"October Is My Favourite Colour"

What to sow in October.

Whilst most of us are gathering in the fruits of our labours and sharing our harvests with others in festivals and harvest thanksgiving, there is still time to fill those empty patches. Sow either green manures to feed the ground or some hardier winter vegetables.

Now is a good time to plant garlic and onions sets such as electric, red winter and autumn champion. Sowings of land cress (American cress), lambs lettuce (corn salad) winter purslane and winter lettuce varieties such as Arctic King and Winter Density will add fresh leaves in the darker months.

Easy to grow and requiring little maintenance, broad beans can be sown in October and November to overwinter for an earlier spring crop. Last autumn I had a few broad beams leftover in an old packet and tried experimenting. Even in my little windswept and soggy patch (I have heavy clay soil) they came through and I enjoyed several pickings of delicious tender beans early. Aquadulce Claudia is the variety often recommended for autumn sowing. Other legumes to try are round seeded peas such as Douce Provence or Meteor

Sweet peas too can be sown in pots now for overwintering, ready to plant out in spring. Other flowers to sow direct are crepis (hawksbeard), hollyhocks, oriental poppies and hellebore (requires stratification). 

October Is My Favourite Colour Poem by Katinka Havermans

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