October gardening tips
Trees (including fruit trees), hedges, shrubs and climbers, ensure they are well watered and check regularly to see they do not become loose. Firm in well, but beware over firming as this will drive out air from the soil and can be even more damaging than loose planting. Stake new plants if necessary to hold them firm against autumn winds.
Move conifers, evergreens and deciduous hedges
Move conifers, evergreens and hedges, digging in lots of organic matter around them. Water regularly, feed them in springtime with an organic fertiliser and if you live in an exposed or windy spot, stake them and protect with a windbreak of plastic mesh or something similar for the first year. Planting and moving any plant is far less traumatic for it whilst the soil is still warm. Dig as large a root ball as you can and wrap in hessian to move it with minimum disturbance. Ensure the new hole is large enough for the roots not to be squashed and the same depth as before. Remove the hessian gently, firm in the soil well with your feet as you fill the hole and water generously.
Prune tall shrubs
Remove any diseased, spindly, old and unproductive stems and remember to burn any diseased material. Tie new shoots onto some form of support to prevent their thrashing about in autumn winds.
Trim back lavender bushes if you haven't already done so.