My seasonal tips if you’re growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers for cutting
Keep deadheading annuals and late-flowering Dahlias & Salvias to prolong flowering (and don’t forget to support them as the plants get bigger and top-heavy).
Direct sow hardy annuals (such as Nigella, cornflowers and Calendula officinalis) in to the ground now for early flowers next summer.
Dry seedheads of Eryngium and Teasels to use in flower arrangements.
Order your spring bulbs now if you haven’t done it already – if you leave it too late you may find it hard to get exactly what you want. If you’re looking for ideas on what to plant, take a look at my blog on choosing bulbs for the cutting garden.
Move tender plants under cover as the night time temperatures drop.
Keep on top of your harvesting to beat damp weather which can damage produce.
Pick sweetcorn as soon as it’s ripe, and if frost is forecast, harvest tender veg. such as courgette, peppers and tomatoes.
Plant out any new strawberry plants now.
Let squash and pumpkins ripen in the sun.
Sow fast-growing oriental greens such as Mizuna and Pak-choi.
Cover leafy vegetable crops with bird-proof netting.
Before slug damage spoils them, dig up any remaining potatoes and store in a cool, frost-free place.
Take up the last of this year’s onion crop and leave them to dry before storing. You can now sow onion sets to mature next summer.
There’s still time to sow green manures which will release nutrients back in to the soil when they are dug in over spring.
PESTS AND DISEASES
Clean your greenhouse & coldframes to help prevent pests over wintering.
Start to clear up plant debris in borders to keep fungal diseases at bay over winter.
To avoid Vine weevils damaging your plants apply nematodes this month and next, to treat freshly hatched grubs (I get mine from www.ladybirdplantcare.co.uk).
Picture credits: Janet Bligh & Firgrove Photographic