October: your home and garden checklist

October: your home and garden checklist

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

221 guides

October means waking up to frost on the lawn and adjusting to a new season. With the trees steadily losing their leaves, it's time to harvest the first of your autumn crops and prepare your plants for overwintering. Indoors, there's nothing else but to turn on the heating and cook up some winter warming recipes!
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While the mornings are certainly feeling brisker, the vegetable garden still has a lot to offer in October with the cream of the autumn crops ready to come out the ground. You still have until mid-month to get some strawberry plants in nutrient-rich soil and if you're lucky enough to live in an area with milder winters, you can even try your luck with artichokes or lettuces. Cold-sensitive plants, on the other hand, need to be repotted and taken to a warmer spot. Summer bulbs, including gladiolas, dahlias, crocosmia and tuberous bergonias, can all be dug up and brought to a basement or garage. They'll happily live out the winter in a dry and ventilated indoor spot for planting next spring. Camelias, magnolias and other evergreen shrubs can go in the ground now along with any fruit trees and bushes bought in containers. When you're not busy harvesting and planting out your last crops, October is also a good time to spread manure and sow green manure seeds on any empty plots.

Just like springtime, autumn transforms your garden into a landscape of vibrant colours... but these yellow and orange tones won't last forever. As the month goes on, you'll see your trees lose their colourful crowns as the leaves fall one by one marking the start of an infernal leaf-sweeping battle. It's also time to get the lawnmower out one last time and give your hedges and bushes a good trimming. Remember – the work you put in now means a neat and tidy garden all winter long!

Depending on where you live and your tolerance for the cold, October will probably put an end to most summer activities. It's high time to tuck away the swimming pool for winter, bearing in mind that the ideal time to do so is when the pool temperature consistently sits around 12°C. But while your BBQ or plancha grill should probably be fitted with a cover at this time of year, there's nothing to stop you from enjoying your outdoor space. Invest in a patio heater and you can keep grilling right into autumn! Finally, if you've been putting off the tedious task of maintaining your outdoor furniture, now is your last chance to get your shed and garden dining set in top condition before winter hits. 

This year, the clocks are due to go back at 2am on October 31st. As the month goes on, we're set to lose a couple of minutes of daylight per day meaning we're likely to be spending a bit more time indoors. And with the return of shorter days comes the start of the colder weather. Most of us will be putting our central heating back on this month and energy bills are going to creep up once again. To soften the blow, we've put together a few tips and tricks to help you make savings on your heating. But there's no bigger waste of money than an inefficient heating system. Need to replace your old heaters or radiators? We've got you covered. 

It's no secret that getting out of bed in the morning gets that little bit harder when the weather turns. But why? Well, there are a number of reasons. - Primarily, your sleep and waking cycles alter as the days grow shorter. In response to the longer nights and lack of sunlight, our brains produce more of a hormone called melatonin which makes us feel more tired and sluggish. Oversleeping is sadly not the solution and could actually end up making us feel more sleepy. The key is to stick to your bedtime routine but to ensure your getting the highest quality sleep possible. And what better way to start than with a bedroom revamp?

As the weather cools down, there are few places more inviting than the kitchen. Whether you fancy yourself a gourmet chef or you just want to eat fondue every day until spring rolls around, a great meal starts with a properly equipped kitchen. Get the work done now and you can enjoy cosy winter recipes for months to come!

With weather conditions somewhat less predictable this month, most DIYers will be turning their attention to indoor activities. Suffice it to say that it's time to get the workshop in order. But it doesn't have to be all work and no play. Why not invest in a new tool to play with over the winter months? There's no better time to get started in a new craft. From woodworking to soldering, there are plenty of options to get your teeth into!    

Chicken keeping has been on the rise for the past few years and the population of domestic fowl in the UK in 2020/21 was thought to be as high as 1.2 million. Most cite the availability of fresh eggs as their prime reason for keeping chickens but these birds can also be great pets – especially if you have little ones! But before you rush out to adopt or buy a flock of laying hens, make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. Chickens require care every day from feeding and providing health care, to cleaning out the coop. Read up on all there is to know about caring for our feathered friends below.   

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Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 221 guides

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check.Advise Mister everybody in the DIY shop? Check.Redo the bathroom plumbing? Check.Fit together, build the walls, paint a partition, throw my hammer in a rage thinking that it will fix the problem? Check. The DIY motto ? Learning is better than delegating… well, it's also a question about your wallet! The satisfaction? The beer at the end of the job! What do the best have in common? The influence of Gyro Gearloose, Mac Gyver and Carol Smiley depending on your generation, a good dose of curiosity, a average hand-eye coordination and a taste for risks… and if it doesn't work, try again! Advise you? I'll do my best!