GardenAction Newsletter
October 2009

Welcome to the GardenAction newsletter.

OCTOBER 2009
VEGETABLE CARE IN OCTOBER 2009

ASPARAGUS
Asparagus don't need a lot of feeding but they do appreciate a feed with a long lasting fertiliser such as bonemeal in mid-Autumn. A handful per square meter (yard) is all that is needed. Lightly work it into the soil surface with a trowel. 
Click here
 for more information on growing asparagus.

BEETROOT
Harvest the remaining ones soon - if not, the first frost in October will kill them. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

BROCCOLI
Harvest the remaining ones soon - if not, the first frost in October will kill them. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions. BRUSSELS SPROUTS
October onwards is the time to harvest Brussels Sprouts. You may wish to wait until just after the first frost has arrived which will improve their flavour. Harvest the lower sprouts first because they mature earliest. Use a sharp knife to cut off the sprouts to avoid injuring the plant and leaving them open to disease.
Click here
 for more information on Brussels Sprouts.

CABBAGE - WINTER
From mid October onwards, Winter Cabbage should be ready for harvest. Lift the entire plant with a fork and cut the stem off just above the lower leaves. Remove the outer leaves because they are not particularly tasty. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

CARROTS
Depending on how cold your area is, it should be possible to continue harvesting carrots until around mid-October. Carrots can be stored for more than a month if they are placed in a box of slightly moist peat or sand and kept in a cool dark place.
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

CHICORY / RADICCHIO
Continue to harvest chicory. If you are growing chicory in order to force them to produce chicons, then October is a good month to dig up the roots and prepare them for forcing. You can start to force some chicons into growth this month as well. 
Click here
 for instructions and advice on how to grow this versatile vegetable.

LETTUCE
Lettuce are almost finished now. Spring maturing lettuce can be sown up until the end of October for an early crop next year.
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

ONIONS
Onions should still ready for harvest this month. Plan for where and how you will store them over the coming few months. To store your onions, remove the foliage and keep them in a cool dark place. Speparate them with newspaper to avoid transferring disease. Only store onions without a blemish.
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

POTATOES - MAINCROP
Continue to harvest in October.
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

RADISHES
Radishes can still be harvested until mid-October.
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

SPINACH
Spinach prefers cool conditions and in warmer areas can be sown in October for an early winter crop. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions on how and when to sow spinach.

SWEET CORN
Depending on your area, sweet corn should be available for harvest for a week or so into October. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

TOMATOES
If you still have any tomatoes left, and a frost threatens, harvest them, bring them indoors and ripen them on the windowsill. As soon as the plants begin to wilt with the cold, remove them to avoid any build up of disease.
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

FRUIT AND HERB CARE IN OCTOBER 2009

RASPBERRIES
October to November is a good time to plant new raspberry canes. You will need to put support wires in place before planting so get going now!
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

PLUMS
October is the time to plant a new plum tree. Remeber to support all plum trees with a stake for at least the first few years of their lives. Give it a go, plums are delicious! 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

GOOSEBERRIES
October is the best time to plant new gooseberry bushes. These plants can crop for more than 20 years so ensure the planting area is weed free at the start. A superb soft fruit, even for the small garden. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

CURRANTS
Mid-October is the best time to plant new currant bushes. Ideal for the small garden, they are tasty and full of vitamin C.

BLACKBERRIES
October is the best time to plant new blackberry bushes. Different varieties require very different planting distances so keep a note of the variety and any planting instructions which come with it. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

APPLES
Prepare the ground now for new apple trees which should be planted next month. Take time to decide which apple variety is best for you. The GardenAction article (link is below) has over 60 pictures of different apple varieties. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

BLACKCURRANTS
Prepare the ground now for new blackcurrant bushes which should be planted next month. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

PEACHES
October is the best time to plant new peach trees. Choose your position well, a warm and sheltered south facing wall is best. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

MINT, PARSLEY, SAGE, DILL, CHIVES, ROSEMARY, BAY, MARJORAM/OREGANO, BASIL, THYME and TARRAGON
Harvest these herbs in October 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

GARDEN PLANT CARE IN OCTOBER 2009
This month the spotlight is on
DAHLIAS
Often the first frosts hit in October. This is the time to dig up and store your dahlia tubers. The basic idea is to dig up the tuber using a fork to lever it out of the ground. You will be surprised how big it is.

Clean most of the soil from it and then divide the clump into individual tubers. Only select plump perfect tubers with "eyes". Label the tubers up and store in a dark, cool but frost free place. The lnk below will take you to four detailed pages on this process with lots of pictures. 
Click here
 for easy to follow instructions.

GARDENACTION ADDRESS:
1 Gaydon Hill Farm Cottage, Gaydon, Warwick CV35 0HQ

This Month's Recipe
RECIPE
VEGETABLE FRITTATA

A Frittata is a slow-cooked Italian version of an omelette with the filling mixed in with the eggs. It's a chunky main meal and can be eaten hot or cold.

This is an easy recipe to cook which takes less than an hour to prepare and cook. The great thing about it is that almost any filling can be used. Our recipe uses potatoes, tomatoes, onions plus a few other vegetables. We include ham but if you are vegetarian just add a few more vegetables. We're convinced you will enjoy it!
Click here for detailed instructions with lots of pictures to help you through.

CABBAGE FOLKLORE

Cabbages belong to the Cruciferae family, so called because their flowers have four petals arranged as a cross. A cross with arms of equal length is a symbol of the sun.

In Irish folklore, cabbages are supposed to reveal a lot about a future spouses. Blindfolded girls were sent out in pairs to pull the first cabbage they could find. If there was a lot of earth attached to the root, they would have plenty of money but if there was only a little earth, they would be poor. The taste of the heart of the cabbage would reveal a lot about the future spouse's disposition - sweet or sour!

Sage, mint, thyme and rosemary all improve by being planted near the cabbage. When you plant your cabbage plants plant a stick of rhubarb with them - this prevents club root.
Twist a narrow strip of tinfoil round the roots of your cabbage plants to prevent cabbage fly.
 

IDEAL FOR YOU, IDEAL AS A PRESENT
Ever been in the garden or the allotment and wanted some key facts about the vegetables you grow? Well our plastic laminated vegetable sheets can be stored in the shed or the garage, ready when you are.
There is a sheet for each vegetable or fruit and they wipe clean so easily.
At only 1.99 per fact sheet they are ideal for you or as a present. To cap it all, all the dates are personalised for your home town. Click here to order yours now.