October

General Maintenance

  • Dig heavy clay soils before it becomes very wet. Leave very rough, so frosts and winter weather can help break it down.
  • Continue to collect fallen leaves to make leaf mould which can be used as a soil conditioner next year.
  • Compost the remains of harvested crops, the bigger the heap the better, as this helps it warm up and rot down faster.

Vegetables

  • Finish harvesting all crops that may be affected by frost and store for later use.
  • Sow Broad Beans under cloches, these should germinate and grow slowly through the winter to give an early summer crop.
  • Plant Garlic, Spring Cabbage, Japanese and autumn Onion sets.
  • Trench Celery should be ready to harvest now. The tops may need protecting from severe frosts.
  • Remove yellowing leaves from Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflowers and Broccoli.
    These can encourage Botrytis and grey mould.
  • Keep watch for slugs and snails attacking crops being grown under cloches or in frames.

Fruit

  • Fit grease bands to trees to trap the female winter moth.
  • Prune Blackberries and hybrids, tie in new canes to their supports.
  • Blackcurrants can be pruned now but it may be easier when the leaves have fallen in December.
  • Increase stocks of Red, White and Blackcurrants also Gooseberries by taking hard wood cuttings.
  • Plant any new trees, bushes or canes as they arrive. If the weather does not allow they can be stored for a short time in a shed or garage, keeping the roots wrapped in damp sacking.

Greenhouse

  • Greenhouses can be at their most vulnerable in the next few months.
    Make sure the greenhouse is in good repair to survive the winter weather. Fix any loose panes of glass, make sure doors can be securely closed etc.
  • As plants finish cropping remove and add to the compost heap.
  • Continue to sow a few lettuce and salad leaves of the over wintering varieties.