Gardening Month by Month

Gardening Month by Month is a monthly gardening checklist with some reminders and some tips to help you in a particular month of the year with your garden, allotment, greenhouse, pond and or general garden maintenance jobs. This month (October) we will look at what needs attention.

Gardening Month by Month – October

Gardening Month by Month – October is an important time for UK gardeners as the weather begins to cool down and the days become shorter. This is the time to prepare the garden for winter and plan for the next growing season. I think our prime focus should be on harvesting and winter planting.

This month generally marks the transition from the growing season to the dormant season, and gardeners need to take some important steps to ensure that their gardens are well-prepared for the colder months ahead. One of the most important things to do in October is to clean up the garden.

This means removing any dead or diseased plants, raking up leaves, and clearing out debris. Doing this will help prevent pests and diseases from overwintering in the garden and will also make it easier to start fresh next spring.

Checkout Our October Gardening Checklist:

In October: Garden, Allotment, Flowers, And Greenhouses.

October is a month when we as gardeners should start our ‘cleaning’ purge. Rake up fallen leaves from lawns, borders, driveways, and paths, and try to store them in a leaf mould bin to rot down into leaf mould.

  • Why not build a log pile at a suitable place in your garden to provide a home for insects and hedgehogs over the winter?
  • Like me, I suggest you dig up summer crops, such as runner beans, carrots, beetroot, pumpkins and squashes. However, just leave vegetables that can be harvested over the winter, such as kale, leeks, and parsnips.
  • If you have dahlias, begonias tubers and gladioli corms, gently lift them and store them over the winter months in a cool dry place.
  • You can start to take hardwood cuttings from deciduous shrubs.
  • If you have climbing roses and or rambling roses, prune them back after flowering.
  • In October you can and should plant bulbs for spring blooms, such as tulips, daffodils, and crocuses.
  • Start to think about protecting tender plants from frost and cold weather by moving them indoors or under cover this month.
  • Harvest apples and pears and store them in a cool, dry place.
  • There will still be much to do in the winter, so clean and sharpen garden tools, ready for winter use.
  • Take cuttings of tender plants, such as fuchsias and pelargoniums, to overwinter indoors.
  • In October, put up and stock your bird feeders and or bird tables, also start providing fresh water for birds over the winter.
  • Ensure you thoroughly clean gutters and drainpipes on sheds and greenhouses this month to prevent water damage over the winter.
  • Cut back any dead or diseased growth from trees and shrubs.
  • It is time to clear out any summer bedding plants and replace them with winter bedding plants, such as pansies, violas, and wallflowers.
  • Cover strawberry plants with straw or fleece to protect them from frost.
  • Plant hardy perennials and herbs, which will establish their roots before the ground freezes and be ready to take off in the spring.
  • Our cleaning of the greenhouse starts in earnest. Ensure you give it a good clean and tidy up, removing any dead or diseased plants.
  • Divide overgrown herbaceous perennials and established rhubarb crowns.
  • You can plant garlic and shallots for harvesting next summer. October is the month to do this.
  • Cover outdoor furniture or store it indoors to protect it from winter weather.
  • Finally, check that greenhouse heaters are working correctly and replace any broken parts.

Gardening Month by Month-October: Prune Any Rambling/Climbing Roses After They Flower

Gardening-Month-by-Month-October. Strawberry plants with straw wrapped around them. Snow on the Ground

Gardening Month by Month-October: Protect Your Strawberry Plants With Straw or Fleece Ready For The Cold Months Ahead

