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What to do in the flower garden in October

Autumn is really beginning to set in by the start of October. At this time of year, after the harvest, gardeners look to the winter months, as well as planning ahead for next spring. Here are some of the ways to care for your flowers this October, between spells spent relaxing on your Outback reclining chairs.

Flower containers

• You can now empty any pots or hanging baskets that are spent, putting the contents on the compost heap if you can
• Plant new pots containing species such as cyclamen, heather or pansies, to brighten up the dark winter days with a welcome splash of colour

Sowing the seeds

• Collect seeds, where possible, from hardy perennials like achillea, astrantia and valerian, and sow them immediately
• Lift begonia, canna and dahlia tubers as well as gladioli corms. Store in a dry place with any dead foliage removed
• Cut back any dead perennials, or if you prefer leave the foliage to provide a haven for wildlife

Planting and positioning

• October is the perfect month for repositioning and planting any shrubs, hedges or trees
• While the soil retains some of summer’s heat, plant any new evergreen hedging or shrubs
• You can also move any deciduous shrubs that require a new position
• If you want to take any hardwood cuttings from trees or shrubs, this is the ideal time to do so

Spring bulbs

• Get ahead for spring by planting bulbs for daffodils, crocuses and snake’s-head fritillary, which look good when scatt

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