Early Autumn at the Kitchen Garden

Well it’s official…Autunm is here! We had a good run of lovely weather to see out the summer, but the wind and the rain are back and probably for the foreseeable future….

But don’t let that get you down, there’s still plenty to do in the garden and why not think about creating an indoor green space with some lovely house plants? We have some great new indoor plants right now – come and have a look

September is a good time to take stock of the garden – what worked well this year and what would you like to change? As part of that, you could lift and divide perennials which are beginning to become overgrown and move them to other parts of the garden. This is great way to revive flagging plants and to create new ones! Good plants to divide now are crocosmia – once you have bedded them into their new position for the winter, they will be in a great position to flower next year!

It’s also a great time to sow a patch of wildflowers for next spring – you can even do this in a shady area if you choose a seed mix for shade. Simply mow your grass as low as you can and rake out any moss – then scatter the seed mix according to the instructions on the packet, gently ‘tread’ the seeds into the soil so that they make good contact and, if the weather is dry then give the whole area a good water. If you are sowing near established grass, it might be a good idea to include some yellow rattle seed in your mix. Yellow rattle will help to prevent the grass from becoming dominant and will therefore give your wildflowers more of a chance.

September is also a great month for dahlias – they really come into their own in the autumn and if you haven’t given them a try before then you are really missing out! Make sure that you have a look at some good varieties for next year – there are so many to choose from and they really are a treat in your late summer/early autumn borders. Just remember to keep deadheading in order to prolong the flowering time.

Cafe Au Lait doing its thing

if you have a pond in your garden, then early autumn is the time to net it. It might seem a big faff, but it will pay dividends, when in the spring your pond is free from the sludge of rotten leaves.

In terms of your veg garden, most things will probably be coming to an end now – the tomatoes are staying green, the courgettes are tiny and beans are less abundant – but there are some things that are beginning to get going…. pumpkins and squash are taking over as the stars of the show and you can stay busy by putting in Spring cabbage for next year and pay choi and eternal spinach for over the winter.

It’s also a great time to sow a green manure – sounds a bit off putting – but really it’s just a winter crop that will prevent the proliferation of weeds on an empty bed and then, come the spring you simply dig it into the soil to enrich it. Perfect!

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