What To Grow From Seed In October
As October paints the garden with hues of amber and gold, it’s time to embrace the subtle charm of the autumn season. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a newcomer eager to cultivate your own corner of nature, October in the UK may not offer as much growing opportunity as the previous months, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing at all to grow. This is the perfect time to prepare for the cold months ahead and sow seeds that will thrive during winter and early spring.
In this unique growing guide, we’ll discuss five variants you can sow from seed in October to make the most of your garden and ensure a bountiful harvest next year.
Winter Lettuce: ‘Arctic King’
One of the most rewarding vegetables to grow during the colder months is winter lettuce. ‘Arctic King’ is an excellent choice as it’s known for its cold-hardiness. To sow this variety directly into the ground, follow these steps:
- Choose a well-drained, sunny spot in your garden.
- Loosen the soil and mix in some compost for added nutrients.
- Sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep and space them about 6 inches apart.
- Keep the soil consistently moist and protect the young seedlings from harsh frosts with row covers or cloches.
- Your winter lettuce should be ready for harvest during the cooler months ahead.
Winter-Hardy Pea: ‘Meteor’
Sowing winter-hardy peas in October ensures a delightful spring harvest. Here’s how you can grow ‘Meteor’ peas:
- Prepare a sunny area with well-draining soil.
- Sow the ‘Meteor’ pea seeds about 2 inches deep and space them 3 inches apart.
- Provide support for the pea plants as they grow, using trellises or stakes.
- With proper care and protection, you can expect a bumper crop of sweet peas next spring.
Green Manures: ‘Phacelia’ and ‘Crimson Clover’
Improving soil fertility is essential for a successful garden. Direct sowing green manures like ‘Phacelia’ and ‘Crimson Clover’ over empty beds and plots in October is a cost-effective and easy method to enrich your soil:
- Scatter the green manure seeds evenly over the designated areas.
- Lightly rake the soil to cover the seeds and ensure good seed-to-soil contact.
- These cover crops will protect your soil over the winter and can be turned into the soil in spring to improve its quality.
Broad Beans: ‘Aquadulce Claudia’
For the earliest crops next year, consider sowing ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ broad beans in October. Follow these steps:
- Choose a sunny, well-drained spot with fertile soil.
- Plant the broad bean seeds about 2 inches deep and space them 4-6 inches apart.
- Protect your young plants from extreme cold and winds by providing adequate support.
- With good care and a bit of patience, you can expect early, tasty broad bean harvests next year.
Corn Salad (Lamb’s Lettuce): ‘Favor’
Corn salad, also known as lamb’s lettuce, is a hardy crop that can be sown in October and harvested throughout autumn and winter. Here’s how to grow ‘Favor’:
- Select a location with well-drained soil and partial shade.
- Sow the seeds about 1/2 inch deep and space them 2-3 inches apart.
- Regularly water and protect the crop with row covers during frosty nights.
- ‘Favor’ will provide you with fresh, cold-hardy greens for salads and sandwiches during the colder months.
October is an exciting month for UK gardeners to sow a variety of seeds that will thrive in the upcoming winter and spring months. By planting winter lettuce, winter-hardy peas, green manures, broad beans, and corn salad, you’ll not only ensure a steady supply of fresh produce but also enhance your garden’s soil fertility. Happy gardening!