Gardening in October

Featured in the October 2008 handbook.

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Plant new potatoes. If you want new potatoes for Christmas and the New Year then now is the time to plant some tubers. Select healthy tubers of an early cultivars. Any that have started to sprout, even if they have long white sprouts and are soft, are ideal. Plant them in a 10 inch pots or black refuse sacks. Stand the tubers on a thick layer of compost or good garden soil, then cover them with more of the same, keep them moist. As the shoots grow continue to cover them with compost until the top of the container is reached, if you are using refuse sacks roll the sides down and keep unrolling as you add compost. Keep the compost moist and feed regularly.

Dig the plot over as ground becomes vacant as you clear crops, draw up plans for next years cropping, not forgetting crop rotation.

Its important to lift potatoes before the end of the month, the black keel slugs get going in November, allow them to dry off and store in hessian or paper sacks ( never in plastic ). Cloches can prolong the cropping season at both ends of the year. Cover lettuces, French beans, dwarf beans and any potatoes planted in July or August. In mild areas sow early peas ( choose round seeded cultivars ) and winter lettuce. Cover with cloches later.

Lift beetroot, twist off the tops, lift carrots, and store both in hessian or paper sacks or boxes.

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