October Gardening Tips

Be prepared with the October gardening tips to help you through the start of the winter months. In the UK the colder months leading to the big freeze are what I call the brrrrrr months and their names express how we all feel after a nice summer.

Septemberrrrr, Octoberrrr, Novemberrrr, Decemberrrrr are all temperature dropping months leading to snow and ice in January, February, and often in March. Brrrrr! And don`t we just feel it for our plants out there. Well there`s a lot we can do to protect them and keep them toasty. Just follow through!

Tips For Preparing Herbs,
The Ground, And Containers

Cutting Back

The garden in October is beginning to wind down. Herbaceous perennials (perennials that do not have woody stems above ground) that have finished flowering and looking worn out, cut back, or clear the container if the herbs are old.

Fertilize and Mulch

Fertilize for next years crops. Even if the herbs are not old still fertilize the soil by mulching with fresh compost.

Do this only if the soil isn`t too dry. If it is, water it and in a day or so go ahead and mulch.

Most herbs do not like rich soil so a good alternative is to mulch with gravel or other inorganic matter for herbs that prefer poor conditions. If you consider strawberries as an herb because of their health benefits and have them growing, prepare them for winter by mulching with loose straw.

You can take them into the greenhouse if you like to harvest more strawberries because sometimes the winter is mild enough for them to keep producing, especially if you keep it at a reasonable temperature in there.

Herbaceous Perennials

Pay Attention To:

Bay – Shape up bay shrubs if you have them growing in pots.

Chives – Divide clumps and plant in new soil. Cloche them if you want to prolong the crop.

Lemon balm – cut back leaves.

Tarragon (French) – Protect the crown in frosty weather.

Climbing Herbs

Pay Attention To:

Passion flower – mulch with bonemeal

Hops – mulch with compost

More Protection Methods

Protect herbs in terracotta, and other kinds of pots and containers.

Use a fleece or clear tarpaulin in frosty weather.

Shelter from the wind, e.g. a wall, tree, or other fixed large structure.

Lift the pots off the ground using bricks or pot feet.

Water less, and water in the morning rather than evening so ice doesn`t form during the cold nights.

October Planting

I am crazy for garlic. I use it as a food and an antibiotic so in the latter part of this month I will be planting. You can also wait and plant in February.

Dry out garlic bulbs that you are harvesting on wire drying racks or something similar and make sure they dry thoroughly before storing them away.

Divide mint and remember to place the divisions in pots to contain the growth.

October Gardening Tips
In The Greenhouse

Start by insulating your greenhouse. The window on mine is quite easy fitting so could do with a rubber seal draft excluder just to keep the warm in and the drafts out. I have an aluminium greenhouse with polycarbonate windows so they need insulating with silicon sealant this will also stop mould from growing inside the panels.

Heating Methods

plant pot greenhouse heaterPlant pot greenhouse heater
  1. Use a small greenhouse paraffin heater.
  2. Make one or two plant pot candle heaters.
  3. Run an electic cable and instal a heater with an low heat thermostat.

If you haven`t already done so, take the herbs listed below inside the greenhouse when the temperature becomes nippy making sure you ventilate during the day if the sun is shining.

Basil, Lemon Verbena, Honey melon sage, chilli peppers

Cover all cold frames during the night but ventilate a little during the day.

  1. HerbHints
  2. Calendar
  3. October

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