What's in season: October

Pumpkin 'Atlantic Giant' growing in October in the Kitchen Garden at Sizergh Castle, Cumbria

With crisp mornings and big piles of golden leaves, we finally wave goodbye to the last of the summer this month, and say a big hello to autumn.

The nights begin to get longer, and we start to think less about salads and more about hearty food. Luckily our plots are thinking along the same lines.

Pumpkins aren't just for carving

Here are some other super facts about this Hallowe'en favourite:
  • Pumpkins are members of the same family as the squash, the cucumber and even the melon
  • The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed in at a colossal 2,625lbs
  • Squash are technically a fruit, but probably taste better as soup than served with custard
  • Antarctica is the only continent where pumpkins can't grow.

Also in season...

Looking beyond pumpkins, other goodies from the garden this month include Cox apples, runner beans, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, spring green cabbage, white cabbage, savoy cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, kale, leeks, marrow, potatoes, spinach, squash and sweetcorn.

Jobs for the garden

Just because the veg growing season is slowing down, it doesn't mean it's time to hang up your wellies for the winter. The big job for this month is to collect up your harvest. Why stop at the garden? Head out to the hedgerows to grab yourself some blackberries which are a welcome addition to any apple crumbles you're making this month.