Now we are in October it’s time for a bit of a clear up. Even if you started in September a lot will have gone over, got blown down or is generally tatty. The veg beds have now been cleared with the onion and shallot sets planted but the only other things showing growth are weeds. As usual. I have been checking the apple trees daily and there are still apples determined to stay put even though we’ve had some heavy winds this week.

I believe there has also been a slight frost in Santon Downham recently so more of that to come. If you are fortunate enough to have overwintering brassicas make sure they are firmly set and remove any yellowing leaves. They are no use and will encourage pests and diseases. I have tried brassicas without success as they seem to prefer rather heavier soil than sand. The greenhouse needs a tidy – remove tomato vines and put any decent size tomatoes to finish ripening on a sunny windowsill or used to make chutney. Then get on with the housework and clean it out. This can be done as and when you have time and put away all those tools that are lying about.

The bean family will now be finished so if any have been left on the plants, either accidentally or deliberately, these can be put to dry. Spread the pods on a bench in the greenhouse and once completely dry remove the beans from the shell. Just to make absolutely sure, spread them on a tray in a warm airy space then store in air-tight jars for winter use.

If you operate on a digging scheme, now’s the time to start. Remove all the weeds and spread manure. Leave big clumps for the worms to play with and the frost to break down. Collect leaves as well and one idea is to spread them under the soil as you dig. If you’re no-dig then collect them and make leaf-mould. Put them in a plastic bag, moisten, then tie the top and poke some drainage holes in the bag or bags (if you’re really lucky) and leave for six months to a year.

Keep weeding.