October in the Garden

Posted on: 5th October, 2017

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: John Hosford

October is a month of transition – a month for tidying-up, planting and getting tender plants under cover before the onset of winter. Clean up Geraniums, Cannas and tender plants before you bring them indoors, removing faded blooms and dead leaves

Top jobs for October

Prepare for planting of new hedges. Book hedging plants in advance. November onwards is an ideal time to establish a new hedge. Most hedges are planted at 18” apart (45cm.) apart. Get rid of all perennial weeds before planting, paying particular attention to persistent weeds such as scotch grass, nettles, docks, bindweed, thistles and ground elder. It is important these weeds are eradicated before planting commences, as if these are allowed to develop they will have a serious impact on the early establishment of your new hedge. Ensure the soil is adequately drained.

Hedge trimming needs to be completed early this month.

Moving plants indoors

Tender plants can be brought indoors to a frost-free greenhouse or conservatory this month. Keep up to date with frost forecasts and get your frost-sensitive plants under cover before the frost arrives. Once indoors do ventilate the glasshouse well during warm, sunny days, which you can often get during the month of October. Any watering is best done in the morning ensuring the plant isn’t damp going into the night. Do check that heaters are working. Replace any broken glass. Repair torn polythene on Polytunnels – use a special polytunnel repair tape.


Cut back perennials that have finished flowering. Divide perennials – adding a slow release organic fertiliser prior to planting.

Fruit Garden

Pick apples, pears, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. Store apples and pears that are in sound condition. Don’t store any that are rotten, damaged or blemished. Don’t mix early varieties with late varieties in the store. Keep your fruit in cool, well-ventilated conditions. Keep contaminants such as paints, sprays or fuels away from stored fruit. Store apples and pears separately.

Prune blackcurrants. Cut out about one-quarter to one third of the oldest wood each year. A little selective can be done immediately after picking to remove low-lying and broken branches. This improves air circulation giving better ripening of the wood. Old and new wood can be distinguished by the colour of the wood. Old wood is almost always black, young wood is light brown to golden.

Cut as low down as possible to stimulate vigorous growth of shoots at or near the base. Old or neglected bushes can be rejuvenated by cutting back to within an inch of the ground during winter. This is of course provided they are not infected by gall mite or reversion. This stimulates production of new shoots in the following spring. If these are crowded, thin them out in the subsequent autumn allowing the strongest and best placed to bear fruit in the second year.

Book/plan ahead. Order new fruit trees and bushes for planting immediately after leaf fall. Planting in the autumn is highly recommended, as you have less or no watering and the soil is warm after the accumulation of summer heat, which helps more rapid establishment.

There is also less weed competition, as weed growth will have slowed down, which is no harm after rapid non-stop weed growth over the past few months especially since the damper weather arrived. There is a better chance of securing particular varieties if you order for the autumn. Do choose a sunny, well-drained position out of a frost pocket. Tree fruit such as apples, pears, plums and cherries should be staked with a good strong, stout, sound and secure stake.


New lawns from seed should now be completed at this stage. Create new lawn areas by laying turf grass.


Sow a winter /spring maturing lettuce under cover. You need to grow a short day, winter maturing lettuce for maturing in the shorter days of winter and early spring.

Autumn Colour

Don’t underestimate the value of autumn colour in the garden. Check out the fiery, dramatic leaf colours of Acers (maples), Liquidamber, Parrotias and Hamamellis. Add dramatic effects of autumn/winter berry colour with Cotoneaster, Pyracantha, Malus(flowering crab).

“Do take the opportunity to visit some of the gardens open to the public to get some inspirational ideas for dramatic autumn colour. Check out the gardens at Blarney Castle, Fota, Garinish Island, Muckross house in Killarney National Park and of course if you are travelling further afield, check out the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Powerscourt, Enniskerry, Co.Wicklow, Mount Usher Gardens, Ashford, Co.Wicklow.”

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

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16th February, 2018  ·  

Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
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15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

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13th February, 2018  ·  

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