GIY - Autumn Jobs & Delicious Eats

Spooky season is finally upon us and a new month means new veg to sow and plenty of veg to harvest.

October Jobs

Pot up herbs so that they can be grown inside for use during winter. Continue to lift crops that have finished harvesting and clean up the beds. By now, green manures sown in late summer will be ready to be dug into the soil. You can also sow over-wintering green manures now. 
Try and find a good source of farmyard manure if you don't have your own – cow, horse, pig, sheep, and chicken manure are all great sources of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. If you are going to cover empty beds down with manure for the winter, the earlier you do it the better. October or early November is ideal.

To Do List

• Pull up crops which have finished harvesting and compost them.
• Plant fruit trees and bushes.
• Tidy away canes and supports that you used for your peas, beans, etc and you should be able to use them next year. Leave them in the ground or throw them in a corner, and you probably won't.
• If you have a pond, stretch a piece of netting over it to keep leaves out.
• Start collecting leaves for leaf mould.
• Start storing vegetables like carrots and beets – only store the perfect specimens. Try to process the rest.
• Check apples regularly to see if they are ripe – early ripening apples generally don't store that well.
• Cut autumn fruiting raspberry canes down to the ground.

Sowing Seeds & Planting Out

You can sow hardy varieties of peas and broad beans later this month for an early spring crop but only do so in well-drained soil. In the polytunnel get a crop of cauliflower and carrots going over the winter. Plant selected varieties of garlic and winter onion sets (visit GIY online shop for varieties) . The former will benefit from a good frost so it's traditional to plant before Christmas.

For loads more info visit


Parmesan Parsnips
Parsnips are coming into their own again as the autumn advances and they will be at their best after frost, when low temperatures convert the starches in the roots to sugar and their deliciously sweet, nutty flavour develops.

1kg parsnips
3 tbsp wholemeal flour
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp sea salt
1 generous handful of Parmesan cheese.
2 tbsp olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/390ºF/Gas 6. Peel the parsnips and chop in half and then slice into four. You may need to slice the chunks in half again depending on what size you want them.
Place the parsnips in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring the pot to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Rinse with a little cold water and drain the chunks in a colander.
Combine the flour, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Tumble the parsnips into the bowl and toss to coat. Place in a large roasting tray, sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil.
Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Blackberry & Apple Crumble
It may be a little late in the season for blackberry-picking (traditionally ended on St Michaelmas Day, 29th September, when the devil is said to have spat on the bushes…) but but you may well have some in the freezer – and it’s bang on for windfalls, along with any berries or other fruit of choice.


900g apples – peeled, cored and cut in to chunks
350g blackberries
160g demerara sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
225g plain flour
175g butter
125g muesli or a mixture of porridge oats, seeds and chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 200C. Pour the lemon juice over the apples - this will add flavour and stops the apples from going brown. Layer the apples, blackberries, and sugar in a lasagne dish. Place the flour in a large bowl and then rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the muesli and another 50g sugar and mix through. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool for a few minutes and then serve with custard or cream.

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