Lavant Horticultural Society, Chichester

Lavant Horticultuiral Society
Pink flowers of Sedum 'Herbstfreude'

A short selection of things to do in the garden at this time, also published each month in the Lavant News

October (to return to November, click on the pyracantha to the right).

A glorious Indian summer? Or early frosts? In any event, it’s guaranteed that leaves will start falling. Clear them up regularly so they do not block out light on lawns and plants or harbour pests such as slugs.

Then turn them into useful leaf mould: pile them up in a post & chicken wire pen or fill them into plastic waste bags - ensure the leaves are wet and make holes in the bags with a garden fork.

Sedum 'Herbstfreude'

Mowing can be an easy way to collect the leaves, which decompose more quickly when chopped up.

Collecting and burning the fallen leaves from rose bushes and fruit trees is an important way of combating diseases such as black spot and scab. However, make sure you do not use these leaves for leaf mould or compost, as that would merely serve to spread disease.

As temperatures fall, you will be bringing tender plants back inside. However, first check them carefully for pests and diseases – it’s easier to treat them while they are still outside. If a plant still looks unhappy, tip it out of its pot to examine the root ball for soil-based pests such as vine weevil.

Protect patio containers from getting waterlogged during the winter by raising them on tiles, bricks or purpose-made feet so that water can drain out. Put alpines somewhere sheltered from the worst of the rain – they do not mind the winter cold, providing they do not get too wet.

Now is the time to apply grease bands or barrier glue to the trunks of fruit trees. This stops winter moths climbing up and laying their eggs in the trees, avoiding caterpillar damage next spring. Apply also to any stakes that join trees above the barrier. For deeply fissured bark the glue is best, as moths could just climb up gaps that might be left inside a grease band.

Get prepared for winter storms by making sure tree stakes and other supports are in good order; also loosen ties if they are threatening to cut into the bark of trees or shrubs after this year’s growth.

Standing tropical houseplants on trays of wet gravel can help offset the drop in humidity when the central heating comes on. Grouping them together can also help create a more humid microclimate.

Click above to return to


Click below for

more comprehensive

advice for this month

from the RHS

Wildlife in the garden


Five ways

to help hedgehogs this autumn

Click for more from Sussex Wildlife Trust

Garden hedges

Click above for more from the RSPB

Sussex butterflies

Click on the Adonis Blue to see which butterflies are to be found in Sussex

Click above for RHS

information on plants good

for bees & pollinators.