This year seems to have flown by and it is hard to believe we are into October already. There are still lots of Organic Vegetable Garden October Jobs to do. To a lot of gardeners, Autumn is the time to put the garden to sleep but as you can read in my Growing your Organic Greens in Winter post. We carry on growing through winter in the Snapshot and Snippets garden.
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Here is my list of Organic Vegetable Garden October Jobs
Jobs in an Organic Vegetable Garden OCTOBER
Time to get out the tender crops before the frost comes and to add protection for those hardier crops.
- If you plan to grow beans next year, start preparing the site by digging trenches and filling with manure or kitchen waste.
- Harvest squashes and pumpkins before the first frosts. They will quickly turn mushy if left outside and make my tasty pumpkin soup below.
- When you harvest your cabbages, leave the root in the ground and make a cut across the stem to encourage a flush of smaller leaves.
- Any plants with green tomatoes or peppers remaining can be hung upside down indoors to ripen. Or picked and made into Green Tomato Chutney
- Protect autumn cauliflower heads from frost by wrapping the outer leaves around them and securing with string. Alternatively, use a cloche or fleece.
- Continue to plant autumn garlic bulbs now for a bumper crop next summer. Read all about that below
- Plant autumn onion sets cropping next summer.
- Why not plant green manure in your bed to nourish your soil for next season
Fruits in October
- Plant up any runners from your strawberry or order new ones I have taken runners off our pineberry and strawberries and potted them up.
- Autumn is an ideal time to plant bare root fruit trees. As you may know if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook we have a new Plum tree which I planted in the garden.
- Time to cut back the old growth on the raspberries after they have finish producing. Next year’s raspberry crops will grow on the new green canes.
- You can also plant fruit bushes to get them established in October.
In the Greenhouse
There have been some big changes in the greenhouse. The tomatoes and squash have been harvested and pulled. And the biggest change is the beds have been made into No-Dig Beds.
- You can either clean out your greenhouse or use it for winter crops – which is what I am doing
- Move tender plants into the greenhouse to protect them from early frosts. Make sure that there is enough space between them to keep them well ventilated and reduce the risk of disease.
- Plant up cold-hardy spinach and winter lettuce for crops through winter.
- Grow potatoes in container for Christmas
How to grow potatoes in the greenhouse for Christmas harvests
- Use a container at least 30cm (1ft) deep and wide, with drainage holes in the base
- Add a layer of potting compost or garden soil mixed with garden compost or well-rotted manure. A layer 10cm (4in) thick is sufficient for 30cm (1ft) deep pots, but larger containers can be half-filled.
- Plant one to three tubers per pot, each with about 30cm (1ft) of space, and cover with 15cm (6in) of compost or soil.
- As the foliage develops, earth up the potatoes with further compost or soil until the container is full to within 5cm (2in) of the top. Leave a lip to aid watering.
- Keep well-watered and feed with a general-purpose liquid fertiliser.
- Ensure the greenhouse remains frost-free as the season progresses, as potato foliage would be damaged by frost.
- The foliage will yellow and die down in late autumn and can then be removed and composted.
- Tubers can be left in their pots in compost (kept fairly dry) until needed at Christmas
October is a great time for planting your next year’s harvest of Garlic
When to plant garlic
There are two planting times for garlic depending on the variety. In Autumn/Winter or planted in early Spring. Garlic seed bulbs need a period of cold below 10 degrees C for at least 6 weeks for the individual clove to form a bulb. Planting in October gives bulbs the time they need and gives you a great crop next year.
Preparing your Soil for garlic
Prepare your soil well. Mix in plenty of good organic compost to raise the fertility of the soil. Many gardeners will tell you to space your cloves at six inches between plants but if you like bigger bulbs you can increase the spacing to 20cm. Make sure you plant in the sunniest part of the garden as garlic need full sun to thrive. Only buy bulbs from a good source as ordinary shop bought varieties may not be suitable or carry disease which can be introduced to your garden. If you have a wet site with heavy clay soil like me, grow your garlic in raised beds to keep them from getting waterlogged.
- Break up the bulbs into individual cloves when you plant them and be careful not to damage or bruise them.
- Place the cloves in the soil 3-4 cm below the surface with the pointy end facing up.
- Only plant the best cloves and discard and damaged, thin or small ones.
- Remember that garlic needs that period of cold, at least below 10 degrees for a period of 6 weeks for the bulb to split into individual cloves.
- I suggest planting it at Halloween to get the right amount of cold snap.
- Spacing should be 25cm between rows and 20 – 25cm between plants.
- If planting Elephant garlic increase the spacing to 3 ft between rows and 12 inches apart.
Planting Autumn Onions
Another Major job in the Garden in October is planting your Onions for next year. I am waiting for my order of onions from Sutton Seeds to arrive.
Electric – Produces outstanding quality, shiny, deep red semi-globe-shaped onions with excellent flavoured pink-tinged flesh. Ideal for over-wintering, plant in autumn-early winter for harvest May-June.
Autumn Champion – This superb onion matures from late July and stores well until the end of the year. Whilst mildish in flavour it’s a little more robust than others offered due to its slightly higher dry matter content. The best choice if you only have room for one!
Senshyu Yellow – An extremely popular Japanese over-wintering variety, reliably producing a heavy crop of semi-globe-shaped, straw-coloured bulbs of excellent quality, which should be ready to harvest in early July.
Plant September-mid November, leaving tips of bulbs above the soil surface, allowing about 10cm (4″) between sets and about 30cm (12″) between rows.
Finally here is a is my Spicy Pumpkin Soup to use up your Pumpkins from the Garden.
Spicy Pumpkin Soup
- 1 large onion – chopped
- The flesh of one large pumpkin but it also works with butternut squash – SuperValu €2 or free if you grow your own 🙂 chopped up in a blender.
- 1 lt vegetable stock.
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Gram Masala
- 1 carton single cream or natural yoghurt – optional
- Put the chopped onion into a pan with the Olive oil and sweat the onions until translucent and soft.
- Add the pumpkin and the Gram Masala (curry paste will do too) and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add the stock, bring to the boil and then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
- To make it creamier add the cream or yoghurt and stir for five minutes before serving.
- Serve with thick crusty bread and it warm curry flavour will take the chill off any October day.
Hope you have a wonderful October and don’t give up on your garden just yet.
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