Seeds to sow now (October)

There are a few things that can be sown at this time of the year, especially if you can overwinter them under cover in the shelter of a cool greenhouse.
I have just started Sweet Peas, Winter Lettuce, Pak Choi and Komatsuna(Japanese Spinach). For more information about these, click Wikipedia –


My usual practice is to soak the seeds in old magarine cartons, then prick the chitted seed out into 3″ pots. The photos show some I started about 5 weeks ago.
They will be ready soon to plant out into the ground.
I shall probably blog in greater detail about my method some time in the future.
This note applies to South Wales and places with a similar climate.


I wish you success,




Gardening Tip: Late Crop Runner Beans

Today I picked about 4 lbs of young succulent runner beans from a 30 ft row at the allotment when the beans on earlier sowings are beginning to get long in the tooth, stringy, and on fit only for growing on to provide seed for next year. If we do not get an early frost, I expect to continue to pick runners into November, as I have done in previous years.

The clue to this success is the sowing date – July 1st. Make a note of it and follow my example next year.

The dates herein are relevant to Cardiff, UK and places with a similar climate.

I wish you success

Gardening Tip: Sowing Broad Beans in October to overwinter.

This note applies only to gardening in temperate climes in the northern hemisphere.
It is fairly common practice to sow broad beans now, ready for cropping next June. However in the last two years my autumn sown beans have been devastated by a combination of very cold weather, strong winds, snow and slugs. The beans were easily surpassed by those sown in February which cropped at almost the same time.
So I shall skip the sowing in the coming October, especially since slugs have been a huge problem this year and are probably still lurking about in vast numbers waiting for the fresh new shoots to appear.
Nonetheless, it would be good idea to prepare the ground now while the weather is still fairly mild. What I usually do is take out a trench about 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep right across the allotment plot, add lots of compost in the bottom and backfill. Then in cold February it will be a quick job to pop in the seeds.
I wish you good gardening.