In October: Fruit & Veg

  • Harvest pumpkins and squashes before the first frosts arrive.
  • Mulch fruit trees and bushes with well-rotted manure or compost.
  • Remove any suckers from fruit trees and bushes to maintain their shape.
  • Lift and store celeriac and swedes in a cool, dark place. Use as great winter vegetables when little else is available.
  • Clear away any fallen fruit, as this can attract pests and diseases.
  • Remove any yellowing leaves from brassicas to prevent the spread of fungal diseases.
  • Want a winter crop? Then plant Jerusalem artichokes, they are high in fibre and provide you with good gut health when eaten.
  • Harvest and dry any herbs for winter use.
  • Lift and store carrots and beetroot in a cool, dark place.
  • Sow broad beans for an early crop next year.
  • Plant new fruit trees and bushes, making sure to water them well until they are established.
  • Raspberries: Cut back raspberry canes that have fruited this year.
  • Sow winter salads, such as lambs lettuce and winter purslane, in a cold frame or under cloches.
  • Plant garlic and shallots for harvesting next summer.
  • Plant spring cabbages and cover them with netting to protect them from cabbage white butterflies.
  • Thin out any overcrowded fruit, such as plums and cherries, to improve the size and quality of the remaining fruit.
  • Lift and store potatoes in a cool, dark place to prevent them from sprouting.
  • Lift and divide overcrowded rhubarb crowns.
  • Make Compost spent vegetable plants and garden waste.
  • Plant onion sets for harvesting next summer.
  • Check that fruit cages are secure and repair any damage.

Gardening Month by Month-October: Add or Make a Compost Heap With Your Spent Vegetable Plants And Garden Waste

Lady checking fruit and vegetable protective cages

Gardening Month by Month-October: Check Any Fruit And or Vegetable Cages And Repair Any Damage

In October: Pond Care

  • Monitor water temperature and adjust fish feeding accordingly.
  • Autumn is here, remove fallen leaves from the surface of the pond and surrounding area. Cover the pond with a net to prevent leaves and debris from entering the water.
  • Check water quality and adjust pH levels if necessary.
  • Continue to check the health of fish and treat any illnesses or parasites.
  • Cut back any overgrown aquatic plants and remove dead foliage.
  • Reduce feeding frequency as water temperatures drop.
  • Inspect the pond liner for damage and repair if necessary.
  • Check the health of fish and treat any illnesses or parasites. Remove any dead fish or other animals from the pond.
  • Clean the filter and remove any buildup of debris.
  • Prepare for the arrival of winter by stocking up on supplies, such as de-icers and pond salt. which can improve physical health but also reduce stress levels in the fish.
  • Cover any exposed pipes or equipment to protect them from freezing.
  • Test the water for nitrate and phosphate levels and adjust as necessary.
  • Perhaps install a UV clarifier to help control algae growth, if you don’t not have one already.
  • Add beneficial bacteria to the pond to help break down organic matter.
Man Feeding Koi Carp in a Fish Pond

Gardening Month by Month-October: Reduce The Feeding of Your Fish This Month as Temperatures Drops

In October: General Garden Maintenance

  • Think about giving evergreen hedges a final trim before the winter sets in.
  • Cover open compost heaps to prevent them from becoming waterlogged.
  • Do you have summer bulbs like Gladioli or Cannes Then clean and store them this month.
  • As the nights draw in perhaps think about installing some garden lighting to brighten up those dark evenings. 
  • Apply a winter wash to fruit trees to control pests and diseases.
  • Clean and store garden tools to prevent rusting
  • Clear out gutters and drains to prevent waterlogging.
  • Cut back herbaceous plants that have died back. 
  • Rake the lawn, give it one final cut, and/or lay new turf.
  • Apply a layer of mulch to protect plants from frost and retain moisture.

Gardening Month by Month-October: Apply a Layer of Mulch to Garden Plants as Protection From Frost And Retain Moisture.


Can I Plant Evergreen Shrubs In October?

Yes, you should plant evergreen shrubs in October while the soil remains warm, shrubs like Viburnum and Hydrangea Paniculata

Is October A Good Time To Divide Perennials

Yes, October is a good time to divide perennials

Is It Too Late To Plant Garlic In October

October is the perfect time to plant garlic in the UK for a summer harvest next year