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Rooko's October Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1. Many squashes and pumpkins should be mature enough to harvest this month. If the skins cannot be punctured using your finger nail they should be ready to harvest. Cut the vine/stalk (away from yourself) about an inch or two above the pumpkin/squash.

2. Keep your lawns, borders and growing areas free from falling leaves to alleviate the spread of diseases. Leaves could be left in heaps in sheltered places as a place for hibernating animals to use, during the Winter.

3. Cuttings can be taken from Currant, Blueberry and Gooseberry bushes this month.

4. Check and maintain any equipment you may need to use over the Winter months such as greenhouse heaters. Remember, if you have petrol driven machinery stored away for the Winter, such as a rotorvator, unleaded petrol will start to "go off" after about 3 months, possibly giving starting problems later.

5. Although the weather here in U.K. is still sunny and warm at the end of September this year, it may well change to wet and colder in October. Now would be a good time to bring, tender/half hardy plants, inside, to protect them from frosts/cold winds.

6. October is usually a good month to plant out strawberry runners and also to split rhubarb crowns for re-planting.

7. Plan your garden/allotment sowing/planting areas for next season as well as ordering seeds, plants and seed catalogues.

8. Although asparagus fronds can be cut off after they have started to die back they can also be cut back this month. Add a good amount of compost/manure around the plants after cutting back the fronds from them.

9. Just a few plants that can be pruned in October but beware of hard frosts when pruning. Blackcurrant, Birch, California Lilac, Common beech, Dogwwod, Evergreen clematis, Firethorn, Hydrangea, Lilac, Nectarine, Roses, Rowan, Tamarisk.

10.
SOWING/PLANTING IN OCTOBER
1. Japanese onion sets can be planted in October.
2. Broad Beans can also be planted as well as Garlic and Shallots.
3. Hardy Lettuce can still be sown.
OTHER JOBS IN OCTOBER
1. Pull and store Carrots.
2.  Lift any remaining potatoes.
3. Manure empty areas of the plot as required.
4. Clear away dead/decaying foliage.
5. Tidy fruit beds removing dead leaves from Strawberries. Re-plant runners.

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