October is the ideal time for a number of last-minute, pre ‘cold snap’ garden activities, so while you still have time, prepare for the coming autumnal season with the following four P’s.
If you are looking to add a little more green to your garden and introduce flora that will add something special to your outdoor spaces, then remember that planting season for many trees and hedgerows is October to April. However, as waterlogged or frozen ground can hinder such activities there are just few months during this period when you can safely get to work digging and planting. Newly planted trees can be damaged by an excess of water or extreme temperatures so do keep this in mind when choosing when to plant them. Once they are in place, make sure they have adequate water (as too little water can harm them as well), weed the area to remove competition that may steal vital nutrients and water from the soil, mulch to protect from the winter chill, and keep an eye on them throughout the winter to make sure they establish themselves well enough.
Some last-minute pruning can be done to trees with canopies that are too full which you fear may act as a sail in a winter storm and increase the tree’s risk of falling, and it’s your last chance to trim your hedges. Established hedges can be trimmed once or twice a year – the summer months being best for this – but October really is your last chance to trim deciduous hedges before winter sets in. While you may choose to tackle this job yourself there are two important factors to consider: 1) if your hedge is too large for hand-held shears then you’ll have to use a proper trimmer and there are safety issues associated with this, and 2) it is incredibly difficult to trim in a straight line. So if you don’t want wonky hedges and you’re happy with the number of limbs you currently possess, do consider asking a professional to some guidance or to manage the job themselves.
Winter can be a time of extremes of wind, cold and rain, so it is important to check any supporting stakes and ties to ensure that they are secure. Also, don’t forget to pick up the gold and red debris of autumn, the leaf fall, and place all ‘healthy’ leaves onto your compost heap. It is important to be able to identify unhealthy leaves as adding those containing infestations (insects) and disease (fungi) to your compose heap will offer them a safe haven to spread and infest or infect other trees and plants in your garden and your neighbour’s.
Already touched on above was the blight of insects and fungal infection, which is why it’s so important to identify and deal with any such pests. All infected or infested leaves and fruits should be removed from the garden. Honey fungus thrives in the September and October months so carefully remove these as well as others like powdery mildew and grey mould or these could also spread and harm your trees.
To ask an expert to help you prepare for autumn and the winter to come, call us on 0208 292 8992.