October in rearview mirror

allotment in october

The weather in October has been very mild – no frosts yet, in fact it was the third warmest October month on record. This (and some careful planning) is the reason why the garden still looks quite full and colorful. It is also the reason why we are still harvesting red peppers.

harvest in october
The harvests are still plentiful albeit of different vegetables. Endive especially is doing really well and I’m picking some every week to make the popular Dutch dish “stampot andijvie” or potato mash with endive. I would like to use it in other ways, too, but the thing is, everybody likes the mash. Nevertheless, if you have any suggestions for using endive, I would love to hear them!


Last month I have expressed my worries about the voles eating our sweet potatoes – they probably did eat some, but fortunately not all of them, so I am proud to let you know that for the first time ever, we have harvested some not very big, but homegrown, sweet potatoes

sweet potato harvest .

Even though the sweet potato harvest was by no means plentiful (I blame the cold summer weather and the voles) it was still far better than our persimmon harvest which consisted of ONE persimmon. We quartered it so that everyone could get a taste and it was delicious.


In our edible forest garden at home, we have picked a bowl of tiny kiwis from the six year old hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta) plant. The juicy and sweet fruits are just about an inch long so it is a good thing they do not require peeling!

hardy kiwi Actinidia arguta

Meanwhile, the winter salads in the cold frame I sowed in September are growing well and we have eaten some thinnings. I am still waiting for the weather to turn colder before I put on the lights.

leaf mustard in the cold frame

I have also planted garlic, which is one of the jobs I tend to procrastinate. This year I managed to plant it a whole month earlier than last year (self high five). I planted the softneck variety “Thermidrome”, the two bulbs I bought having given me 25 cloves which hopefully over time will grow into a bulb each. I am thinking about adding some regular store bought organic garlic and see how they compare.

planting garlic "Thermidrome"

In October we have also visited some beautiful kitchen gardens in England of which I hope to share the pictures soon.

All in all, a good month in the garden and outside of it.
Happy gardening!

P.s. This is what our garden looked like a year ago, in October 2013

7 comments for “October in rearview mirror

  1. Marey
    17/11/2014 at 00:19

    Such a beautiful garden for October! It’s November now, and the first snowfall of the year here in Canada…

    • vera@gtc
      18/11/2014 at 12:16

      Thank you! Our climate is quite a bit milder than yours,so it is easier to garden in the colder months. We have not even had a frost yet and it is mid November already!

  2. Jo
    05/11/2014 at 13:33

    It’s been a good October weather wise so everything seems to have carried on producing longer this year. Endive is something I’ve never grown, in fact, I don’t grow that many salad crops but I’m going to try a few more things next year.

  3. 03/11/2014 at 23:24

    Look at those sweet potatoes! Your garden really does look wonderful. So much color.

    • vera@gtc
      04/11/2014 at 21:13

      Thank you, Mark! I’m afraid the sweet potatoes look more impressive in the photo than they did in reality though:-)

  4. 03/11/2014 at 20:53

    Your garden still looks lovely. Is the persimmon tree in ground or potted? I tried a dwarf variety last year (potted) but I sadly lost it to a late frost. Going to try again this year! Thanks for the inspiration.


    • vera@gtc
      03/11/2014 at 22:57

      Thank you, Caroline!
      The persimmon tree is planted in the ground, but it is not growing very much. We had to move it two years ag and it has not really grown since. I hope next year will be better!

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