This quick and easy guide to October has tips of what to do in the garden and when to do it, plus a brief checklist of the tools you may need to carry out the work. For an instant idea, chores are highlighted in bold and black with tools or gear in blue.
Ah, October. The autumn is moving on apace. You can already smell the wood smoke, see the horrific masks in the shops and hear the faint cries of ‘trick or treat’ as some hapless senior citizen gets flour-bombed on their doorstep. The Royal Horticultural Society advises that autumn is a good time to cultivate if you have clay soil so think about this. If you have a larger garden or allotment , you might want to think about a mechanical cultivator, either petrol or perhaps an electric model if you have mains access. (Examples below)
Oleo-Mac MH175RK Front Tine Tiller w Reverse Drive Wolf-Garten C30E Electric Tiller/Cultivator
Give your compost a good turning over now with your garden fork as this helps with decomposition and think about covering them to keep the rain off. If you didn’t get your spuds out last month, do it this month. In fact, time to harvest anything that’s left before the frost returns and gives everything a fatal bite. Everything that is except your parsnips, which do like a bit of frost to sweeten them. If you have a surplus, you can either pass produce on to friends or family or, in these thrifty times, think about pickling, preserving and making jams and preserves.
Any cabbages you have left will keep OK in a dark cool place but check them for slugs before you store them.Try sprinkling the cabbages with salt to keep the slugs off.
Start to dig your patches over as they become empty. Get hold of some manure… horse is best… the council often sell it to allotments, or try any stables nearby who will be only too happy to give you some.
October is a good time to be doing a bit of pruning of your gooseberry bushes, blackberries and maybe your raspberries as well to fight off disease. A simple pair of garden secateurs or strong garden scissors should do the trick.
If the weather is good and you didn’t do it last month, get some garlic bulbs in. You could leave it until November but the weather could be quite nasty by then so it’s your choice.
Your strawberries will undoubtedly be finished by now so defoliate them and tidy up.
If you have a greenhouse now is a good time to clean it, and check it is still waterproof, maybe even insulate it. The same goes for a conservatory if you have one.
Don’t forget to remove any mould or dirt from the frame to keep pests away. And last, but not least, for this month, if you planted your pumpkins at the right time, you should have enough to make pumpkin lanterns and help to scare the whatsits out of your children. Halloween is coming!