As we creep into October, there’s a definite chill in the air when the sun goes down and it begins to feel more like autumn. There are fallen leaves on the ground to kick or crunch beneath our feet, the blackthorn hedges are filled with dusky blue sloes and farmers are busy in the fields sowing the wheat seed that will be harvested next summer. It’s a wonderful time to take a walk outside and admire the beautiful colours of the trees and hedges as the leaves change colour.
Here are five more things to do this October
CELEBRATE APPLE DAY
Common Ground launched Apple Day in 1990. “From the start, Apple Day was intended to be both a celebration and a demonstration of the variety we are in danger of losing, not simply in apples, but in the richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture too.”
Apple Day is a great opportunity to visit an orchard to taste apples (the orchard near us grows over 40 varieties) and see how apples are grown, harvested, packed and stored. You can find out about Apple Day events near you on the Orchard Network website.
BAKE A CAKE
There’s so many apples available at this time of year that it’s a shame to just put them in the fruit bowl. This autumnal Fudgy Apple Slice, with its biscuit base and fruit studded sponge topping is ideal for those days when you can’t decide if you need a biscuit or cake. Even better, the recipe gives three alternatives: Blackberry, Apple or Pear. I know. Decisions, decisions
GET OUTSIDE IN THE GARDEN
At the beginning of October, there are still beans to pick and root vegetables to lift. The pumpkins need cutting before the frost turns them to mush and the remaining green tomatoes can be brought inside to ripen. In the flower garden, perennial plants need cutting back and overcrowded herbaceous perennials can be lifted, divided and replanted. There are bulbs to plant: onion sets and garlic bulbs for cropping next summer, daffodils and tulips for spring flowering.
October is the ideal time to start a compost bin with all the dead plant material and to collect leaves for making leaf mould. Water butts are probably empty after our dry summer so it’s a good time to clean them out ready to catch the autumn rain.
And after all that hard work in the open air, it’s good to pick a sheltered spot and take a break to enjoy your garden.
MAKE A WREATH
The hedgerows are bright with colour in October. Hips and haws make a splash of scarlet; yellow, green and orange crab apples hang from branches; old man’s beard threads its way through the different coloured leaves of the hedge. Gather them up and make a wreath to hang inside, instead of putting them into a vase.
Alternatively, lay your foliage out, take a photograph and use it as a screen saver for the month.
PRINT SOME AUTUMNAL STATIONERY
Print some Fold & Send Mail on an autumn theme. We used simple foam shapes and fruit with acrylic paint to make this stationery. Just follow these instructions for Printing with Fruit & Vegetables to create your personalised stationery and then find your best pen and write a letter to make someone’s day.