Here is our list of things to keep the garden humming along, enjoying the changing days, different light and wind down to autumn.
Cut Flowers + Nectar Flowers
- Clear out any annual flowers that have finished blooming and add them to your compost heap, if you have one.
- Sow Viola Freckle seeds, which will bloom in approximately 8 weeks and provide colourful flowers throughout the winter.
- Keep an eye out for seed pods on your plants and collect them before they disperse, especially if you want to save them for future use.
- Look for self-seeded hardy annuals and biennials like Nigella 'Love in a Mist' and Poppy 'Shirley Doubles'. If they're overcrowded in their current location, consider moving them to a preferred spot or gifting them to a friend in a pot.
- Start planting your spring bulbs now while the ground is still warm from the summer months. This allows the bulbs to establish roots before the arrival of spring.
- Plant pots of small bulbs such as crocus, iris, and muscari for a burst of colour in spring. Keep them watered during dry spells but ensure the pots have good drainage to prevent water logging.
- Create beautiful flower bunches using late-blooming flowers like salvias, echinacea, rudbeckias, sunflowers, zinnias, and dahlias. To extend their vase life, add a splash of vinegar to the water, which helps prevent bacterial growth.
- If you have roses, pick the last bunch before they start browning. To prolong their vase life, sear the ends with boiling water before arranging them.
- Cut back any bean or pea plants that have finished producing pods. Leave the roots in the soil as they will provide extra nutrients for future crops.
- Continue feeding your tomato plants until they have finished growing and ripening. If you're faced with wet weather and limited sunshine, don't worry—use your green tomatoes to make a delicious green tomato chutney instead.
- Sow winter spinach and broad beans to ensure a bountiful harvest in the colder months.
- Take advantage of the warm and moist soil by planting the remaining seeds of Radish French Breakfast. They will be ready to enjoy in about 4-5 weeks instead of the usual 3.
- If you're experiencing hot and sunny weather, keep watering your pumpkins and squash. Remember to pinch out the tips to redirect the plant's energy towards fruit production. Placing a plate underneath larger squash can prevent rot on damp soil.
- Consider direct sowing Rocket in the ground or in pots. Despite the changing weather, Rocket is a resilient winter salad crop that can tolerate some cold and wet conditions.
- Harvest any herbs that you want to dry for use during the winter months. Hang them in a cool, dry place until they are fully dried and ready to be stored.
- Freeze fresh mint by placing it in ice cube trays with water. This way, you can easily add mint to your cooking by simply dropping a mint ice cube into your pans as needed.
- Sow Coriander seeds now, either directly in the ground in rows or in pots indoors. With some luck, you'll have a fresh harvest of coriander until April next year.
- Cut chives down to the ground, and they will regrow within a few weeks. Applying fertilizer will help stimulate their growth.
- For potted herbs that are less hardy, such as parsley and chives, bring them inside and place them in a sunny, frost-free spot. This will protect them from the cold temperatures and ensure their continued growth.
- Enjoy a bountiful harvest of veggies, flowers, herbs, and edible flowers from your garden this month. If you've been successful, you'll have a plate full of delicious produce. If not, you can plan for next year with our links to our seed shop.
- Garden Greens: Kale, French Breakfast Radishes, Carrots, Rocket Salad, Buttercrunch Lettuce, Tom Thumb Peas, Spinach, Cucumbers, Courgettes, Pumpkins, Tomatoes.
- Edible Flowers: Cornflowers, Chamomile, and Alyssum.
- Garden Herbs: Whatever herbs you have growing in your garden, now is the time to enjoy their flavours and incorporate them into your culinary creations.
- Keep your garden clear of fallen leaves. Consider storing them in a leaf mould bag, dampening it, and allowing it to decompose for a year to create nutrient-rich leaf mould.
- Give your lawn some attention. Rake out any debris, fill in holes with sand, and sow new grass seeds. Add a layer of compost, protect it from birds, and watch it sprout.
- Continue feeding your container plants and watering newly planted perennials until they are fully established.
- Start planning for next year's garden. Take photos or make a painting to capture your current garden's beauty and evaluate what worked and what didn't. Consider what you would like to add or change for the next season.
- Visit your favourite garden or explore new ones for inspiration. Observe what plants are thriving and consider incorporating similar ones into your garden.
- Offer dried sunflowers as a seed feast for birds by placing them on a bird food table. Enjoy watching the birds indulge in the feast.