Allotment, Composting, Gardening, Gardening Year, Gardens, Grow Your Own, Planting

Autumn is a season of transition. As the warm bright days of summer begin to shorten and grow colder, your crops near their end and it’s time to start preparing for winter and planting for spring. There is a lot to do at this time of the year, but with our list of jobs to do this season, you will find yourself well prepared. 

General Maintainance 

raking leaves

  • Collect fallen leaves– keep your garden looking tidy and reduce the chances of pests and diseases in your garden
  • Create a compost heap –  fallen leaves and dead plant material can make great compost that will be good for plants in spring. Think about creating your heap in a quiet corner of your garden or in a compost bin
  • Repair or replace fencing – now that your plants are dormant and the ground is still warm enough to dig in it’s a great time to replace damaged or old fencing
  • Insulate outdoor taps – frozen taps can become damaged. Wrap in kitchen foil of fleece to protect it from the coldest weather
  • Prepare the lawn for winter – continue to mow the lawn if the frost is not too heavy, but raise the height of the mower blades; spike with a garden fork to improve drainage
  • Organise your shed-  take the time to clear out your garden shed, check security, and organise and clean your tools ready for spring. 
  • Prune the garden– prune fruit trees, dormant shrubs and hedges, roses, and Japanese maples in order to ensure a good start to spring
  • Cluster container plants together– as their roots are more exposed to the elements, move shrubs and bedding plants growing in containers to sheltered spots and cluster together for protection from the colder weather
  • Check tree ties– check any tree ties to make sure trees are protected from strong winds and the tree stems will not be damaged by ties that are too tight; 
  • Make Leaf Mould – bag up fallen leaves in a good quality bin bag. Poke holes in the bag and leave out of sight for two years. Leaf mould  can be used as seed-sowing compost or used to enrich the soil
  • Clear the remains of summer crops – to avoid them rotting and attracting pests and diseases
  • Clean Your Tools – taking good care of your tools now will prevent them from rusting over winter and needing to be replaced in the summer
  • Prune fruit bushes –  prune out any dead, dying or diseased wood whilst your fruit trees are dormant to encourage new and good growth in the spring
  • Net brassicas – to protect them from overwintering birds. Use a fine mesh or a frame that it lifts clear of the plant to stop birds pecking through. You could also consider a polytunnel or cold frame
  • Begin Digging Over – dig small sections of your garden over the month to get manure, air and compost into the soil. 

Plants 

 

  • Protect plants from the frost– standard terracotta planters often break in cold weather, so consider our frost-resistant fibrecotta. For plants in flower beds, a cold frame or cloche fleece provides instant protection
  • Raise plant containers– raise pots off the ground for the winter using bricks or pot feet to prevent them from becoming waterlogged
  • Prune rose bushes- prevent wind rock (swaying in the wind and the roots becoming loose) by pruning roses by one third to half their height
  • Cut back herbaceous perennials– cut back the yellowing foliage of any flowering plants, then life and divide any overcrowded clumps
  • Plant tulip bulbstulip bulbs to bloom in spring next year are best planted in late autumn to prevent the tulip fire disease
  • Move dormant plants– if you need to relocate any plants or fruit trees, now is the time to do so while they are dormant
  • Plant spring bulbs– plant bulbs such as daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, and fritillaries before the first frost to fill your garden with colour in th spring
  • Take hardwood cuttings– cut healthy shoots from suitable trees, shrubs, and climbers, including honeysuckle and blackcurrant shrubs. plant in the ground or in a pot to propagate new plants
  • Lift and store dahlia tubers– these tender perennials need protection from the colder weather, so lift the dormant roots and stems to store indoors and plant back outside next spring

Greenhouse 

 

  • Stock up on greenhouse accessories– now you’ll be spending more time in your greenhouse, make sure to stock up on accessories, including a heater to maintain the temperature and staging to hold your plants
  • Sow winter herbs– sow Mediterranean herbs such as thyme, sage, and parsley for a fresh supply during the winter
  • Clean your greenhouse– if you haven’t already done so, make sure to clean your greenhouse thoroughly; wash and disinfect capillary matting before storing away
  • Water plants sparingly– make sure plants are hydrated but keep the greenhouse as dry as possible to reduce the risk of disease
  • Combat pests– check overwintering plants for pests such as aphids and red spider mite, treat if necessary using a general insecticide
  • Maintain plants– pick faded leaves and dead flowers from plants that are being stored in the greenhouse over the winter
  • Check that all heaters are working properly –  You will need them in the coming months, so check them now so you don’t have to rush and buy new ones when they are needed. If any are broken replace them now
  • Remove snow– make sure to brush any snow off the top of greenhouses and cold frames to make sure the glass does not get damaged

 

 

Gardening, Grow Your Own, Planting, Vegetables

August is a month of transition, it is the midpoint between summer and autumn, the days get noticeably shorter and leaves will start to drop. This is a month of change in the allotment too where most of your work will be prep for winter and next years planting. 

