Out Of Doors

Garden jobs for October 2021

Autumn is officially here! We can look forward to the spectacular display of colours from our deciduous trees and shrubs.


For an organic treatment, Neem Oil works well to suppress powdery mildew, black spot, and other rose diseases. As an added benefit, it also repels Japanese Beetles and keeps them from decimating your roses. For chemical control, the fungicides tebuconazole (Provanto Fungus Fighter Concentrate), tebuconazole with trifloxystrobin (Provanto Fungus Fighter Plus, Toprose Fungus Control & Protect), and triticonazole (Fungus Clear Ultra) are labelled for the control of rose black spot. Image Shutterstock

Here are a few jobs for you this month:

  • In general terms Autumn is the best time for planting trees and shrubs and hedge planting. The winter can be too cold and in autumn the soil is still warm and usually moist.
  • Cut back and divide herbaceous perennials, and protect half-hardy plants with leaf mould or compost if you are leaving them in the garden borders. Hardy fuchsias will definitely benefit from this.
  • Move tender plants (fuchsias, pelargoniums etc), into the greenhouse to overwinter.
  • The usual advice is to dig up dahlia tubers from the borders and overwinter them in dry compost in the shed or greenhouse. But with the milder winters we have nowadays, you may wish to take a chance and just leave the tubers in the ground – especially if they are in a sheltered (warm) location in your garden.

• Clear up your borders, remove annuals, and plant up for spring with wallflowers, pansies and perhaps Bellis Perennis daisies.

A little maintenance

If you have shade paint on your greenhouse glass, now is the time to remove it. When it is dry remove the paint carefully with a dry cloth. This will help let in more light and help grab as much of the sun’s heat in the cooler days

Clean out the greenhouse or shed and prepare for the winter sowing. Clean and disinfect all pots, the staging and shelves plus the inside of the glass with a warm solution of Jeyes fluid to reduce pests and any fungal infection. Also use this time to clean up and maintain all garden tools and equipment.

Now’s the time to treat black spot on your roses.

Black spot is caused by the fungus Diplocarpon rose. The fungus develops in cool/damp/ humid situations, especially early in the year, so now is the time to try and prevent it. At first, roses appear to cope with black spot, but in a year or two they will become susceptible to other diseases. During the warmer months try to keep foliage as dry as possible; only water early in the day so the plant can dry before evening. Keep rose beds and plants clear of fallen rose leaves if black spot is a problem. Do not compost the leaves if they have the fungal black spot on them.
One effective treatment is a fungal spray to control overwintering spores and the rose will need to be sprayed again in the early growing season. There are organic methods which include sulphur, and Neem oil which are available as sprays or dusting powders.

by Pete Harcom –
Head Gardener at Sherton Abbas Gardening

Sponsored by: Thorngrove Garden centre

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