Autumn is coming and the garden will be looking very different already. You may have less blooms and you will certainly have more leaves on the ground.
Harvesting the main yields of your fruit and vegetable crops will be keeping you busy in September. Remember to compost the left over plant matter as you remove plants and to think about what is going into the ground next. Radishes, pak choi, turnips, spinach and winter salads can all be sown this month or lightly dig over if you are taking a break and leaving your beds / allotments till spring. Try and think of clever ways to use excess produce, you want to get the benefit of your hard work for as long as possible so store carefully, pickle, freeze and make chutneys and relishes as needed.
Before the leaves start to fall, net ponds so you catch the leaves. Keep mowing the lawn as a a way of picking up leaves and if you can invest in a leaf blower it will have an instant, although sometimes short lived impact on your garden. The blades on your mower should be higher as the growth is slowing down.
Frosts are around the corner so try and get some last growth from your container plants and hanging baskets, keep encouraging new growth by deadheading. You can prune any late flowering shrubs and any roses that have finished flowering (as long as they are not repeat flowering varieties).
If you are growing pumpkins or squashes remove any leaves that are preventing sunlight getting to the fruits and make sure they don’t rot by placing slate or wood under them.
In your fruit garden cut back the summer raspberries to allow fruit on the new green canes and tie up to support them next year. Keep clearing diseased or smaller fruit on apple and pear trees to focus the growth on the best fruit. Make sure you are picking wild blackberries and storing them, free fruit is almost as satisfying as home grown.
If your greenhouse is looking sparse, give it a big clear out. It is a good time to empty out pots and give it a good clean so pests and disease risks are minimised.
Check when your spring bulbs need planting, you don’t want to miss out on a lovely display.
Hopefully you kept feeding wildlife all year round so that birds and animals know where to find food, you may need to top up feeders more often as the birds need more food.
Words: Jude Eastick, Company Director & Head Gardener