Things to do in the kitchen Garden in October

When I first started to grow vegetables I really needed this information to be in one place, so I could look it up easily. However, I found I had to search for lots of little bits of information, scattered between internet sites and books.  It used to take me a long time to find the information I needed.

I thought it would be useful to have this information altogether in one place.  So for the benefit of the UK gardeners, I will write a list of things to be done each month and any useful information I can think of.

It is worth remembering that different parts of the UK have different weather conditions e.g. the last frost is expected earlier in the south than the north.  Therefore, this is a general guide.

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October:

Vegetables and salads to harvest:

Harvest the last of your summer vegetables and salads before the first frosts, for example, sweetcorn, potatoes, beetroot, pumpkins and winter squashes, chillies, peppers, courgettes, patty pans, french beans, runner beans, peas, marrows, kohl rabi, lettuces, radish, celery, tomatoes and cucumbers. Also harvest cabbages, kale, parsnips, peas, broccolli, celeriac, turnips, leeks, cauliflowers, brussells, carrots, winter radishes, swedes, and spinach.

Fruit to harvest:

Apples, pears, autumn raspberries, cape gooseburys, grapes, late plums and the last perpetual strawberries.

Vegetables and salads to sow:

Over-wintering broad beans, early summer cauliflowers, winter lettuces and over-wintering peas.

Things to plant:

Garlic, overwintering onion sets and transplant spring cabbages.

Bare-rooted fruit bushes can be planted this month e.g. blackcurrants, cranberries, gooseberries, red and white currants, grape vines and strawberry plants.

Jobs to do:

Earth up brussel sprouts to avoid the roots from loosening as the wind blows them.  This causes your sprouts to ‘blow’.

Keep removing yellow leaves from brassica’s as these can harbour pests and diseases.

‘Cure’ pumpkins by cutting them from the plant and leaving them in the sun to harden the skin, so they will store longer.  Be careful of frosts though.

Cut down the yellowing foliage of asparagus and jerusalem artichokes.

Dig any beds where the soil has become compacted and add manure or compost to the soil if required.

Clear away old bean poles and store them under cover if possible.

Lift carrots, beetroot, potatoes, turnips and swede and store.

Chop up and dig in green manures that won’t overwinter and sow green manures in beds that will remain empty until spring.

Cover late crops with cloches to give a bit of protection.

Finish pruning summer raspberries and blackberries by removing this year’s fruiting canes and tie in this year’s new, non-fruiting canes.

Order new fruit bushes and fruit trees.

Dig over your potato patch to make sure you haven’t missed any smaller potatoes which will carry diseases and virus’s into next year e.g. blight

Collect up leaves and store for one or two years to make leaf mould.

Fit grease bands, or paint fruit tree grease on the trunks of fruit trees to prevent the winter moth from climbing up to lay their eggs.

Prepare globe artichokes for overwintering by cutting down the dead stems and yellowing foliage and spread a mulch of compost topped with straw over it.

Compost dead foliage.

Do not prune cherries or plums now as this may allow the silver leaf fungus to enter the trees.

If you have a greenhouse, close the doors and windows in the early afternoon to ‘trap’ the heat.

Clean your greenhouse, wash the shade paint off the windows and work in organic matter into the soil before sowing winter crops.

Octobers pests and diseases:

Aphids on brassica’s are likely to be at their worst this month.  Spray with a soft soap or wipe them between your fingers.

Leek moths finish feeding this month and you can find them in a cocoon where they pupate.  These can be picked off and destroyed.

If you haven’t already done so, net your brassica’s from pigeons.

Check for brown rot on apples and pears and destroy the fruit.

I hope the above information will be helpful.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

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10 thoughts on “Things to do in the kitchen Garden in October

  1. It is a brilliant idea to list jobs for the month i have the same problem gathering information, great if its just in one place.
    Sue

    • Thanks Stacey, that’s really kind of you to say. I just want to make sure people realise that they can cook everyday food easily. I think the top chefs scare people into thinking they can’t cook. I also want people to realise they don’t have to rely on readymade meals from the supermarkets…they are expensive for the amount you actually get, full of salt, preservatives etc etc and don’t actually taste very nice either.

      It’s really lovely getting feedback, thanks

  2. Thanks so much for this info – I don’t grow anywhere near as much veg as you but have done everything relevant to me. I am unsure about strawberries though: mine are two years old and have so far been thoroughly unsuccessful. However this summer they put out a lot of runners so I have 6 independent plantlets and two still attached to the mother plant. I don’t have a greenhouse, so should I bring these inside over winter? I’m worried the cold might kill them.

    • I peg my strawberry runners down until they are rooted and then replant them in August. If your runners are rooted, I would leave them where they are now and then move them in the spring when they have more time to establish…though you don’t have to move them at all and you will get a better crop sooner by not moving them.

      • Great, thanks. I grow strawberries in pots so the small plants are all in little pots of their own. I was planning to put them in a hanging basket in spring when the winter flowers currently in it are finished. Do you think that will work?

      • The easiest way to keep strawberries in pots overwinter, is to simply put the pot or container in an unheated garage near an internal wall. This will allow the dormant plant the protection it needs to survive. The prolonged darkness in the garage will actually help maintain dormancy. However, I kept mine in my cold greenhouse last year before planting them out in spring.

        When the temperatures start to warm, simply take the containers back outside for the next growing season. The rising temperatures will revive the plants from dormancy, and they will start to grow again.

        Strawberries grow well in hanging baskets.

        Good luck with them.

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