The days are getting shorter and there is that autumn chill in the air. Lots of things to do in the garden in October to get warm! Hopefully lots to harvest, much to sow and plant and important preparations for the coming year.
Here is a list of things to do in the garden in October:
- Clear away spent crops and throw on the compost heap
- Dispose of dying leaves and rotting fruit before they spread infection in the moist air
- Clear and clean greenhouses ready for early sowing next year
- Install water butts to collect autumn and winter rain.
- Rake up autumn leaves and keep them in a pile to make your own leaf mould soil conditioner
- Net ponds before they get full of autumn falling leaves.
- Bring in under cover any citrus trees that have been outside
- Early October is the last chance to prune trees before they go dormant
- Save seeds for next year
- Feed your soil with lots of well-rotted organic matter. In heavy soils, consider digging in grit
- Make liquid feeds to add nutrients to your plants and soil. You can use a variety of different materials to make feeds: compost, comfrey, seaweed, grass clippings, nettles.
- Sow outside: radish, spinach, kale, chard, garlic, peas, broad beans, spring onions, onion sets, shallots (check soon after planting as birds love to pull up newly planted onions and shallots – replant any that get removed and net if problem persists until roots establish)
- Sow under cover: pak choi, mizuna, mibuna, lambs lettuce, land cress, mustard, rocket, winter lettuce.
- Sow green manures to be dug in next spring
- Plant out Spring Cabbages
- Cut back asparagus and globe artichokes to ground level once foliage turns yellow and mulch with straw
- Earth-up celeriac
- Prune blackcurrants. Cut 1/3 of older stems down to ground level and remove any damaged, weak or diseased shoots to encourage strong new growth
- Mulch blueberry roots with chipped bark, pine needles or leaf mould which are good for acid-loving plants
- Plant rhubarb and asparagus crowns. Divide established crowns to create new plants
- Plant new fruit and nut trees and currant and berry bushes from the end of the month throughout the dormant season
- Grow your own free sweet chestnut, walnut and hazel trees from nuts
- Take and pot up cuttings of currant and berry bushes and dig up and pot up raspberry suckers for more new free plants
- Harvest pumpkins, squashes, okra, peppers, chillies, onions, leeks, broccoli, calabrese, cabbage, spinach, rocket, kale, cauliflower, runner beans, beetroot, potatoes, swedes, turnips, chicory, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac.
- Harvest apples, pears and quince (these all store well fresh in a well ventilated airy spot with a constant temperature of between 3-7°C)
- Harvest walnuts, hazelnuts and sweet chestnuts and store in a dry, cool spot
- Harvest rosehips, sloes, haws, and rowans
- Continue harvesting plums, gages, and damsons
- Continue harvesting blackberries, loganberries, tayberries, and autumn-fruiting raspberries until the first frosts (once all the fruit is picked, remove one year old canes and leave the new growth)
- Look to storing, drying, freezing, and preserving your harvests to keep you going through the winter
Can you think of any other things to do in the garden in October? If anyone has any tips or suggestions, please leave a comment.