What’s in season in October? Planting and produce this month

What’s in season in October? Planting and produce this month

With October comes some of the most celebrated flavours and scents of autumn – squash, cinnamon, apples and log fires. It’s an atmospheric month with crisp, misty mornings, fiery colours and crunchy fallen leaves. October sees us digging out the layers we packed away during summer and making the most of the days as the evenings begin to draw in.

While the trees start to put on a show before their leaves fall, much of the colour in the garden is fading, except for dahlias. Though, don’t forget about them. You’ll need to protect the tubers from frost in the winter for beautiful blooms next year. It’s also time to plan your spring bulbs ready to plant in November.

Here’s an ode to October and everything to look forward to this month.

What produce is in season in October?

While fruit is less abundant in October, aside from apples, pears, quince and the last of the blackberries, there are heaps of hearty vegetables to enjoy. Squash and pumpkins immediately spring to mind for some of the best seasonal vegetables in October, but don’t miss carrots, parsnips, marrows and wild mushrooms. Sloes are also in season, depending on the weather. Sloes are traditionally picked after the first frost if you’re making sloe gin. You can also forage and roast chestnuts in October.

Fruit in season in October:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Quince
  • Blackberries
  • Sloes (depending on the weather)

Vegetables in season in October:

  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Chilli
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Wild mushrooms
  • Marrow
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Beetroot
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsnip
  • Swede
  • Shallots
  • Horseradish

Seasonal spotlight: butternut squash

Sweet, tender butternut squash offers endless options for the seasonal cook. Stuffed, baked, blitzed or roasted, it’s a seasonal star and there are countless recipes worth trying. Butternut squash pairs perfectly with sage and cheeses such as feta and gruyere, but also carries spices like cumin and chilli well. It’s also high in fibre, but low in calories.

The versatility of butternut squash means it works just as well in soups as it does starring in gratin, pasta dishes, galettes, risotto, warm salads and curries.

Butternut squash in a basket

Recipe inspiration for October:

You may also like our list of the best seasonal recipe books.

How to celebrate October

There are so many ways to celebrate the season with our slow living ideas for autumn. A highlight for many is enjoying the often fleeting changing colours. Here are some of the places regarded as the best to visit for autumn colours in the UK:

  • Grasmere, Lake District
  • Stourhead National Trust, Wiltshire
  • Aberystwyth, Wales
  • Bridge at Betws-y-Coed, Snowdonia, Wales
  • Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
  • Cardinham Woods, Cornwall
  • Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, Wales
  • Richmond Park, London
  • Knightwood Oak Trail, New Forest
  • Leeds and Liverpool Canal, North Yorkshire
  • Hope Valley, Derbyshire
Pumpkins in a greenhouse

Savour the season with these slow living activity ideas for autumn.

Until the 20th October The National Trust is offering a free single use pass to enjoy at one of their locations. Passes allow free entry for two adults and up to three children, one adult and up to four children, or one couple. Check before you visit as a few sites are excluded.

For more autumnal inspiration, read why autumn is the restorative season.

More seasonal guides: