What to do in the garden in October


  • Plant garlic because it is best planted in autumn. Plant in the vegetable patch with the pointed heads up, just below the soil surface, and spaced 10cm apart.
  • Harvest pumpkins that were planted in April, May, and June. Big or small, they make fun Halloween decorations and can be added to sweet and savoury dishes. If you have any spare, why not recycle them by hollowing them out to make a new bird feeder!
  • Cut peas and beans to the ground level once they finished harvesting, leaving the roots in the soil. As the roots break down, they will slowly release nitrogen to the soil.
  • Make sure to harvest pumpkins and squashes before the first frost, otherwise they will turn mushy!
  • Cut back yellow asparagus foliage to within 5cm of the ground.
  • Hang tomato and pepper plants with unripened fruits upside down and bring them indoors to ripen.
  • Wrap to protect the outer leaves of cauliflower heads with cloche or fleece and secure them with a string.
  • Lift main crop potatoes. Dig them up and leave them there to dry, and store in bags in a cold, dark, rust-free place. Be careful not to stick the fork through them. Any damaged ones should be used up quickly or they will rot.
  • Final sow lettuce in the first half of the month to give a supply in the spring.
  • Plant out spring cabbage plants as soon as possible if not already done. If left any later, they might fail make good plants before the winter.


  • Move citrus plants indoors to a bright and frost free place (4-12 degrees) away from cold draughts and radiators. Water less in winter, but do not let the plants to dry out.
  • Harvest apples. To test if they are ripe pull the apple gently, they should come off easily.
  • Dig up and split congested rhubarb pieces with a spade. Replant the healthiest looking ones.
  • Remove any diseased fruits of the plants or the ground, so the next year’s crops aren’t infected.
  • Wash trunks and branches of fruit trees to kill over-wintering pests.
  • Protect Autumn raspberries and strawberries with polythene sheeting when necessary.
  • Plant new apple and pear trees. Use Ecoworm Soil Extract for Trees to aid in replanting.


  • Cut the grass for the final time in October. Make sure that you cut it slightly higher than during the summer months, in order to protect your lawn from winter frost damage.
  • Pick up fallen leaves frequently to allow light to the grass.
  • Aerate your lawn with a garden fork to avoid compaction and water clogging over winter.
  • Rake any thatch from the surface and repair dead patches. Lay fresh turf if needed.


  • Trim your hedges. Sharp edges will look great when coated in frost in winter.
  • Take hardwood cuttings from deciduous shrubs.
  • Plant hedges and move trees and shrubs. October is the ideal month for it. Use Ecoworm Soil Extract specially formulated for trees & bushes to aid in replanting.
  • Plant container grown evergreens, while the soil is still warm. Those planted last month should be watered at the first sign of dry soil, and make sure they are free from perennial weeds.
  • Prune climbing and rambling roses once they are done flowering. Tie their stems before the wind damages them. Clear up fallen rose leaves in order to prevent diseases. Do not compost the leaves to avoid spread of damaging fungi.


  • Plant spring flowering bulbs to ensure a colourful display when the spring arrives. Plant 5-7 bulbs of the same variety through a border, to make an impression. Plant them at a depth equal to twice the height of the bulb. This should be finished by the end of this month, to take advantage of comparatively warm soil.
  • Dig up summer bedding displays that have died back, put them in the compost and clear the area for new ones. Do not leave summer displays for long, because then the replacement plants will have a short time to become established before winter.
  • Start lifting and dividing herbaceous perennials, which flower in the spring to ensure healthy, vigorous plants, that will continue to perform year after year. This is best done on a dry day, when soil is not too wet. Plant some of the divided plants back into the ground and give away others to your friends.
  • Plant out spring bedding and biennials (such as wallflowers). Pots and hanging baskets can be planted with spring bedding and teamed with bulbs, grasses, cyclamen and violas for a colourful display, with lots of glorious texture. If you buy your plants, choose those that are strong, medium-sized, and healthy.
  • Plant prepared hyacinths in vases to provide winter scent and colour for your home. Plant ‘prepared’ bulbs and plant them in October to have flowering hyacinths around the Christmas period.
  • Lift Dahlia tubers, Begonia tubers and Gladioli corms to store dry over the winter months. Remember to remove any dead foliage before storing them.
  • Lift tuberous rooted that have died back. Lay them on their side under cover, in a cool dry place, and allow them to die right back to the tuber. Once the vegetation withered, clean off the top and roots and store them in a cold but frost-free place until spring. Don’t forget to label tubers with its names and description.
  • Lift gladioli and store them for next spring, if not yet done so.
  • Clear up fallen rose leaves in order to prevent diseases. Do not compost the leaves to avoid spread of damaging fungi.

Read more:
What to do in the garden in September
What to do in the garden in November