The start of Autumn is usually a continuation of warm summer
weather although this inevitably gives way to cooler ,damper and often rather
windier conditions over the ensuing weeks. The other change which becomes
especially noticeable is the shortening days .
Despite the advent of shorter
days the growing season can be extended
by applying a mulch to crops in late summer to help keep the warmth in the soil
Towards the end of the month the inevitable clear out must
commence as you embark upon the autumn cultivation and soil treatments that will help nourish next years crop.
Tasks to consider:
Plant green manure – mustard ; phacellia ; crimson clover;
alphalpha; winter tares , grazing rye.
Some green manures are good for breaking up heavy
clay soils with their extensive deep roots (alphalpha). Other green manures are
good for fixing nitrogen from the air and turning it into nitrates in the roots
of the plants (crimson clover; winter tares )and for increasing the humus content
of the soil (phacellia; grazing rye). Green manures also help the soil hold onto its fertility by
preventing nutrients being washed out by the winter rains. They are also very
good for suppressing weed growth. Finally they help improve the soil structure and in the Spring all you
need to do is cut them down and dig them in where they will quickly rot down.I planted Phacellia and mustard last autumn and i was very happand was very happy with the results.This year I have selected 4 differnt types - crimson clover, winter tares, aalphalpha and my favourite because of the beautiful blue flowers , phacellia (which is great for attracting bees).
Empty existing compost heaps and start new compost
heaps – The compost that is ready can be spread on the ground and that which is only partially rotted
should be returned to the bins to finish it off.
spread the compost
you made this year over cleared ground.
Complete summer pruning of apples and pears. Cut off old
canes of blackberries and hybrid berries often after fruiting and tie in new
ones ready for next year.
Finish pruning and tying in summer fruiting gooseberries,
cutting off any mildewed tips.
Prune blackcurrants and take cuttings from healthy plants
Prune plums and damsons straight after they finish cropping.
Remove dead wood from wall trained cherries . Tie down or
cut out strong vertical shoots and complete tying in.
Harvest blackberries ,blueberries and apples.
Summer fruiting raspberries can be tidied up by cutting off
the canes that have fruited and tying in new the new shoots that will bear next
Summer fruiting strawberries should be cut back about 1”
from the ground .Runners can be potted up to replace plants older than 3 years
General – clear weeds around fruit bushes and trees as they
Trim parley to encourage fresh shoots and cut back marjoram
and oreganno, to encourage a second flush of growth.
Take cuttings of Rosemary, Lavendar, Bay, and hyssop and
divide herbs to form new plants. Begin painting or applying greasebands to
trunks of fruit trees to protect against pests next Spring.
Spring cabbages can be planted out now as can over
wintering Japanese onion sets. Garlic can be planted in tubs in the