It may be the month of mists and mellow fruitfulness, but there is still plenty for you to do in the veg patch, so our Kitchen Gardener James has some top tips to help you look after your very own kitchen garden.
The first thing you can do now before it gets too chilly is harvest all remaining tomatoes, peppers, beans, chillies and aubergines. The cold weather may damage your produce so it’s best to bring it in now. Any green tomatoes can be ripened by placing in a bowl, out of direct sunlight with an apple or banana. And those that stubbornly refuse to change colour can be made into chutney! Here’s a great recipe.
Now is the ideal time to get garlic in the ground, giving the plants time to establish before winter. Separate cloves from the bulb, dig a hole 3cm deep, pop in one clove per hole, spaced at 10cm per hole with 30cm between rows. Cover each hole with compost. You don’t need to buy seed garlic; regular garlic will do and organic is best as it is untreated. You’d be best off planting your garlic before the first frost arrives and the ground is hard. How simple is that? Grab yourself some garlic and get planting!
Celery and bulb fennel can be left in the ground, but make sure they are protected with a covering of fleece to deal with that colder weather which is just around the corner.
The Rest of the Garden
Here are a few tips for looking after the rest of your garden this Autumn:
- Plant spring bulbs as deep as you can. Top tip – If your garden is overrun with squirrels, then put a layer of chicken wire just beneath the surface of the soil.
- Net your pond to reduce leaf build up
- Bring in tender perennials for the winter
- Pelargoniums need bringing in for the winter too. Prune roots to fit in the pot, trim the top growth by a third or as much to fit into the space you have. Pot into peat-free multipurpose compost and put in a tray or bowl of water. Keep them in a frost-free location, away from draughts such as on a windowsill. Water sparingly and don’t let them sit wet during the winter.
That is lots to be getting on with before the weather turns too chilly which isn’t far away now, so grab your gardening gloves as it’s time to get busy before the cold snap!
We hope that has given you some inspiration and advice; if it has we would love to see your photos by tagging us on Instagram @chiswick_house or email email@example.com.