There’s no doubt about it; our weather is changing with longer dry spells and heavier more intense rain. What remains the same, only more urgent, is the need to build and protect our soils from extreme dry or wet spells, and in turn, they will look after us. So if you have garden space and don’t yet recycle your grass and other green waste from the garden mixed with egg boxes, veg peelings and toilet roll tubes start now! Size is irrelevant; any amount of composting is a good thing – protecting, building, and enriching soils is essential, an opportunity to invest in future growing seasons. Now is also the time to really focus on growing through autumn and winter. Grow6 autumn/winter begins next week to keep you sowing and growing something fresh all year round.
If you’ve missed something, scroll through weekly updates or Grow6 crop pages to catch up.
Keep picking peas from late sowings to keep them flowering. Where peas are ‘spent’ (they will no longer produce pods and start to pale), cut the plants at soil level and compost them, leaving roots in the soil to nourish it. Plant ‘greens’ into the warm, wet soil on top.
Will they ever ripen? Some of us will be luckier than others; a few things can help: keep up a regular weekly liquid feed, remove lower leaves and extra side shoots on tall, cordon tomatoes, and hope for more sunny spells to ripen fruits growing inside and out.
Summer strawberries and raspberries are starting to come to an end; however, the currant season is in full swing (watch out, the birds don’t swipe them ALL!), and autumn flowering raspberries will be developing flower buds. See previous posts for what to do with your early flowering canes. If you are out and about, keep an eye out in hedgerows for fruit. ‘Wild’ raspberries and strawberries are much smaller than their cultivated cousins, have great flavour and make delicious jam.
Time to get growing greens for late winter; wherever possible, sow on windowsills or under glass outside to speed germination up; try winter spinach, mixed lettuce, rocket, parsley, and coriander. If you have big gaps in your soil, you might find some young winter cabbage, kale or leek plants at your nearest community garden, allotment site or local garden centre. It’s time to get them in the soil now if they are to grow big enough to get through winter.
Spare a thought for our pollinators working hard in all this wet weather. A range of flowering herbs in pots or garden spaces ensures enough food for everyone.
Early tatties that have flowered and are yellow can be cut back and lifted. Unsure how? See One Seed Forward posts in our socials. Maincrop tatties will still be growing away but do keep a regular eye on any stems rotting, damp, humid days are perfect conditions for potato blight.
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