October newsletter

Autumn has arrived, with all its mellow fruitfulness. A time for autumn digging and moving tender plants under cover before the first frosts arrive.

October can be one of the wettest months with the final days being the most consistently stormy time of year. So, batten down the hatches and make sure you’ve got your Dobies 2018 catalogue to hand. Then, on those wet days you can make a brew and start planning what to sow and grow for next year.

Our top ten recommended tasks for October include:

  • Sow broad bean Aquadulce Claudia or De Monica now for an early crop in May/June and you may also avoid blackfly
  • Runner and French Beans will stop cropping this month but don’t pull up the plants. Instead cut them off at ground level, leaving the roots which will then release nitrogen back into the soil.
  • Plant onion sets and garlic for cropping next summer.
  • Now is a good time to give the greenhouse a good clean, removing any shading. Also check that your greenhouse heater is in good working order.
  • Plant spring bulbs and winter flowering bedding such as bellis, primula and pansies.
  • Sow green manure to give your soil a winter boost. Visit our blog for details.
  • Harvest pumpkins on a dry day and leave in the sun so that the skin dries and hardens. Then plan your Halloween design!
  • Rake up and remove fallen leaves, especially from the lawn. Now is also the time to aerate the lawn, our Cobra electric lawn scarifier and aerator will make the job easy.

October Sowing

Earlier sowings can often lead to earlier crops and flowers Visit our website to find out which vegetable and flower seeds can be sown this month:

Vegetable seed

Flower Seed

NEW 2018 Seed Catalogue

Dobies 2018 Seed CatalogueHere at Dobies we’ve been busy putting the finishing touches to our 2018 Catalogue. New and exciting varieties of flowers and vegetables have been added to our range.

New vegetable varieties have been selected for their improved disease resistance, ability to grow reliably and length of cropping. On the flower side, we have added varieties which bloom earlier than traditional types and have been bred from professional cut flowers, giving enhanced performance within your garden.

Alongside this we have selected varieties which are more compact or grow more vertically, giving you larger crops from a smaller footprint. These are perfect to grow on an allotment, in a garden or on a patio.

Request your FREE copy of the catalogue here or browse and shop direct from the online version

Fallen Leaves

OK so they may look untidy and be a pain to clear but fallen leaves are also a free organic fertiliser. Rake them up and put them in a plastic bag with a few holes to allow in moisture. Then just leave them in a corner somewhere and after a couple of years you will have a wonderful soil conditioner.

Other uses:

Mulch – Tender perennials will benefit from protective mulch of fallen leaves

Store Vegetables – Providing the leaves are dry and crisp they are perfect for storing root vegetables

Compost – Add to the compost bin, layered with grass clippings and other green stuff

Weed Barrier – Spread beneath shrubs and soft fruit leaves will suppress weeds and help to retain soil moisture

Cabbage – a British favourite that has somehow gone out of favour. But remains full of flavour. Perfect for growing in our climate, for some reason we prefer to grow peppers under glass rather than cabbages in our fields. But I’m sure many cabbages are still grown in gardens and allotments by Dobies customers who appreciate this versatile and tasty veg.

Savoy is the slowest growing of the cabbages and although it can be eaten from July it is best left until it reaches its best, in October.With its strong texture and robust flavour, savoy cabbage works well in soups and stews. Removing the core will also enable you to stuff your savoy, perhaps with sauerkraut, minced beef and tomatoes as they do in Eastern Europe.

Other flavours that work well with savoy cabbage include:

Chilli                Potatoes                   Cumin              Apple             Caraway Seeds
Bacon             Soy Sauce                  Red Onion      Capers           Balsamic Vinegar
Chestnuts      Cheddar Cheese      Mustard          Chickpeas      Parmesan Cheese

Roast Cabbage Wedges

You will need:

1 savoy cabbage, with the tough outer leaves removed (keep them for stock)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
500ml vegetable stock
A knob of butter
1tsp Chilli Flakes

Cut the cabbage through the stem into six wedges. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the wedges until golden. Put the wedges in a roasting tin, packed tightly together. Add the crushed garlic and chilli flakes to the frying pan, you may need a little more butter, and sizzle until the garlic is golden. Add the stock to the frying pan and mix everything together. Pour the liquid over the cabbage wedges and roast at 200C for about 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender.

Allotment Societies & Garden Clubs

October is the month when many allotment groups and garden societies will be holding AGMs. If you haven’t already joined the Dobies Group Scheme then now’s the time. Generous discounts are available across our entire product range together with an optional fundraising element. Your members will order and pay direct meaning the organiser has minimal administration. Contact us now for details – gardening@dobies.co.uk


If you missed our September blogs you can visit them from here:

Radiant Ranunculus
Preserving Surplus Crops
How Tomato Ailsa Craig Was named

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