October is a month of harvest festivals and celebrating the abundance (hopefully!) of your patch. Temperatures will continue to fall and it is time to start preparing for winter. It is the end of the growing season.
You can sow broad beans, and round-seeded peas at this time of year to boost your harvest next spring. At the beginning of the month there is still time to sow winter lettuces and other salads indoors to be able to continue harvesting fresh greens from the garden in the dark winter months. Hardy annual flowers can be sown in October and will bloom earlier than spring sown seeds.
Growing tips for October:
- If you haven’t done it already, harvest squashes and pumpkins after they have changed colour, ‘cure’ them in a warm dry place for a couple of weeks which will toughen the skin and increase storability, and store in a dry airy place for winter
- Instead of clearing out the beds of spent vegetables completely, try cutting them off at the base and leaving the roots in the ground. Your soil will be grateful for the additional organic matter.
- To stop the nutrients from being washed out of the soil of your bare beds, cover them with mulch such as fallen leaves, grass clippings, wood chips etc.
- Cover your outdoor salads and greens with fleece as temperatures continue to fall especially at night
- Last chance to save seed from some of your favourite flowers like poppies, calendula, cosmos etc or beans that are left on the plant. Dry them out indoors and store in a labelled paper bag in a cool and dry place