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.
October is known to be wet, windy and cloudy, also fog is more likely than in September. Don’t be caught out with frosts, as they can occur this month.
October is a lovely month as sunny days highlight the beautiful colours around the garden.
Vegetables and salads to harvest:
Harvest the last of your summer vegetables and salads before the first frosts e.g. 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 brassicas as these can harbour pests and diseases.
‘Cure’ pumpkins and butternut squashes by cutting them from the plant and leaving them in the sun to harden the skin, so they will store longer. Bring them inside if a frost is forecast.
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, 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 viruses into next year e.g. blight
Collect up leaves and store for one or two years to make leaf mould.
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.
Fix 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.
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 brassicas 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 brassicas 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.
I will be back at my usual time next Friday. Until then, have a good weekend.