Blog » What to harvest, plant and grow in October
What to harvest in October?
How to harvest
Keep an eye on peas and beans , you may find some remaining pods to harvest.
Pumpkins and squashes take months to reach maturity but in October you should finally be able to appreciate a first harvest. It is recom- mended to collect before first frosts, but if hard frost threatens before the pumpkins/ squashes are ripe, we advise to protect the fruits and vines with a tarpaulin or fleece.
If you are growing the fruits for storage purposes, wait until the vines start to dry out and the rinds have hardened before starting harvesting. Pressing your thumbnail against the skin of the pumpkin/squash can assess
its maturity; if your nail does not leave any visible dent the fruit is ripe.
When harvesting, ensure you cut instead of pulling the squashes from the vines and leave at least 3 inches of stem.
If you break the stem, the fruit will be exposed to rot so avoid use the stem as a “handle” for carrying it. Be careful not to damage the fruits in order to prevent early spoilage.
In October, you can keep harvesting autumn cabbages. Harvest by cutting the stem close
to the ground level using a sharp knife. After harvesting, you can cut a cross of a 1cm depth in the stump so it will produce smaller heads within around five weeks.
The apple season has started in September but is still on-going throughout October! Apples are ripe if you can harvest them easily by sim- ply pulling gently when you lift them in your hand.
What to sow, plant & care?
We recommend protecting autumn cauli- flower heads from frost. To do so, wrap the outer leaves and secure with string. You can also use a cloche or fleece.
October is a great month to plant autumn gar- lic bulbs to have them ready to harvest next summer. Garlics thrive in sunny areas and well-drained soils. As garlic does not tole- rate water logging, plant the bulbs in organic matter such as compost. Split the bulb into individual cloves that you will then plant at approximately 2.5 cm (1inch) depth and 10cm (4inches) apart. Make sure you plant with the cloves with their pointed end facing upwards.
Onion and shallot sets can be planted for cropping next summer. Both are planted with the same technique. You can grow them from either seeds or small bulbs.
Prepare your soil before planting, by impro- ving the drainage and feeding with compost. Onions and shallots are easy to grow but they enjoy a sunny position and well-drained soils. When planting, place the bulbs so the tip of the bulb is protruding through the surface.
In October, it is time to plant spring cabbages and sow winter lettuce seeds.
Regarding fruit trees, ensure you remove diseased fruits from branches but also those that fell on the ground as they could carry infections over the year. Apply a winter wash to both the trunk and branches of fruit trees to kill any potential overwintering pests.