A mellow October day is perfect for autumn digging, for planting bulbs, bare root shrubs and for raking up fallen leaves. October can be one of the wettest months of the year but after such a long dry summer I’m sure few will complain. Lawns will soon start to recover and water butts to fill.
October is the time for woodland walks, foraging and for the first log fires of the season. It’s also time for clearing and washing the greenhouse, of placing nets over ponds to keep out falling leaves and loads of other tasks.
So, although autumn is here, don’t go getting too mellow, there’s still work to be done!
– 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 as they will release valuable nitrogen back into the soil
– Pull up and compost any remaining annuals. Replace them with winter and spring flowering pansies, wallflowers, bellis and primulas, not just in the garden but in containers too. Empty tubs are such a missed opportunity! You’ll find great offers on winter bedding here.
– Spring flowering bulbs are still available to buy and to plant so make sure you have enough for a blaze of colour next year. Tulips will be better for having had a late planting as it helps them to avoid fungal disease.
– Sow some herbs to grow on windowsills during the coming winter months. You’ll need them to flavour all that scrumptious comfort food!
Pumpkins and winter squash are synonymous with autumn. Being muck loving plants they will have produced a good crop if grown in a sunny spot with plenty of manure. By October the fruits are mature and ready to be harvested, before the first frosts arrive.
Summer squash such as courgette, pattypan and trombonchino are pretty fast growing. By contrast, their cousins, the pumpkins and winter squash, having sprawled around the garden all summer will only now be ready. Allow their skin to dry and cure and most squashes can be stored successfully for several months. Although some will no doubt be transformed into terrifying Halloween monsters!
Versatile in the extreme, squash can be roasted, baked or simmered and is an excellent alternative to meat.
Squash works well with:
Onions Garlic Ginger Red Pepper Tomatoes Lime Lentils Coriander Rosemary Oregano Yoghurt Cream Chillies Cheese Mustard
Seed Catalogue 2019
Celebrating our 125th birthday (1894 to 2019) the Dobies Seed Catalogue 2019 is now available, featuring many varieties that have been improved, through breeding, to have greater disease resistance, increased reliability and longer cropping periods.
In addition to our extensive range of flower and vegetable seeds, plants, fruit, bulbs, trees and equipment the catalogue launches a new range of organic seeds, composts and feeds.
Saved from Extinction – Pea Champion of England
2019 is your chance to grow an old British variety of pea, recently rescued from extinction.
Introduced in the 1840s, Pea Champion of England grows to 10 feet tall and so is perfect for smaller gardens where vertical growing is needed. Judged the best pea by the Journal of Horticulture in 1876, Champion of England produces well-filled pods of 7 to 10 marrowfat peas.
In the 1970s taller growing pea varieties fell from favour and Champion of England all but disappeared. Fortunately, Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library saved a few seeds and it is now available for us to grow again, as part of Rob Smith’s Heritage Veg Seed Range.
Now available – Organic Seed
Growing organically is all about working within natural systems and supporting nature and the environment. In partnership with our sister company The Organic Gardening Catalogue, Dobies is delighted to introduce a range of 50 of the most popular organic seed varieties to our 2019 range. In addition, the range includes organic compost and feeds, so everything you need to start growing organically.
Check out the full range here.
Improve your Soil
Leaving soil bare is a wasted opportunity and an invitation for weeds to settle and grow. Instead, how about sowing green manures that will both suppress weeds and return valuable nutrients to the soil? Winter Mix is a great nitrogen lifter and fixer and can be sown in early October and then left to work its magic.
Plant of the Month
In Cornwall, even in the darkest days of winter you can feel the mildness in the air, and anticipate the first daffodils coming into bloom in January! For over 100 years, Cornish-bred bulbs have been a symbol of vigour, quality, depth of colour and early flowering.
Our Cornish Daffodil Continuity Collection contains 90 bulbs, 30 each of 3 varieties that will flower between January and April, giving you 4 months of stunning daffodil displays.
Treglisson (Trumpet) – Of all the early Cornish varieties, this is probably the best, most robust, golden trumpet variety of allflowering in January and February.
Trelawney Gold (Trumpet) – One of the most striking Cornish varieties, with a very robust texture and deep, golden colour that flowers in March.
Terwegan – A spectacular and rare double variety daffodil bulb, with deep golden petals of regular form, beautifully interspersed with orange-red petals in the centre. Flowers April.