cut them back by up to half to keep them compact, trim the roots and pot them up for over-wintering in pots just big enough for the roots and some fresh compost. Don’t forget to pick up everything you’ll need for success, such as pots, compost, labels and fleece.
Many pests will lay their eggs on plants for over-wintering and these will attack early next year. Deciduous trees and shrubs that have dropped their leaves can be treated with Growing Success Winter Tree Wash. Slugs and snails will be very active during damp weather, so protect vulnerable plants with your favourite control method. Diseased leaves that are left on the ground should be carefully raked up and disposed of. Other debris provides over-winter places for pests, so get rid of this too.
Plant of the Month
Ensure your garden remains a riot of colour throughout Autumn with our plants of the month. There’s plenty to choose from including Japanese Anemones, Heathers, Potentillas, Asters, Echinacea, Phlox, Schizostylis, Sedums, Hardy Chrysanthemums, Hardy Cyclamen and winter flowering Pansies. And don’t forget plants grown for berries, autumn foliage colours, colourful stems and the wide range of evergreens available.
Pot Up Cuttings
Cuttings of Fuchsias, Geraniums and other half hardy perennials taken in August or September should be ready for potting on. Use fresh compost and a pot just big enough to accommodate the roots. A 9-10cm pot should be ideal. Don’t forget to pick up your pots, compost, labels, fleece for cold weather protection and anything else you need before you leave.
Prepare Ponds for Winter
Now’s the time to get your pond ready for winter. Cover the pond with netting to catch falling leaves, which can pollute the water when they rot. And add a pond heater to prevent the water from freezing which can kill fish and plants. If you need any assistance, just ask, we’re here to help.
Split Clumps of Herbaceous Perennials
Old clumps of herbaceous perennials should be split now. Cut down the stems to ground level, then carefully lift the clump with a garden fork and separate it into smaller pieces. You only need to keep the healthy, younger, outer portions of the clump. Replant into soil improved with compost or composted bark and add a little bonemeal to the soil.
With so many jobs to tackle this Autumn, you’re going to need a good range of quality tools to get them done quickly and easily. Take a look at our Tool Section for spades, forks, hoes, rakes and lawn rakes and everything else you need.
Treat Trees & Shrubs
Deciduous trees and shrubs that have been effected by pests or diseases this year will benefit from a winter wash after the leaves have fallen
Wrap Up For Winter
Prepare your garden and plants for winter, don’t let frosts take you by surprise. Non-Hardy plants can be moved into a greenhouse or insulated coldframe, where horticultural fleece can be used for extra protection. Plants on the borderline of hardiness, that are being left in the garden, including cordylines, other palms and tree ferns should be protected by wrapping them in fleece and then bubble wrap. Protect the roots with a thick mulch of bark. If you need any assistance on how to protect your plants – just ask, we’re here to help.