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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Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

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