There are still a few seeds to sow and plenty of garden jobs to do in October, even if it’s starting to feel more wintery. In particular it’s time to have a big tidy up on the plot before the weather becomes even worse, and the majority of plants start to drop their leaves or die back altogether.
I’m wrapping a few pots in sacking material to protect against frost, and putting fleece and cloches over a few plants while I have the chance this weekend. Hopefully we’ll get earlier crops in Spring 2020 too with the extra protection extending the growing season.
Seeds to sow in October
- broad beans (winter-hardy Aquadulce types)
- carrot (winter-hardy types like Nantes Frubund)
- cauliflower (summer types, under cover)
- chard (under cover)
- coriander (under cover)
- ‘green manure’ plants to improve the soil
- lettuce & other salad (baby leaf or winter types, under cover)
- leaf beet (under cover)
- oriental greens like pak choi (under cover)
- parsley (curly types, under cover)
- peas (round-seeded winter-hardy types)
- rocket (under cover)
- spinach (short-day types, under cover)
- spring onions (hardy types, under cover)
You can also grow some baby leaf lettuce, pea shoots or soft herbs on an indoor windowsill to get your green fix. I like to put handfuls of flat leaf parsley into soups and stews just before serving them, so that’s my priority job for Sunday afternoon.
Here’s a handy reminder of the most important garden jobs to do this October:
What to plant out
- Fruit bushes (raspberries, blackberries, hybrids, currants, gooseberries, etc)
- Herb seedlings
- Japanese onion sets
- Cut back stems of asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes
- Lift and store beetroot, potatoes, carrots and turnips, and keep in boxes or sand clamps
- Lift Whitloof chicory and store in sand for forcing later
- Mulch celeriac, globe artichokes, parsnips etc to protect against frost
- Remove any yellowing leaves from brassicas, earth up and stake overwintering types – and remember to protect from pigeons
- Bring citrus plants indoors
- Pick and store apples and pears
- Re-pot container-grown fruit
- Add anti-moth grease bands to tree trunks
General garden jobs
- Add to the compost heap as you clear old crops
- Clean and disinfect the greenhouse
- Collect fallen leaves to make leaf mould
- Dig manure or compost into the soil
- Make a ‘bee hotel’ for friendly insects
- Protect tender crops against frost
I admit to being relatively lazy with the kitchen garden once the rain or sleet sets in and the nights get darker, so now’s the right time for a quick burst of activity. Time to dig up those courgette plants and get them into the compost bin.
Are you growing your own fruit or veggies this year? Will you be growing some next year?