River Wissey Lovell Fuller

October Gardening

October 2015

Gardening in October is entirely dependent on the weather. If there's an Indian summer, there is no better time of year to be out in the garden and there are plenty of tasks to keep us all busy! A major point to note this month is the withdrawal of many fungicides as a result of changes to EU legislation under EC Regulations. This is because the effectiveness of some fungicides depends on environmental conditions, so we may need to try more than one product to give the best control. Also regular use of some systemic fungicides has lead to the build-up of strains of fungi which are tolerant to the chemicals so that they cease to be effective. The withdrawal list includes two major products that are currently approved fungicides for use on edible plants. (Note: I have listed the chemical name as these may be found in ‘own brand label’ products, always check the small print for the chemical name). • Copper oxychloride (Found in Bayer Fruit & Vegetable Disease Control) controls peach leaf curl, leaf spot, blight, canker and rust on many edibles. All remaining stocks must be used or disposed of before 30th November 2015. • Myclobutanil (Bayer Systhane Fungus Fighter) systemic fungicide to control rust, black spot, powdery mildew, and scab on apples, pears, and currents. Cannot be sold after 30th November 2015, remaining stock must be used or disposed before 30th November 2016. This may leave us in a situation in which there will be no chemical control for fungus infections on edibles. However it is always our view at P&R Garden Supplies that chemicals should only be used in the garden when they are really necessary. Prevention is invariably better than a cure and many diseases can be kept down by good cultivation techniques including crop rotation. Now most greenhouse crops have finished it’s a good idea to clean and disinfect your greenhouse before moving tender plants back in. Whilst sulphur candles are being withdrawn from sale, Deadfast smoke generator is a perfect alternative and has the added benefit that plants can remain in place during treatment. October is the perfect month for sowing broad beans as it gives the plants a good month’s head start on those sown in April, so they don’t get blackfly! I grow a very popular variety called ‘Aquadulce’ as it’s reliable and heavy cropping. Directly sow seeds in double rows and choose a sheltered position, ideally the soil should have been manured for the previous crop. As the plants grow they will need supporting as the haulm (stalk) of broad bean plants is very brittle and easily broken. Harvest broad bean pods when the beans are about the size of your thumb nail, and they will be very tender. Broad bean tops are delicious wilted with butter, pinching out the tops of the plants before the pods are formed will delay production and help stagger the crop. Top Tips: • Protect half-hardy plants with fleece, or move into a frost-free greenhouse. • Lift & Divide herbaceous perennials whilst the soil is still warm. • Directly sow hardy annuals into prepared borders for earlier flowers in 2016! • Lift Dahlia & Begonia tubers to store dry over winter • After tidying borders mulch with bark chips or compost. • Wrap glue bands around the trunks of apple trees to trap winter moth females whose caterpillars shred spring flowers. • Clear fallen leaves from lawns. Rachel Sobiechowski BSc (Hons) P&R Garden Supplies, Fengate Drove, Brandon 01842 814800 www.p-rgardensupplies.co.uk

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