Task of the Month

Our horticultural experts are on hand to give you monthly advice on what to do now! We'll help you tackle tasks one month at a time to get your garden in tip top shape all year round.

October

Top Tip

If, like mine, your last tomatoes are refusing to ripen, put them in a paper bag with a banana. The banana gives off natural fruit ripening flavours which will help them along. This really does work!

October is a busy time in the garden. It is the best month to plant trees and shrubs as they will become well established before next season. Bare root plants will start to become available and this will help to keep your costs down. October is the best month to view rich Autumn colours before the leaves begin to fall. Try and get to see this tree “Liquidamber  styraciflua”  or common name “the sweet gum”. It turns the most fantastic shades of orange, red and purple. It is best grown in full sun and then the cool nights in October will bring these striking colours to life.

Plants that produce fruits and berries will also begin to attract birds into the garden and you can now start to set up feeding stations for the Winter.

Outdoors

Rake up fallen leaves regularly while they are dry and add them to the compost heap. Fallen leaves are one of the richest types of compost material.

On good dry days begin to dig over this year's vegetable area, you can now add a layer of Bord na Móna Growise Farmyard Manure and Bord na Móna Growise Enriched Top Soil which will work its way into the soil over the hard Winter months.

You can also plant out your Spring bedding using spring bulbs underneath a mixture of wallflowers, pansy, cyclamen, bellis and myosotis. These will work well in beds or containers. Add in a light layer of Bord na Móna Growise Chicken Manure to get them established. You can never dig in enough compost for new planting - for larger areas, you'll get good value from the 125 Litre bag of Bord na Móna Growise Multipurpose Compost.
October is the best month to plant all types of fruit trees. They will establish quickly and will reward you with a good harvest in the first year. If you wait until the Spring you should remove the first year's crop if possible to allow them to establish. Plant strawberries outdoors in beds or indoors in a Bord na Móna Growise Fruit & Vegetable Planter for an early crop. Plant out raspberry canes, black and red currants, gooseberries and a rhubarb root if available. Bare root apple and pear trees will be available now from garden centres as will more unusual berries like boysenberry, tayberry and loganberry.

The secret with all fruit trees is good preparation when planting. They like fertile, well drained soil and grow best in a sunny sheltered position. Be sure to add plenty of garden compost and a good layer of Bord na Móna Growise Farmyard Manure under the roots and as a mulch around the base of the plant.

This is also a great month to store this year’s heavy crop of apples. They need a frost-free area with good air circulation. Wrap individually with waxed paper or newspaper so as they are not touching, or try to get those trays you see them displayed on in fruit and vegetable shops.

In the Greenhouse

On a fine bright day move plants outside and thoroughly clean the glasshouse inside and out. Use a mild disinfectant and leave the vents open so as it will dry out. Depending on over-wintering plants or what you have still growing remember to vent on warm bright days but to close them early to retain the heat for the night. You might consider insulating with a bubble wrap if you intend heating over the Winter or just for early sowings in the New Year.

Enjoy October in your garden!

Brendan Howell

Bord na Móna Horticulturist

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Gardening should be fun, but often people are afraid of getting things wrong, and too worried to give it a go.

That’s where we come in – we’ve got simple tasks for improving your garden, laid out month by month. Just follow along and soon you’ll have a beautiful garden, and the satisfaction of knowing you did it all yourself. If you’d like a more practical garden, why not use your outdoor space to grow your own fruits and vegetables?

Our growbags and simple instructions take all the guesswork out of it, and you’ll be reaping the rewards in no time!