Autumn is early here this year.  Leaves dropping, berries ripening and apples ready to pick in August.  Although the apple crop is heavy this year, potatoes, beans and sweetcorn have not flourished for me in dry, hot, wet, cool fluctuating conditions.

There are still the asters, chrysanthemums and Hederanthas (Schizostolis) to come into their own in September and October, I hope, but the late summer perennials like phlox and crocosmia are giving up.


Here are some jobs you could do:

Harvest: Onions, main crop potatoes, sweetcorn, pumpkins and squashes. Apples and pears will mostly have been picked at the end of August this year. All apart from sweetcorn can be stored in a dark dry place. Sweetcorn cobs freeze well.

Autumn fruiting raspberries and beans will continue to need picking or they will stop producing more.

Collect seeds to share or keep for next year; store them in labelled paper bags or envelopes somewhere cool and dry. The garden Society runs a seed swap at their Spring Show and at the trading shed later.

Plant:  daffodils, crocus, hyacinth and Muscari (wait until November for tulips); start to plant overwintering onions and shallots

Divide:  herbaceous perennials that are overcrowded.

Take cuttings: of tender perennials like Fuchsia, Pelargonium, Salvias and penstemons and overwinter under cover.

Cut down: fruited canes of berries and tie in the new growth.

Lawns: scarify, aerate, top-dress and feed with a low nitrogen fertiliser …. or grow a wild flower meadow instead!

Dead-heading:  One wants to tidy things up at this time of year, but hydrangeas need their dead flower heads to protect next year’s buds; many other seed heads are a valuable resource for wildlife and the foliage is home for many invertebrates over winter.  Wildlife does not like tidy!

Most important:  Find time to enjoy your garden and perhaps visit someone else’s for ideas.

The Summer show and the Harvest Supper are cancelled this year, but the trading shed remains open by appointment until 26th September.

Contact Alec with your orders on or on07856532477

Those winners of trophies last year can keep polishing their silver until the next show!