The harvest is now in full swing. This week I've some tips on how to store your produce and the crops you can still plant and sow! I'll also tell you how to improve your soil to stop nutrients being washed away over winter, and I've some great tips on keeping friendly bugs in your garden.
- Lift root crops such as carrots and beetroot and store them in a frost-free environment. You can do this by burying them in boxes filled with damp sand and keeping them in a cool building such as a garage. Setting a mousetrap or two nearby might also be a sensible precaution.
Rainbow coloured carrots ready for storage
- Harvest marrows, squashes and pumpkins before the first frosts. Store in a frost-free shed or garage. Cut them, leaving an inch or two of stem attached.
- Lift and store potatoes. They need a frost-free, dark and cool place.
Charlotte potato harvest
Sowing and planting
- Plant garlic cloves. Light, well-drained soil suit it best. For heavier soils, plant on a ridge that has had plenty of horticultural grit added. Split the bulbs into individual cloves and plant them 20 cm [8”] apart.
Garlic bulbs are split up to plant individual cloves
- Find out more about green manure:
Composting and recycling
- Get compost containers ready for the autumn clean up. Construct extra or purchase new ones before the leaves start to fall.
- Shredders are very useful and can turn most trimmings and modest prunings into useful mulching material.
An electric plant prunings shredder
Caring for our wildlife
- Start feeding birds again - if you ever stopped!
- Provide log piles in odd corners to act as wildlife refuges.
A large garden log pile for wildlife
- Put up lacewing, bee and ladybird shelters to provide over-wintering refuges for these helpful predators to stay in your garden.
A ladybird shelter for winter