Jobs Ė October
has definitely arrived. The leaves are falling from the trees and
most of the vegetable plants in the garden have now finished
producing. There are however some delights such as chillies that
ripen right at the end of the season. There will still be fruit to
harvest, such as apples, plums, pears and raspberries. October is a
good month for planting fruit bushes, fruit trees, asparagus and
rhubarb crowns for an exciting year ahead. Towards the end of the
month, some areas of the country may experience their first frosts.
Vegetable Patch in October
asparagus crowns as soon as you get them. Asparagus is an excellent
perennial crop and will produce delicious tender spears for 15-20
squash and pumpkin
leave your squash and pumpkin much longer. Bring them inside as
frosts and cold weather will turn them mushy.
autumn garlic and onions
an early crop next year, plant autumn-planting varieties of garlic,
onions and shallots.
autumn-sowing varieties of broad bean, such as Aquadulce, for an
early broad bean crop next year. Sow more than you think youíll
need as you may lose some over the winter.
youíve been lucky and havenít been affected by blight, then
harvest the last of your outdoor tomatoes. Move trusses of fruit
indoors to ripen, or make some green tomato chutney.
up maincrop potatoes
you havenít done so already, lift all your maincrop potatoes on a
dry day and store in bags in a cool dark place. Donít leave them
any longer or the slugs will find them.
the last runner beans
they are too stringy to eat, then collect the developing seeds from
inside the pods and eat those.
seed for storing
any seed, such as french and runner beans, that youíve left on the
plant to mature ready for storing. Make sure the seeds are completely
dry before storing in an airtight container ready for planting next
year. Beans seeds will keep for several years.
bean plant roots in the soil
the top growth of your bean plants and incorporate them in your
compost. Leave the roots in the soil as they add nitrogen and can be
dug in later.
back asparagus stems
the foliage on the asparagus turns yellow, cut back to about 5cm
(2in) above soil level.
all old plants
your veg patch and remove all old and finished plants. This will help
to prevent the build-up of pests and diseases.
Fruit Garden in October
last of the fruit
harvesting apples, pears, plums, grapes and raspberries. If youíve
got a glut, think about freezing them. Stewed apple, pear and plum
can be used in puddings all winter, and raspberries freeze very well.
new rhubarb crowns or divide those that you already have.
new strawberry plants ready for fruiting next year. They can be
planted in the soil, or in pots and containers.
blackcurrants and gooseberries
back old wood on blackcurrants and gooseberries, and remove any wispy
existing strawberry plants
any straw around the strawberries and cut back old leaves.
back summer-fruiting raspberry canes
canes that have fruited should be cut back to just above ground
level. Tie new canes to the support wires.
bareroot fruit trees
is an excellent time to plant bareroot
Plant them before the ground gets too hard. Cherries, apples, plums,
and pears can all be planted now.
birds into your fruit cage
all the fruit has been picked, let the birds into your fruit cage to
pick off any pests.
citrus trees indoors
citrus trees that have spent the summer outside should be moved
indoors. Place in a bright airy place away from draughts and
Gardening Jobs in October
daffodil, tulip and crocus bulbs for colour next spring. They can be
planted in flower borders, containers or naturalised in grass.
leaves are a great place for pests to overwinter. Clear any fallen
leaves and start your own leaf compost. Rake them off your grass too,
otherwise the grass beneath will die.
trees and shrubs
and shrubs are best moved whilst they are dormant, but the soil is
is the time for mushrooms. Buy a mushroom kit or mushroom log and
grow your own fresh mushrooms.
your greenhouse down
everything has finished in the greenhouse give it a thorough clean
with detergent and disinfectant to remove any pests. Or if youíve
got chickens, put them in the greenhouse for a day and theyíll do
the job of removing the pests for you (weíve found it works a
Continue mowing until the end of the month. Lawn growth will have
slowed right down by now. Check the lawn surface for bare patches and
their cause, reseed where necessary. Fairy rings may be a sign of
Chafer Grub activity below the surface. An Autumn grass feed, low in
nitrogen can be applied this month.