It’s getting dark earlier, the weather is turning wetter and windier and the leaves are changing colour. All the usual seasonal signs for Autumn and all duly expected and welcomed. Before you keen growers start contemplating a warm fire and your slippers, this is not the end of the gardening year.

No, there is no time to rest on your (Spotted) Laurels, this is the start of the year for real dedicated vegetable or fruit fans.

We should all be aware of the advantages of starting Broad Beans in the Autumn,less risk of black fly attack, but other legumes beneft from a head start too.

Autumn Planting
Get some in, now and in a months time

Get a couple of rows of Peas in now, then a couple more next month for a continuous and early supply of table staples. Garlic does better now than when started in Spring as the cooler weather allows the roots to develop well ahead of the warmer weather when the top growth begins in earnest.Same again with Onions. Either start seed Onions later, traditionally Christmas Day, or start sets (small part grown bulbs) now , with a second planting later as with the legumes. Successional planting or sowing is a big plus if you have the room. It beats the glut/gap stagger that normally occurs when a crop is ready to harvest all at once. Aim to be able to pick,dig or cut enough for the week, each week rather than everything in one go and a month of food from the freezer afterwards.

Fruit wise, I have been planting up rooted tip cuttings from the Tayberry plant and transferring the Starwberries from the basket tower to a prepared bed. Now is the time to finish any top fruit summer pruning, Apples, Pears and related fruits.

Summer pruning should be finished now.

That’s more than enough to keep us all going for a month but just remember, if it comes up in Spring, it was sown in Autumn. Nature chose Autumn to start reproducing, Man chose Spring because it was easier !


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