Whether your summer garden was a huge success, a bit of a disappointment, or you just missed the boat, don’t despair! Spring and summer are glorious months for the garden, but there is plenty that you can plant in October too.
Bulbs tend to bloom in the spring or in the autumn. They are fairly low maintenance and easy to plant – just pop them in a hole about 2-3 times the bulb’s depth, 2 bulb-widths apart, and cover with soil or compost. However, they do prefer to be planted in their natural conditions. Daffodils and tulips are pretty hardy, but they prefer a sunny, warm, well-drained spot. Woodland bulbs, meanwhile, like more shade and a leaf litter compost to replicate their woodland homes.
If you plant your bulbs in clusters of 5 now, you will be rewarded with jolly blooms come next spring. Get your daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths, and crocuses now and watch your garden spring to life from February.
The prime growing season may have passed, but there is still plenty that you can grow in your veg patch to get ahead for next. Plant onions and garlic now for a bumper crop next summer. Sow broad beans, runners and peas – they will be slower to grow due to the climate, but it means that they will be ready to harvest before you plant your next crop next spring.
Asparagus is a longer game; it takes 2 years to get your first crop, but once you get going, it will continue to grow for 25 years. Plant now and you will get a crop in two summers’ time – and for every summer until the 2040s.
Salads and delicate leaves such as spinach can still be sown outside if you have a greenhouse. If you don’t have a greenhouse, you can always keep a little pot of growing salad on your kitchen windowsill.
Prepare for the winter
While planting and harvesting are the fun bits, it is important that you prepare for the winter as best you can. When the grass is dry enough, give your lawn a short mow, rake up any leaves and put rotten fruit or veg that has gone over in the composter. Every little bit that you do between now and Christmas will save you a huge amount of work in the springtime, allowing you to get straight on with the fun stuff!
Now more than ever it helps to be frugal and more prepared. Try to preserve as much of this year’s harvest as possible and start thinking about and planning next year’s vegetable rotation and layout for the best possible results.
If you are unsure what to do with your garden, and when, it can help to consult a professional local gardener. They will be able to advise on what plants will thrive in your garden; a landscape gardener will then be able to provide you with a layout to suit your needs.