October Gardening Blog

Autumn has definitely arrived at Trentham, evident by the sweet-smelling decaying leaves of the Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) located by the old swimming pool steps on the west side of the lakeside walks.

Some of the woodland meadows have been cut back early this year to allow the lakeside team to continue planting bulbs for a better display in the spring. These include Camassia leichtlinii Caerulea, Tulipa sylvestris and Muscari latifolium.

The lawns are having the last cut of the year, leaving the grass a little longer at this time of year helps it to tolerate foot traffic, deter weeds and avoid moss. Some areas have been re-seeded whilst the soil is still warm and there is adequate rainfall. Leaf clearance to avoid bare patches becoming prevalent is also taking place on site. Autumn is the best time for scarifying/ aerating/ top-dressing and re-seeding. An autumn feed high in Phosphorus will give grass roots a boost ensuring a healthy lawn come spring.

The Hide and Speak maze has now re-opened and is looking good after receiving its autumn cut. We always check for nesting birds prior to any hedge-cutting and postpone if necessary.

The potager has been cleared this month except for leeks, parsnips and sprouts. The beds have been dug over to expose the clods to the frost which will help to improve the structure of the soil. The roots of legumes will be incorporated into the bed to help benefit brassicas next year by adding nitrogen to the soil. All crops will be rotated next year to prevent a build-up of pests/ diseases and exhausting nutrients. Fruited canes of summer Raspberries can be cut off at ground level leaving unfruited canes which will bear fruit next year.

The retail team have busy this month planting bulbs for spring displays and planters have been filled with winter scheme plants including: Jasminum nudiflorum, Ilex crenata “Golden Gem”, Thuja occidentalis “Golden tuffet”, Skimmia Japonica “Kew white” Taxus baccatta “Fastigiata”, Carex Evergold, Erica x darleyensis “Furzey”, Narcissus minnow
Hedera helix “white wonder”.