Gardeners’ World: Will Young discusses gardening
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Autumn is a fruitful time for gardening, with the October harvest ready to gather and winter greens ready to plant out. As the month draws to a close, there is still time to get out in the garden and plant spring blooms before the clocks go back too – but what else should you be planting and sowing as we enter the last chapter of Autumn?
How the weather affects planting
The mild weather will work in favour of gardeners across Britain, offering a final chance to plant summer crops before the Spring.
Planting ahead of Spring is doable thanks to the unexpected humidity we have experienced throughout the month.
Getting out in the garden and digging in a few leftover seeds is the perfect weekend task for the end of this month.
Flowers to sow in late October
Getting out in the garden to sow spring blooms in the final week of October will prepare your beds and borders for the Spring.
There are plenty of florals to sow directly outdoors, or in pots right now, with hardy annuals and perennials dominating the show.
Sow these flowers and keep covered until next year:
- Crepis rubra seeds – cover in a cold greenhouse
- Sweet peas – place in a cold frame to overwinter
- Sow aquilegia vulgaris in a cold frame
- Hellebore seeds in a cold frame
- Oriental poppy seeds – into pots and placed in a cold frame for winter
There’s still time to directly sow hardy annuals into garden soil this week.
Cornflowers, poached egg plants, bridal white poppies and larkspur will flower early in 2022 if sown now – so get in there quick and sow this weekend.
Wildflower seeds are an excellent choice for late October gardening, both for their beauty and their benefits to the UK’s biodiversity.
Directly sow wildflower seeds or bury bee bombs in your flower beds to attract a host of pollinators to your garden next year.
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Fruit to sow in late October
Now is the time to sow summer fruits in pots and patches, to secure a vibrant crop next summer.
Blueberry plants, strawberry runners and bare root fruit trees are in their prime thanks to the autumn humidity.
Raspberry canes and blackberry canes are just coming into planting season, so get organised and begin gathering them ready to plant as soon as November hits.
Choose larger rootstocks for outdoor orchard planting or sow dwarf varieties that make for brilliant balcony crops.
Vegetables and herbs to sow in late October
Winter salad can be grown in greenhouses, cold frames or cloches over the winter, but time is running out to plant them.
For outdoor crops which can be sown directly into the ground, why not try sowing:
- Meteor peas
- Green manures
- Broad beans
- Lambs lettuce
- Winter lettuce
- Oriental greens
If you’re looking to do some indoor gardening, try planting herb seeds like:
These green herbs will grow nicely on your windowsill over the winter and add a home-grown touch to your evening meals.
What to plant outdoors in late October
There’s plenty of flavoursome vegetables to choose from if you’re looking to do some last-minute planting this weekend.
You can plant the following varieties outdoors:
- Autumn onion
- Shallot sets
- Garlic sets
- Elephant garlic
- Spring cabbages
- Ornamental kale
- Rhubarb crowns
- Asparagus crowns
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