East Harpenden Gardening Club
* providing ALLOTMENTS for harpenden people.

October at your allotment

Autumn is here.  Don't forget the clocks 'fall' back at the end of this month.



Harvest your pumpkins and winter squashes now. ‘Cure’ pumpkins and butternut squashes by cutting them from the plant and leaving them in the sun to harden the skin, so they will store longer.  Bring them inside if a frost is forecast.

Early leeks can be lifted now because they are less hardy than the later cultivars.

Carrots should be dug up to be stored in sand or peat through the winter but leave the parsnips in the ground as they'll be sweeter after a frost.


Harvest the last of the peas, french bean and runner bean crop for this year.

Also harvest broccolli, chard, spinach, celery, celeriac, turnips, beetroot, radish, lettuce, cabbage and the Oriental vegetables.

Lift and store any Florence fennel bulbs before they are damaged by frost.

Apples, pears, autumn raspberries, grapes, late plums and the last perpetual strawberries should be harvested now too.


Sowing & Planting

Sow winter lettuce and a couple of short rows of winter hardy peas and broad beans towards the end of the month to provide you with an early crop next Spring.

Plant out spring cabbage and overwintering onion and garlic.

Bare-rooted fruit bushes can be planted this month e.g. blackcurrants, cranberries, gooseberries, red and white currants, grape vines and strawberry plants.  It is also a good time to plant rhubarb crowns.


Prune your blackcurrants, redcurrants and gooseberries. Your raspberries and blackberries need cutting back, tying in etc and these early winter months are ideal for planting out new stock.

Clean and clear the plot of spent crops and take down the runner bean poles, cleaning the soil off the bottom of them and storing under cover if possible.

Stake and earth up brussel sprouts and sprouting broccoli plants to prevent them from being blown over in strong winds.

October and November are good months for serious digging. The deeper the fertile soil, the better crops that can be had.

Advice courtesy of The National Allotment Society