Gardening for Beginners – Early Autumn

I love a bit of gardening with the kids! It is a fantastic way to explore the amazing wonders of nature, as well as learn about patience and caring for things. Clearly I still do most of the work, but the kids are much more aware of the seasons and what plants need to grow. The Boy will now recognize tomato and courgette plants which is all good in my eyes. But, if you are like me – very much a hobby gardener – you may need a little help along the way. When do you do what? And how do you know that “it” is ready?! Now that we are in early Autumn, what things should I be thinking about for my Autumn garden?

So I am bringing together a set of experience and less experience gardening bloggers every month to share with you what we are up to. What are the things to focus on THIS month. This month we have the lovely Mrs C from “Being Mrs C” and Mari from Mari’s World. We created a little video for you to watch or listen too whilst pottering in the garden or in the home…. and I have summarised below what we talked about!

Gardening for Beginners: September/ Early Autumn

Gardening for Beginners Video Summary

1) Get you sunflower seeds in before the squirrels do. We picked them all and let them dry out on a kitchen towel.

2) Leave a few beans on your plant to encourage fully formed beans to grow for next year’s planting. Admittedly this has been hit and miss for us, as the creepy crawlies in the garden eat everthing left, but always worth a try.

3) Encourage your strawberry’s multiplications, by planting the “tentacles” they form into flower pots. You can cut the tentacles only ONCE the shoot has taken. I basically leave them in the flower pots until Spring and tidy it all up then. I also leave the dead leaves to help insulate for the Winter.After that I do nothing with the strawberry plants until Spring.

4) Start clearing your flower beds of tomato plants – let the remaining ones ripen indoors and those that remain green, turn into delicious Green Tomato Chutney. We tend to just let them ripen in a bowl near the fruit bowl with bananas in it. Some say put them in a dry dark area. I am not sure there is any difference really.

5) Harvest your potatoes and carrots (lesson learnt re the carrots: you really DO need to thin them out in Spring, if you want beautiful “straight carrots”, having said that, the misshappened ones shown are great fun for the kids!).

6) Pick your apples – if they come off the tree with a gentle twist, they are ready. If you need to tuck or twist a little more, then leave them on another couple of weeks.

7) Keep your pumpkin and courgette plants going a little longer, but they too will soon be cut back and cleared.

8) Now is the time to get hold of your bulbs and plant them for next year. Get them in the ground by the end of Oct.

9) Start planning your garden. This is a great season for landscaping and thinking about building raised flower beds for next year.

10) If you want to grow winter veg, you can think about planting hardy onions.

11) If you have planted Spring onions, you don’t have to harvest them all at once, we actually leave them throughout winter and pick as we use them. But then the UK has a very mild Winter climate. Check for frost and freezing temperatures in your area.

Author: Maggy Woodley

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