It looks like we are going to get another lovely month in the garden before the weather turns wet and cold. The start of autumn for real is a month of change as the temperature begins to dip giving us misty mornings and cooler nights. Plantswill react to this change and begin to harden up for the winter months.
I have been busy over the weekends. The compost bins have been sieved and 10 whole buckets of compost were spread around the garden. We lost count of stage beetle grubs in the bins. The vegetable plot is still giving up the last of the summer crops while autumn fruits including apples, pears and Autumn Raspberries are ripening fast. The harvesting has continued each day and the freezer is filling with lovely lunchtime soups, stir fired veg, mixed roasted vegetables portioned off for meals and fruit for my porridge in the morning.
Some of our Orchard Training Cookery Club have been learning what to do with mushrooms and has a soup off on Saturday. They made an East European Mushroom and Barley Soup, a soup from a recipe book inspired by the book: The Hobbit and a Luxury Mushroom Soup. All three soups were very tasty.
I have been looking at our bee commitment and planting bulbs to bring the flowering period forward for the bees in spring and looking for more flowering plants to extend the flowering period longer into summer.
One of our trees has reached the end of its useful life and needed to be taken down and the pond will eventually end up in this area.
Thanks to one of our learners I now have a stack of pallets which I am disassembling in order to repair the sides of my raised growing beds.
Here are some jobs for you to think about in your gardens.
Sow hardy winter lettuce, spinach and turnips to harvest their tops later in the year.
Buy your tulip bulbs before they sell out but don’t plant them until November.
Save seeds from annuals for next year and our annual seed swop in January.
Plant up containers with spring flowering bulbs and winter bedding plants
Treat your lawn with an autumn lawn preparation.
Top up ponds with water if the level has dropped through a warm dry spell.
Autumn is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs while the ground is still warm. Move evergreens that have outgrown their space in borders.
Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them.
Start to feed wild birds with fat balls and peanuts that will help them through the winter.
Raise pots up on pot feet or bricks to prevent them becoming waterlogged through the winter.
Hoe between all winter crops whenever the weather is suitable to keep germinating weed seeds at bay
Place upturned flowerpots filled with straw or newspaper on canes to attract earwigs and keep them away from Dahlia flowers.
For the Birds and Insects
Start to feed birds with fat balls and peanuts that will help them through the winter.
Keep the bird bath topped up for the birds to have a fresh water supply.
Take down nest boxes and clean them with disinfectant before drying and putting them back up
Remember to leave some seed heads in your garden through the autumn as food for birds and other wildlife
Leave some leaf litter in the garden over the winter as cover for hibernating insects
Garden Pocket Money Jobs
Shade on greenhouses with netting on sunny days but take it off the glass on dull days to let in as much light as possible
Top up ponds with water if the level has dropped through a warm, dry spell
Treat the lawn with an autumn lawn preparation. Don’t be tempted to use up any spring treatments – the two are completely different!
Use a moss killer to remove infestations in the lawn,
Cut down perennials that have finished flowering and mulch the soil surface with well-rotted manure or garden compost