October Growing - Peas, Beans, Garlic, Herbs & More
Fun in the garden doesn’t have to end just because winter is around the corner! Keep your garden lively this winter and grow your own winter hardy veg and plant a few bulbs ready for a stunning spring floral display.
Grow Herbs Under Cover
Keep stocked up on your favourite herbs and grow some under cover in your greenhouse, under cloches or fleece through autumn & winter.
Sow some quick growing rocket directly into short rows in the ground, pots or troughs. You’ll typically be harvesting within 4-6 weeks.
Provide your herbs with extra protection from cold temperatures with a cloche or fleece and pests such as flea beetles which love to munch on rocket and leave gaping holes.
Winter Salad Garden
Sow a few winter lettuce varieties such as Winter Gem. Perfect for growing under cover in autumn, this hardy variety can be overwintered outside.
Use a cloche or fleece for extra protection. If you’re growing in your Salad & Veg self-watering planter then add your extra mini greenhouse layers and protect them from the cold.
Vampire Repelling Garlic
Garlic has some amazing health benefits from lowering blood pressure, fighting infections and lowering cholesterol as well as fighting Halloween vampires. Plant your garlic now and you’ll be harvesting in July. Garlic is easy to grow even if you have a small growing space so you can grow directly in the ground or in containers.
Try growing a few varieties perfect for autumn such as Germidour - a purple streaked variety with a mild flavour or red duke – hard neck variety with strong flavour with purple tinged bulbs. When you’re ready to plant, simply split your garlic bulbs into cloves and then plant with the flat bottom part of the clove downwards.
Garlic is super easy to grow and requires little maintenance. However keep an eye on watering if the weather turns dry – You can use a Soil Moisture Meter to ensure your plants are receiving the right amount of water. Watch out for weeds – remove regularly to ensure your garlic isn’t fighting with weeds for valuable water.
Although garlic grows happily in cold temperatures, keep an eye on your gardening thermometer. If temperature drop below -5C then cover with a plant protection fleece or close until temperature rise again.
Your garlic will be ready for harvesting when the leaves start to turn yellow and start to bend over. Be careful not to leave your bulbs too long as they will split. Simply use a hand fork to loosen the soil around the roots before lifting and then place on a tray to dry out.
Top Tip - Watch out for Leek Moth
The caterpillars of this moth feed on your plants leaves which can lead to rotting. Cover garlic plants with an insect mesh and clear debris from around the plant which adult moths can hide in over winter.
Winter Hardy Peas & Beans
October is a great time to sow some winter hardy Broad Beans & Peas. You can expect just over 1ft growth before winter sets in & growth slows down.
Aquadulce Claudia Broad Beans
This variety will over winter as small plants and grow away quickly in the spring. Cover with cloches or fleeces in particularly harsh weather and to keep pests at bay. Beans should be spaced 9” apart and 2” deep, although for autumn planting it may be useful to plant an extra inch deep.
Meteor Dwarf Variety Peas
This variety grows between 35-45cms tall. When sowing, choose a fertile spot with well-drained soil and water regularly when they begin to flower. Peas should also be planted 2-3” deep and spaced 2” apart. Protect peas from pea moth with an insect mesh or gardening fleece. Pea moth can be found feeding inside pea pods.
By sowing in October, your peas & beans will have time to establish a strong root system before winter sets in and will be ready for a head start once temperatures warm up. You can expect to harvest 1 month earlier than peas and beans sown in April.
Preparing Your Garden For Spring
It’s the perfect time to plants some spring bedding plants such as Winter Pansies. They’re perfect for adding some well needed colour to your garden or empty summer containers from autumn to spring when other plants are in their dormant phases.
Sow wildflower seeds during autumn in the ground or plant pots ready to attract pollinating bees and butterflies next year. They’ll find these beautiful followers irresistible and it’s the perfect way to give these helpful pollinators access to the vital food they need whilst providing a home to nest.
Spring Flowering Bulbs
Plant a few Daffodil & Tulip bulbs in groups of six now and get ready for a welcomed colourful display after the dark winter.
• Hardy bulbs such as Daffodils and Tulips come from areas with dry, summer climates, so plant them in a warm, sunny location with good drainage.
Top Tips for Winter Growing
Watch Out For Pests
In winter food sources for birds and pests such as rodents are scarce so prevent seeds and young seedlings being munched on with a handy Plant Protection Cover.
Avoid Winter Rot
Avoid over watering your plants. Plants can begin to rot and eventually die when they are sitting in cold, soggy soil. As temperatures drop, plant growth slows down and crops take up less moisture. Use a handy Soil Moisture Meter and be sure your plants are receiving the right amount of water when they need it.
Take Care Not To Splash
Avoid splashing stems and leaves when watering plants. Botrytis loves to settle on damp foliage so water the soil along the plant. Take care to remove any yellow or dead leaves to stop the spread of infection.
Support Your Plants
Beware of strong winds which may topple your plants. They can cause the stems to move around and split the base. Keep them on the straight and narrow with some plant Soft-Tie Supports which will loosen when your plants grow taller without being restricted.
Make Your Own Windbreak
Make a shelter for your plants with some canes and Horticultural Fleece and protect them from strong winds.
Need further help?
Our Gardening Angels are here to help you grow strong, healthy plants with bumper harvests. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions on 0845 602 3774 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always here to help!