October is the month of seedheads, light frosts, fattening up for winter, and migration. Keep an eye out for ‘autumn orphan’ hedgehogs, which were born as late as September and will not be able to gain enough weight to survive hibernation. Leave water and food such as kitten or cat biscuits for them, until it’s no longer taken. If you see a hedgehog out during the day, call your local hedgehog rescue immediately – it will likely need urgent medical attention.
Now’s a good time to clean bird feeders and refill them with calorie-rich food such as suet and peanuts. As the days shorten, birds have less time to find food, and need a lot of energy to shiver to keep warm on cold nights. Leaving seedheads on plants and ivy flowers to develop into calorie-rich berries will help birds significantly over the next few weeks.
This is Secret Garden content
This content is exclusive to subscribers. If you are not a subscriber you can access this content by subscribing to Gardeners' World.