Harvesting 

Harvest beetroot

  • Aubergine
  • Curly kale
  • Beetroot
  • Cabbages
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Courgettes and marrows
  • Cucumber
  • French beans 
  • Globe Artichoke
  • Kohl Rabi
  • Onion
  • Pepper 
  • Potato
  • Radish
  • Runner beans
  • Salad leaves and lettuces
  • Spinach
  • Spring Onion
  • Swede
  • Sweetcorn
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomato
  • Turnip 

Sowing 

sow

  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower 
  • Chickory 
  • Endives
  • Japanese onions
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • lettuces
  • Spinach 
  • Spring cabbage
  • Spring onions 
  • Sprouting Broccoli 
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips
  • Winter radish

Planting 

  • Cauliflower
  • Leeks
  • Marrow
  • Overwintering cabbages 
  • Pumpkin 
  • Squashes 

General Jobs 

  • If you’re growing aubergines pinch out the growing tip once they have 5 or 6 fruits
  • Cut back herbs to encourage a new flush of leaves that you can harvest before the frost
  • Continue to feed tomato plants with a tomato fertiliser
  •  Lift and dry onions, shallots and garlic
  •  Keep birds and squirrels off your berries with netting 
  • Tidy up strawberry plants

Pests and Diseases 

Aphids  – spraying your brassicas with diluted washing up liquid will deter them from landing on your crops. You can buy insecticides if you prefer, including a fatty acid soap to spray on the plants.

Carrot fly –   a particular problem between May and September when female flies lay their eggs the best defence to cover plants with horticultural fleece or place two-foot-high barriers around the plants.

Cabbage root fly– attacking the roots of brassicas, these flies can cause a lot of damage to your plants. Female flies lay the eggs on the surface of the soil next to the stem of the plant. Place a piece of carpet (or cardboard or fleece) around the base of the plant to create a collar, this will stop the flies from laying their eggs on the soil. 

Allotment, Gardening, Grow Your Own, Organic, Planting, Vegetables

July is the first month of the year where you get a really bountiful harvest. Loads of fruit and veg are ready to harvest this month, and there’s even more ready to be planted. Here is our at a glance guide to your allotment this month.

harvest of vegetables 

Harvesting 

  • Aubergines
  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Chillies and peppers
  • Courgettes
  • Florence fennel
  • French beans
  • Garlic
  • Globe artichokes
  • Kohl rabi
  • Leaf beet
  • Marrows
  • Onions
  • Oriental mustards
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Runner beans
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuces
  • Radishes
  • Rocket
  • Salad leaves
  • Spring onions

Sowing

  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Fennel 
  • Kohlrabi
  • Last Beetroot 

Planting

  • Spinach 
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower 
  • Sprouting Broccoli 
  • Endives
  • Chickory 
  • Spring onions 

General Jobs

  • Weed regularly
  •  Mulch to conserve moisture
  • Feed tomatoes and peppers
  • Net against birds
  • Pinch out tomato shoots

Pests and Diseases

Aphids  – spraying your brassicas with diluted washing up liquid will deter them from landing on your crops. You can buy insecticides if you prefer, including a fatty acid soap to spray on the plants.

Carrot fly –   a particular problem between May and September when female flies lay their eggs the best defence to cover plants with horticultural fleece or place two-foot high barriers around the plants.

Cabbage root fly– attacking the roots of brassicas, these flies can cause a lot of damage to your plants. Female flies lay the eggs on the surface of the soil next to the stem of the plant. Place a piece of carpet (or cardboard or fleece) around the base of the plant to create a collar, this will stop the flies from laying their eggs on the soil. 

 

Gardening, Gardening Year, Planting, Plants, Wildlife

July is the height of summer, and usually the hottest month of the year, it’s a great time to sit and enjoy the work you’ve put in earlier in the year. July gardening is mostly about maintenance.

General Gardening Jobs

garden lawn

Top up bird baths, ponds and water features – June is one of the hottest months of the year so you need to check your birdbaths and ponds regularly to make sure they don’t go dry.

Trim conifers and other garden hedges – this is the time of year when growth can get a bit out of control, so now is the best time to trim in order to keep an even shape. Just make sure that you check the hedge for birds nests first.

Feed the lawn with specialist fertilizer –  this is your last chance to fertilize your lawn in order to keep lush green growth alongside regular deep watering once a week.

Remove floating blanket weed from ponds – this weed can be bad for water oxygenation so needs to be removed, simply put a pole or stick into the water and twirl it to remove from the pond.  Before composting, leave on the edge of the pond for a few hours so that any wildlife can get back to the pond

Think about which plants you would like for next springit might seem a bit early, but now is the time to get thinking about next year, and if you want to be ready for autumn planting it’s best to start ordering now.

Plants 

creating a sumemr garden

Support climbing plants –  continue to tie climbing plants to supports as they continue to grow this month.

Deadhead bedding plants – July gardening may involve removing dead and dying flowers from your border plants will tidy your garden and encourage new growth, giving you more colour for longer.  

Take cuttings for indoor overwintering – taking cuttings from your tender plants, shrubs and herbaceous perennials should be done this month to give you enough time to prepare them for overwintering and ready for next year.

Prune wisteria –  remove the side shoots from the main branch to about 20cm from their base, this will encourage neater growth.

Wildlife Care 

hedgehog in the garden

Put out food for hedgehogs – hoglets should be emerging from their birth nests this month so to give them a helping hand as they start to explore the world you can leave out water and meat-based dog or cat food (ideally chicken) on a plate or in a hedgehog feeder.

Plant low growing plants around ponds – this is the time of year where baby frogs should be emerging from ponds, and you can help them hide from predators or shelter from the  sun by planting low growing plants or allowing the lawn to grow near the edge of your pond.

Sow wildlife-friendly biennials – planting flowers like foxgloves, forget-me-nots and hollyhock is a great way to attract pollinators to your garden. By sowing now you are ensuring a source of food that’ll last longer into the year, giving them a better chance to survive the winter.