There’s still plenty going on in growing spaces, sowing on windowsills, harvesting, weeding and getting ready for autumn. Mixed weather, shorter days and cooler nights all mean plant growth is slowing down. Cropping and ripening fruit takes priority, but give some thought to any gaps in the soil and get ready to make the Grow6 seasonal switch.
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Late sowings will just keep on cropping if you keep on picking. Any yellowing pods you might consider leaving on the plant to begin to dry out for saving seed.
Will you be eating homegrown tomatoes or trying green tomato chutney?! To encourage fruits to ripen remove any remaining flowers and all lower leaves to ensure as much light as possible gets to the fruit to encourage ripening. Brown leaves and stems may signal tomato blight. Do keep a careful eye on the fruit and if symptoms spread remove the fruit and try ripening on a windowsill.
Late-flowering strawberries will be flowering and fruiting. Autumn-fruiting raspberries will begin to produce fruit. Watch the bees gorge on late nectar and keep an eye out for birds, here’s hoping for some sunshine to sweeten the fruit.
Young kale plants for winter should be growing away in warm autumn soils. Keep an eye out for cabbage white butterflies and pick them off. Try sowings of mixed winter salad leaves, oriental greens (pak choi, mizuna) or corn salad in soil, troughs or trays on a warm sunny windowsill for planting out in a few week’s time. Where sown outside, cover them with an old sheet of glass or plastic to act as a mini greenhouse.
It’s time to try late sowings of coriander on a sunny windowsill for a few leaves for autumn dishes.
Maincrop tatties will start to signal they are ready for lifting once plants have flowered and leaves begin to yellow. Familiarise yourself with signs of potato blight in case blight strikes, and if in doubt, you can now cut plant tops off and leave the tatties untouched for three weeks before harvesting to stop the blight from spreading into the tubers and turning them to mush.
Large areas of bare ground can also be protected by sowing green manure- seeds that prevent nutrient loss over wet winter months and can be dug in springtime for bulk and nutrient. Read more here