In the Vegetable Garden - Things to do this Month - October
You’d think everything would be quietening down on the veggie plot … far from it! The colder weather marks the end of this year’s growing season, but there’s plenty to do to get ready for next year.
For a complete guide to what you can be growing and harvesting month-by-month, download our Vegetable Planting Guide.
- The Final Harvest: potatoes (dry off skins, then store in sacks); beans (if any left in the pods, allow to dry, then store in jars for adding to casseroles); cabbages (first, check for any slugs or caterpillars, then store in a frost-free shed); tomatoes & peppers in the greenhouse (use unripe ones for chutney, or store in the dark in a cool room where they will slowly ripen – a banana will help the process!); Squashes & Pumpkins need to be checked for rot as the weather gets cooler and wetter – once the foliage has died back, cut the fruits and leave on racks for the skins to dry; Parsnips can be left in the ground until you need them.
- Things to Plant and Sow: onion sets and garlic; broad beans (these will do best under cloches or fleece); lettuces (in the greenhouse); plant out brassicas such as Brussels sprouts and Purple Flowering Broccoli in their final spaces (if you didn’t sow these earlier in the year, your local garden centre may still have some young plants); green manures (if cold and wet, try field beans).
- Finally, try to find the time to freeze, bottle, store, dry and preserve all the excess vegetables you’ve successfully grown – there are some recipes and ideas for preserving your bounty HERE
- Tidy the Plot: over-wintered brassicas remove all yellow and dead leaves; empty the greenhouse and scrub with Jeyes fluid; lightly fork over the plot and add plenty of FYM (Farm Yard Manure) and/or leafmould to rot down over winter.
- Planning: draw a plan of your plot and sketch in your planting layout for this year – then, when you come to plan next year’s planting you will be able to rotate the plant groups. Leave it to next year and you will have forgotten!