October – Lawns

  • Rake up and collect fallen leaves
  • Improve drainage on already established lawns
  • Use the mower with the blades raised
  • Apply an autumn fertilizer
  • Reseed and repair any damages to the lawn
  • Sow lawn seed or lay turf 

Container Plants

October – Container Plants

  • Prune any dead or damaged and broken shoots from shrubs
  • Baskets or window boxes can be planted up with winter flowering pansies for an effective display
  • Spring flowering bulbs can continue to be planted up
  • Pots containing trees or shrubs should be moved to sheltered positions avoiding cold winds.
  • For winter colour plant up heathers, dwarf conifers and skimmias 

Trees & Shrubs

October – Trees & Shrubs

  • Plant clematis and other deciduous climbers
  • Start planting new hedging
  • Plant red berried shrubs – this provides food for the birds
  • Plant container-grown deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs
  • Continue to plant heathers

HTA Plant of the Moment – October


Photo – Firethorn with red berries (Pyracantha)

Berry-bearing trees and shrubs come into their own in autumn, creating colourful displays that can last well into winter. From elder berries to rose hips, crab apples to firethorns, the addition of berrying plants adds to a new dimension to any garden, with plants carry fruits and berries through autumn and into winter.

Berrying plants also provide home grown food for hungry birds and wildlife too, enhancing their appeal and value to any garden.


Top four shrubs with colourful fruits and berries

Firethorn – (Pyracantha varieties)
Skimmia – Many female varieties produce wonderful displays of berries including Skimmia japonica subsp. reevesiana, Skimmia japonica ‘Nymans’ and ‘Obsession’. Male varieties are equally appealing with great flower displays, like ‘Magic Marlot’ and ‘Rubella’.
Gaultheria Mucronata (Formerly called PERNETTYA)
Cotoneaster – wide range of berrying shrubs including Cotoneaster horizontalis, Cotoneaster ‘Coral Beauty’, C. ‘Cornubia’, C. lacteus, and many others.

© Adam Pasco Media

Top tips for planning and planting

1. Many shrubs can be given a permanent home in large patio pots. Plant pots using a free-draining loam-based compost.
2. Always stand pots on feet during winter to prevent drainage holes getting blocked and pots filling-up with water, literally drowning their roots!
3. Small berry-bearing shrubs included in seasonal patio pot arrangements can be removed and planted out in the garden next spring.
4. Some plants have both male and female varieties, so it might just be the female one you buy that’s carrying berries. Ask for advice, as in future years you may need to grow male forms alongside the females to ensure their flowers get pollinated and develop future crops of berries.


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