Greenhouse calendar - October






October Jobs

Although October’s weather can be glorious with warm, golden sunshine, frost is likely in all but the most sheltered of spots, and storms can also sweep in off the Atlantic, bringing gales and lashing rain. Make the most of any good weather to batten down the hatches before winter arrives.

In the garden:

  • Remove summer bedding plants from containers, refresh the compost and replant with colourful plants that will look good through till spring such as violas, ornamental cabbage and variegated ivy.
  • Divide herbaceous perennials that have outgrown their allotted space.
  • Protect alpines from winter rain by moving them into a cold frame or greenhouse, or create a cover using a clear sheet of Perspex propped up on either side of the plants with bricks.
  • Take hardwood cuttings of shrubs such as abelia, cornus, forsythia, ribes, gooseberries and currants.
  • Raise pots off the ground using bricks or pot feet so they don’t sit in pools of rainwater which can cause plant roots to rot.
  • Plant daffodils and other spring bulbs this month to give them time to establish roots before winter sets in.

In the greenhouse:

  • Move tender plants into the greenhouse, or wrap plants such as tree ferns with hessian and horticultural fleece.
  • It’s a good idea to give the greenhouse an autumn tidy, removing the last of the summer crops and any plants that look sickly or withered. Give the glass a clean to maximise the amount of light that enters and sweep the floor.
  • Move tender perennials such as pelargoniums into the greenhouse, where they will keep on blooming.


  • Reduce the watering of houseplants and don’t feed them now till spring.
  • Pot up some chives and mint and place on a bright windowsill so that you can keep picking in the months up to Christmas.
  • Move citrus trees indoors. They need plenty of light and to be kept above 5C – a frost-free greenhouse, conservatory or porch is ideal.

Articles related to this month