Little Jobs for Autumn

Use the last few days of October to get some autumn tasks done before the weather gets much colder. The clocks go back and the days get shorter and shorter now, so try to make time to nip out to your veg plot at weekends to keep on top of things.

  1. Raise pots & containers off the ground – prop them on stones, or old pallets or logs to aid drainage and prevent them from becoming waterlogged.
  2. Remove yellow leaves from brassicas –  The yellow leaves that drop to the ground will rapidly attract slugs – best to remove them to the compost pile!
  3. Pull up old plants and top up the compost pile. Add raked up fallen leaves too and grass clippings. You can also add old compost from emptied pots and planters.
  4. Protect against slugs and snails – pak choi is particularly susceptible, as well as brussels sprouts.
  5. Check brassicas for caterpillars – you may still find several caterpillars are active, so check regularly.
  6. Earth up or stake tall crops to help them in strong wing (cavolo nero, broccoli, sprouts)
  7. Install water butts to collect rainwater for next spring/summer
  8. Top up empty beds with well rotted manure or compost, then cover with black polythene or cardboard.
  9. Pull up weeds before colder weather makes the ground hard.
  10. Use a cloche or fleece to protect vulnerable crops against frosts and keep them a bit warmer – all younger plants will benefit from this, but winter lettuces in particular should be protected.
  11. Clean down greenhouse windows to let more sunlight in over the winter.
  12. Cut back any final strawberry runners (unless you want them to grow!)