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Tasks for October

Posted October 13, 2021

October is the month in which there is a definite change in the weather from being kind, to being against you! The end of the main growing season is rapidly approaching, so harvest and store as many of your crops as possible before the weather conditions start to really deteriorate. Morning are often bright and sunny, but it is usual to have a few night frosts, especially towards the end of the month. Make sure that everything is secure and tied down, as you can expect strong winds and rain towards the end of the month. Start winter digging so that the soil can benefit from being exposed during the cold months. Frost can help break up heavy clay soils and also gives birds a chance to feed on soil-borne pests. When you think about it, this is the time season when the new garden season really begins.

Harvest the last of runner, bush and French beans, beets, Florence fennel, pak choi, potatoes, sweet potatoes and the last of the tomatoes to ripen artificially over the next weeks and even months.

Plant out spring cabbage and onion sets or starts.

Protect frost tender crops with mulch, cloches or fleece. Clear debris and continue hoeing and weeding.

Lift and store crops for winter use, making clamps if necessary.

Inspect stored crops and discard those that have spoiled.

Lower outdoor tomato plants to the ground and cover with cloches to ripen.

Begin winter digging and composting.

Lift and divide rhubarb.

Cut down Jerusalem artichoke canes and dig out all tubers as they can become rather invasive.  

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