October in the Garden Smallholding

The Autumn garden tidy up is well underway this month, bean canes are coming down, leaves are being collected to make leaf mould, herbs such as mint are being potted up and brought indoors for use over winter. I like to get the tidying up done now but I keep wildlife in mind, making sure I leave enough ‘messy’ areas for hibernating creatures.

There’s a definite nip in the air although most days are still very mild for the time of year, night-time temperatures are slowly plummeting and beautiful star-filled skies suggest frosts are on the horizon – some areas may have experienced a few already. These first frosts will almost certainly finish off tender vegetables such as courgettes, keep an eye on the weather forecast and harvest anything tender as necessary, cover with fleece or cloches if you prefer. Hardy broad beans such as Aquadulce Claudia can be sown from this month onwards, garlic can be planted now but I tend to wait until next month and plant again in December, weather permitting. Digging over the soil at this time of year allows essential air back in and frost to break up compacted soil, killing off pests too.

I’ve been pulling baby carrots this month thanks to a spur of the moment late summer sowing, I watched Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall discussing the gorgeous flavour of baby carrots during an episode of River Cottage Veg Every Day – a great incentive to sow them late next year. I just hope the weather is kind again.

I would like to wish you all a very happy Halloween, or Samhain blessings. Enjoy your October garden.

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5 comments

  1. I keep checking for frosts, but the lowest forecast for this week is 9C! Crazy. I want to dig over my carrot bed in the hope that the frosts will do for any carrot root fly larvae… Must get up to the plot and sow broad beans too.

  2. I agree, the garden is at last winding down, although there are still plenty of things going on. I have quite a few pots of veg in the greenhouse, but I want to dig up some parsnips and store in dry earth just in case the ground gets so solid that I can’t dig them up when I need them.

  3. My carrots were such a disappointment this year. The allotment is riddled with carrot fly, there is talk that they are overwintering in the hedges. I’d love to be able to grow some but even using fleece some plot holders had problems. Maybe I’ll try them in pots at home.

  4. Those carrots look lovely and very clean. I’ve always had very satisfying carrot crops. I do feel a bit wasteful though when thinning them out. Nice blog… I like the way you use green for clickable text!

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