October – Leaf Gold

With the warmer days of September passed, the autumn has now definitely arrived. Temperatures have dropped and it is a lot colder. It’s a beautiful colourful time of year, with the trees
changing colour. Sometimes it may seem pointless raking, when the wind blows even more leaves onto the lawn, but just think of all the leaf mould you can make! It’s also time to start preparing and watching out for early frosts.

October Jobs to Do:

  • Cut back perennials that have died down
  • Divide herbaceous perennials
  • Divide established rhubarb crowns to create new plants
  • Plant out spring cabbages
  • Move tender plants, including aquatic ones, into a greenhouse or conservatory
  • Leaves need raking up regularly in autumn and early winter, but instead of burning them or taking to the tip, turn them into leaf mould – a valuable free resource that’s worth its weight in gold.
  • Harvest apples, pears, grapes and nuts
  • Prune climbing roses
  • Last chance to mow lawns and trim hedges in mild areas
  • Finish collecting seeds from the garden to sow next year


Collect your leaf gold

So start collecting!

  1. Firstly, gather leaves that accumulate on top of small plants by hand to prevent damage; do this every day or two so plants aren’t killed by fungal disease or lack of light.
  2. A rubber rake is the very best tool for gathering leaves from lawns, paths and paving.
  3. Leaves can be a great additive to a home compost pile, and by raking them up and keeping some next to the compost they can be used to cover layers of kitchen food waste throughout the winter.
  4. You can build a second large leaf pile and let it sit all winter and by the spring, the lower part of the leaf pile will be converted into rich soil, while the middle and top layers can be used as mulch or dug into spring garden beds as a soil amendment.

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Cranleigh Magazine