The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

This Month in your Garden – October

Planting up containers and pots for the winter calls for a little forethought and preparation. Firstly you need frost-proof clay, wood or stone containers. No good having a pot crack because it freezes so make sure they have good drainage.

Put some pieces of broken clay pot in the bottom before adding the compost and stand the containers on bricks, clay feet or bits of tile to let them drain freely. Using a free-draining mixture such as John Innes No.1 or No.2 compost will be beneficial, adding some fertilizer/blood fish and bone meal when you plant them up.

The Lawn Care Guide – October

Depending on the weather it’s likely the leaves will be abundantly falling by the end of the month. Time to pop the collector on the garden tractor and sweep them off the lawn. Or you can use a powered blower/vac to pick them up, a blower to pile them up into a heap or simply gather them into small heaps with a spring tined rake. Either way you want them off the lawn and flower beds where they will be covering winter plants.

Lawn Care Questions & Answers – October

Q. My lawn is regularly covered over large areas with fungal toadstools. Is there any way to treat these areas to prevent them re-growing please?
Ian M Hall, Weatherby

The Vegetable Plot – October

Use a hoe to keep the ground free from weeds. Once you have harvested vegetables, turn the soil to leave it for the winter weather to do its work.

Hard frosts break down the soil ready for next year’s planting. Some vegetable such as parsnips, salsify and celeriac can be left in the ground, but lifting some to store if there is heavy frost threatening is a good idea. Lift carrots, beetroot and turnips before Jack Frost can do his damage.

Fork up potatoes and let them dry before storing. Protect cauliflowers and continue to blanch endives.

The Big Glut Recipe – October

Halloween sausage and pumpkin roast

Great for All Hallows evening for four people or increase the quantities if there are more of you. A winter warmer that’s just as good for bonfire night. Made with coarse Italian pork sausages or any spicy sausage you prefer and served with tomato salsa

2 red onions
8 Italian/or other pork sausages
1kg/2lb 4oz pumpkin or butternut squash, skin cleaned
2 red onions
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt & pepper
Few sprigs rosemary
Few sprigs thyme

For the salsa:
500gm/1lb 2oz chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
A pinch of dried chili flakes
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp sugar
Few torn basil leaves