I hope you have enjoyed the first few days of October with all its Autumn colours and sunshine.
As with every month throughout 2017, my local friend and keen gardener, Sarah Clapham has prepared some gardening and nature tips, including what to look out for when you are out and about with your children.
Sarah’s seasonal gardening tips will help you and your children make the most of October.
I’ll let Sarah take over from here…
In the Garden…
Clear weeds where necessary.
Cut down spent flower stems, unless they please your eye, some such as echinops or sedum can look beautiful in the winter. It is also beneficial to insects to keep some old stems, so if you’re encouraging wildlife don’t get too carried away with the secateurs.
If you wish to lay a new lawn now is the time, remember to keep it well watered until established.
Plant bare-root plants and container grown climbers, trees and shrubs this month into next.
Plant spring bulbs by the end of the month if possible.
Rake up leaves and make leaf mould if you wish.
On the allotment/Vegetable Patch…
Harvest remaining summer veg before the first frosts.
Cut ripe pumpkins and squash and ‘cure’ them in the sun to harden their skins and ripen the flesh. If this is done they will keep well into winter.
Sow broad bean seeds and peas to get ahead next year.
Plant garlic, onions, rhubarb and bare rooted fruit bushes such as gooseberries and currants.
Sow an over wintering green manure such as Phacelia tanacetifolia to cover any patches of bare soil.
Harvest last of apples and pears and have fun turning the surplus into compote, crumble and cake!
Out and About…
Look out for mushrooms and toadstools. There are many types to look out for and if you fancy learning more find an expert led fungi foray. Never eat anything unless you have been advised it is safe by an expert.
Leaves turning orange, yellow, red, brown…an array of beautiful colour that is made even more stunning by the sun being lower in the sky at this time of the year.
Look out for rosehips, conkers, acorns and berries.
Evenings with a nip in the air paired with the faint smell of wood smoke is a sure sign Autumn has begun.