What veg plants can be harvested? How do I know I’ve been successful?
A clear contender for October harvests are pumpkins, whether big or small they can be used as decorations for Halloween or used in desserts and dishes. You’ll know they are ready to harvest when the fruit has matured and turned fully orange – once harvested leave their skins to harden in the sun, which is called curing. Quick maturing veg like carrots can be sown regularly in small groups for a continuous supply, so they can be harvested from May right through to December and they’ll be ready for harvest between 12 and 16 weeks after sowing. Check them by removing some of the soil around the plant to see their size and colour. Apples are a great October harvest, and likely to be the last month to pick them, you’ll have to take a bite to check if they’re ripe!
Can I do anything with all the leaves I am raking up from my lawn?
Yes! You can either add them to your compost heap as a ‘brown’ material supplying carbon to the mix, but it’s best to add them in little piles rather than all at once. Or you can make leaf mould which is made by the leaves breaking down over a long period of time, which is eventually used as a soil improver. Alternatively, put the leaves into a hessian bag and leave it behind the shed, leaving them to break down – the material of the bag will allow moisture to get in to mix with the leaves.
What should I do with my herbaceous plants now they have finished flowering?
Giving your beds and borders a little tidy up in autumn will improve flowering and make the areas look their best, until next growing season. Deadheading bedding plants by removing spent flowers by hand is the easiest method, you can do the same with shrubs and climbers too. Removing the flowers will redirect the plants energy into stronger growth and more blooms.