Hoe, hoe, hoe, not long ‘till Christmas
Certainly now is the time to use the hoe and keep the vegetable borders free of weeds. Soon you’ll be turning the soil ready to let the winter frosts break it down. If you have been hard at work in your vegetable patch you’ll probably be reaping the benefits for your Christmas fare.
It’s wise to lift carrots, beetroot and turnips before the frosts and to fork up potatoes to dry before storing. Complete earthing up of celery and leeks and protect any late crops with cloches and fleece. Cauliflowers need protection and you can do this by bending outer leaves over any hearts froming. Thin out onion and turnip beds, cut down asparagus foliage and cut back globe artichokes. Harvest maincrop apples and take cuttings of bush fruit to cultivate.
In early October you can plant spring cabbages from sowings made in August. Plant garlic now and If you like a supply of fresh mint at Christmas you can lift and box some by laying roots thinly on a tray of light compost, covering them with a layer of the same compost. Keep them moist at a temperature of over 10°C (50°F) and water when the shoots appear.
- Transfer cauliflowers grown in the open in September to a frame
- Put grease bands around apple and pear tree trunks to trap winter moth grubss to
- Continue to blanch endive if you started in August and September.
- Fruit growth on peaches, nectarines and apricots under glass can still ripen given the right conditions.
- Plant garlic
- Take hardwood cuttings of bush fruit: gooseberries, blackcurrants, red currants, white currants, quinces, figs, grapes
- Gather remaining apples and pears into store
- Prick off cauliflowers
- Lift and store turnips in a frost-proof place for a good supply, cutting off the tops.