What fruit, veg, seeds and flowers to plant in October
Plenty of tasks for the autumn and winter months can keep you ahead of the game while the work in your polytunnel typically starts to wind down in October. It's the start of bare-root planting season, so you can begin making room for your fruit trees and shrubs to provide delicious homegrown produce.
October is also when you'll be harvesting and storing many of this year's crops. You should be thinking about how best to prepare your soil for the colder months too.
Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a complete beginner when it comes to polytunnels
, we're here to guide you. Knowing what seeds to sow and what vegetables to plant in October is a great place to start.
We've been advising greenthumbs and gardening amateurs for over 35 years
, so we know a thing or two about what to grow in October. Read our guide below to ensure you're getting a head start on creating next year's beautiful and blossoming garden.
What to plant in a polytunnel in October
Polytunnel gardeners can expect lots of clearing and tidying this month. The summer crops will be ready to harvest, meaning you can make room for a brand-new batch. October is the month for transforming your polytunnel and giving it a well-deserved refresh.
It offers the perfect place for your crops to thrive in the autumn and winter months, protecting against elements such as frost.
We've put together a list of what fruit and veg to plant in October, as well as what flower seeds to sow.
What seeds to plant in October
Peas are simple to grow and offer the sweetest taste when grown at home. They needn't take up too much space in your polytunnel either. You should plant them 3cm deep into fertile soil and harvest them every three months.
Home-grown broad beans taste delicious and are beautifully tender to the touch. They're incredibly easy to grow and can be used in many recipes, including salads, soups and stews. They don't take up too much space either – simply sow them directly into the soil or in multi-celled trays and watch them sprout in a couple of weeks.
Garlic is a cooking staple for many and can transform a variety of dishes. Planting garlic cloves in autumn means they'll grow their roots and the bulbs can be planted out in spring. Simply plant a combination of softneck and hardneck varieties for a mixture of flavours.
While cauliflowers are known for being tricky to grow, they can thrive in the right conditions if you're keen to make them one of the vegetables you plant in October. What you'll need to ensure is you give them rich soil with plenty of moisture and sow the seeds in multi-celled trays. Keeping them in a polytunnel is best during the colder months, before planting them out in spring.
Bare-root planting season is here, so it's time to purchase those fruit trees and shrubs that will make a valuable addition to your garden. They are best grown in moist soil with good drainage.
You should plant your currants as soon as October hits to ensure they become well-established before the temperatures drop. Blackcurrants are simple to grow, packed with vitamin C and offer a sharp and punchy flavour. Red currants have similar health benefits and produce some beautiful shrubs for your garden.
Phacelia is a popular pollinator plant that bees and other insects love. It makes a great green manure as it is fast-growing and can withstand low temperatures, so they are ideal flower seeds to sow in October. Phacelia is best sown directly in well-prepared soil or a seed tray.
Planting bare-rooted cuttings of wallflowers in October is ideal as they'll be ready to bloom in spring. They benefit from moist, well-drained soil and are appreciative of the autumn sunshine and some partial shade. They look gorgeous paired with daffodils too.
How to maintain your polytunnel
While polytunnels are typically a low-maintenance home for your crops, they do require some attention from time to time. Following these simple steps can help ensure what you decide to plant in your polytunnel in October will thrive.
Keep things tidy:
Clear expendable summer plants that have finished cropping or are showing signs of disease. Remove any debris and begin washing used pots. Scrub your staging and benches and sweep pathways to welcome in your new and improved autumn polytunnel. Be sure to clean the polythene cover
and repair any damage to it - polythene repair tape
is ideal for repairing tears and small holes.
Close doors and vents early (as soon as the sun disappears from the plot) and keep them closed when it's cold and windy. This will help protect the plants that you have nurtured during the spring and summer months from cold temperatures.
Keep plants warm:
Extend the growing season by keeping plants warm when the temperatures drop. Many people use fleece and even newspaper to cover their crops in cold and frosty weather. Using a polythene cloche
is ideal for ‘double glazing’ your polytunnel, keeping the frost off your crops and saving on heating costs.
Crops need much less water when plant growth is slower, so watering should be reduced to a minimum this month.
Make what you plant in October thrive with a polytunnel
At Premier Polytunnels, we're well-equipped to lend our experience and knowledge of October gardening tips so you can make the most of every harvest.
Create a safe and reliable environment that promotes the growth of healthy crops year-round and browse our extensive range of polytunnels
online today. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us
or drop us an email
. Our friendly team of experts will get back to you as soon as possible.