The Vegetable Growing Year: Jobs to do in October

October marks the start of the cooler weather with some frosts later in the month. Your tender crops should now be harvested leaving you with your hardier, overwintering crops. October is a great month to start your preparation for the next growing season.

Digging
As your beds become vacant, now is a good time to start digging them over and adding manure and other organic matter to the soil. Don’t worry about any large clumps as the worms and the frost will break them up.

Leafmould
Leafmould makes excellent mulch. Simply collect any fallen leaves and store them in a cage where they can rot down over the next 12 months. If you don’t have a cage, build one at the beginning of the month ready for when most of the trees lose their leaves. If you haven’t got the material to make a cage, bag up the leaves, create a few holes and store them up a corner.

Clear out the greenhouse
If your greenhouse is empty, now is a good time to give is a clean. Give it a wash with warm water and a little detergent or Jeyes fluid. This will help kill off any pests lurking in the frames and will allow more light to pass through the glass during the winter. If you’re planning on growing in your greenhouse in the winter, you can also insulate it using bubble wrap.

What to sow/plant out
You still have chance to plant out your overwintering onion sets. Cover them with a cloche or fleece to give them a head start.
You can also start to plant out your garlic, although if you don’t get it done this month, you can also do it in November.
Bare-rooted blackberries, raspberries and currants can be planted now. Plant at the same depth as the soil mark of the stems.

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