44th Cerne Abbas Open Gardens June 19 & 20 2021
www.cerneabbasopengardens.org.uk Second Site by Bob Foulser
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Queries number
01300 341311

Tasks in October

Flower garden

Cut back faded herbaceous perennials and add to compost heap.
Lift and divide poor flowering or overcrowded herbaceous plants such as Achillea, Artemisia, Aster, Campanula, Crocosmia, and Phlox.
Wait for first frosts to hit dahlias and cannas before lifting the tubers or rhizomes.
Lift tender bulbs (Galtonia Tigridia etc).
Lily bulbs can be planted up in pots this month for display as summer patio plants.
Continue to plant springflowering bulbs, but leave tulips until November.
Plant wallflowers, forget-me-not, Bellis, Primula, Viola (including winter pansies) and other spring bedding plants in prepared ground or pots.
Plant new herbaceous perennials.
Sow hardy annuals outside, to overwinter for a display next year.
Raise patio containers on to bricks or purpose-made pot feet to avoid them sitting in water during the winter.
Protect all tender plants (Abutilon, Gazania etc) in greenhouse or conservatory for the winter.
Give half-hardy fuchsias a rest period over the winter, allowing them to dry out slightly and drop their leaves. Keep them alive with gentle heat in the glasshouse, or in a cool room.
Remove stakes and other supports as herbaceous plants die down for the winter, cut back and compost material.
Check any bulbs being forced in darkness. If they show signs of top growth and have a healthy root system when knocked out of the bowl, bring them into a cool, light room to induce flowering.

Trees and shrubs

Last chance to trim deciduous hedges.
Prune bush roses now, if not done already, as reducing their height will prevent wind rock
Prune climbing roses.
Shrubs normally pruned hard in the spring such as Buddleja davidii, Cornus alba, and Lavatera, can be cut back by half now, to prevent wind rock.
If the weather is dry, water early-flowering shrubs such as camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas with rainwater wherever possible.
Take hardwood cuttings of plants such as Rosa, Cotinus, Salix and Forsythia.
Check tree ties and stakes before winter gales cause damage.
Move and plant trees, shrubs, climbers and hedging plants.



Rake fallen leaves off lawns before they block out light and air penetration to the grass.
Toadstools and fairy rings appearing in the lawn may be a sign that scarification and autumn lawn care is necessary.
Scarify, aerate and top dress lawns. Afterwards apply a low in nitrogen autumn lawn feed. It is too late for weedkillers to be effective.