Monthly Gardening Tips - October 2022

Within the next couple of weeks I shall be emptying my compost heaps, ready to put the autumn leaves in them towards the end of the month. Any unrotted material can be put to one side and returned to the bottom of the heap when you have emptied it.

Keep hoeing - the recent dry weather has helped to keep the unusual flush of annuals under control.

October is the time to renew the plants in window boxes, baskets and pots. Sometimes summer-flowering plants still look colourful into October but Iíd harden your heart and get rtid of them now as the autumn-planted ones need to establish before winter. Think Polyanthus, forget-me-nots, Bellis, wallflowers, hardy cyclamen, winter violas, heathers. Donít get tempted to buy plants in full flower as they may well have come out of a greenhouse having been 'forced oní to flower, but they will suffer if there are hard frosts.

Ivies offer trailing growths and weather protection. Also small Hebes, Laurel, Skimmias, Lavenders and Sage as Ďdotí plants. In the spring you can plant these shrubs out into the garden to grow on.

Below are a few local beauties that I have spotted in late September:

Japanese Anemone hupehensis - whiteJapanese Anemone hupehensis - white
Japanese Anemone hupehensis - pinkJapanese Anemone hupehensis - pink
Calocephalus brownii, Cushion Bush, will probably overwinterCalocephalus brownii

Lonicera nitida. Trim before winter

lonicera nitida untrimmed
lonicera nitida trimmed

Fuchsias. Compost round, but not up, the base to protect roots in winter.

red fuchsia
pink fuchsia

Remember these being sold at our Summer Show? I potted mine up and now it has produced many Ďbabiesí ready to drop onto the soil and root. Devilís backbone aka Mother of Millions or Mexican hat plant - Bryophyllum (formerly Kalanchoe) diagremontianum.

bryophyllum diagremontianum
bryophyllum diagremontianum babies

And finally, A wonderful large Hibiscus (moscheutos?) growing in Beechwod Avenue, Kew. Well done the grower!

hibiscus

Richard Ward