Homebase shares top 10 garden tasks for October

Autumn is when many people spend less time outside due to the cold weather, but October is actually a great time to get ahead with your garden.

Anything sowed and planted right now will have more time to establish itself and you will be rewarded with a beautiful early display of spring flowers next year. 

However, it can be difficult to know what to plant now that will be able to survive in the frosty winter weather, but luckily one gardener has recommended some “slightly curveball” flowers which will keep your garden looking beautiful. 

Niall McCauley is an Irish gardener who is the winner of Alan Titchmarsh ‘New Talent of the Year’, and is an expert on the best things to plant during the colder seasons. 

In a video online, Niall said there are many flowers that can still be planted in October. He said: “It might be Autumn, but there are great flowers that you can sow now for colour and perfume next year.  “  

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are hardy annuals that die after one year, but sowing in autumn instead of spring gives the plant six months of extra growth. By summer next year they are likely to bloom much bigger due to being established earlier. 

Niall said: “Sweet, strongly perfumed and totally evocative, they are really easy to grow and once they start flowering, if you keep them deadheaded, they will reward you with just endless bunches of your own homegrown flowers.”


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Phacelia may seem like an unusual suggestion as it is usually grown as green manure rather than a flower in itself, but this fertile plant not only looks beautiful and fern-like but is one of the best pollinators for bees and is perfect for surviving in low temperatures. 

Neiall said: “Bluey purple lavender flowers that are born on curved flower spikes just look fascinating and it’s got fine ferny foliage. It’s technically a little bit like calendula,  a hearty annual, and during my research, I found it listed, believe it or not, as one of the top 20 honey-producing flowers for honeybees.”

“It can grow quite tall, about 1.2 metres, so be prepared, but after all, if you end up not liking it, you can always dig it back into the soil just as green manure.”

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Bear’s breeches flower

These enormous flowers will make a statement in your garden and are perfect for growing around borders, as they can grow quite tall. Not only are these flowers very eye-catching but they are also a great pollinator and will bloom well in midsummer. 

Niall said: “Acanthus, commonly known as bears britches, is a big, strong, powerful-looking perennial. It’s got glossy thick large leaves, and then the flowers are architectural, to say the least. 

“You get big tall flower spikes, think a little like a fox glove or a lupin, but they’re really tough with bi-colour flowers that actually white petals covered with purple brats. These plants are really going to grow quite large, about a meter or so in height and spread, but are going to give your garden a serious impact.”

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