‘Consigned to the compost heap!’ Monty Don shares what to do with tomato plants in October

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It’s been a tough year for tomato plant owners after a wet summer. Earlier this year, gardening expert Monty Don reported tomato blight in his greenhouse. To help ripen the tomatoes and counter the blight, he stripped his plants of their leaves.

Now September is over, many tomato plant owners may be wondering what to do with their surplus plants.

In a new post on his blog, Monty shared what to do with the plants.

He said: “In the vegetable garden there is a new range of produce with Florence fennel, climbing beans and some lettuce still harvested but root crops and brassicas taking over the stage for the coming months.

“In the greenhouse the tomato plants are all consigned to the compost heap and replaced with winter salads.”

If you have green tomatoes on the vine still then you can pick them and ripen them indoors.

One of the best ways to do this is by popping green tomatoes in a paper bag with a ripe banana.

The banana will release ethylene gas which should ripen the tomatoes.

The Gardeners’ World lead host updates his blog at the beginning of each month with a list of jobs keen gardeners can do at home.

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Monty posted a photo this morning on Instagram of a rainbow near his home.

He said today is “gardener’s new year’s day”.

The post read: “Good morning – October 1st is the gardener’s new year’s day so celebrate by visiting my website montydon.com for tips, advice and inspiration for your October garden.”

In his blog post, Monty said October is the “beginning of the horticultural year”.

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While the garden draws to an end in September, October is the month to start “planning and preparing” for next spring and summer.

One of Monty’s recommendations for October was to invest in horticultural fleece and cloches.

The reason for this is because they are “only useful if you have and employ them before you need them”.

Although the weather is usually more mild in October, Monty said there is “no guarantee” there won’t be frost this month.

Cloches can be used for rows of vegetables because hey keep them dry and warm.

Monty said he keeps them slightly open to improve ventilation.

Fleece is used as temporary protection against frost.

You can either lay it out over small plants or drape it over shrubs and bushes.

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