Go To Intro

Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM

Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit

Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Vines And Other Climbing Plants.

Fish Ponds

Books By
Alan J Hartley



The Start Of Autumn. 

We started to get some much needed rain again at about the end of the first week of August.
The timing was just right for planting my Leeks that went in, in place of the first of the Potatoes that were dug out. I had been holding the Leeks back in trays for just such an opportunity. If you keep them in restricted conditions like this they seem to just stop growing and then start again when put into better, whereas, many plants will suffer and spoil if not kept growing continuously. The Potatoes that came out were a bit on the small side and rather scabby, but OK really. As I have done the last couple of years, I am going to try and save some of the smaller ones to be kept through the Winter to be used as seed next Spring. The experts do not always recommend this though, as the popular idea is that this practice is asking for disease to be introduced to the new crop.
It is getting a bit late, with Autumn upon us, but I have also just sown some Radish Mooli, Spring Cabbage, Chard, Chicory and a late Turnip variety. When they are transplanted these will all go in where the Potatoes were, thus keeping an otherwise large and empty bed productive throughout much of the Winter and into early Spring.

Most things have been ready for harvest through August and into September, but many have been a couple of weeks early this year. With the fruit, the Figs in particular, have done well and I started picking those nearly a month early. Some varieties of Apples have also been ready early and for them too it has also been a bumper year. The only problem with the Apples though, has been an excessive amount of Windfalls due to the dry weather. They started falling early for the “June Drop,” and have just kept falling ever since.

Now that we are officially into the start of Autumn, any Summer pruning that hasn’t already been done must be done as soon as possible, because it won’t be long before the trees and bushes start dropping their leaves and begin the Winter shut down. Any open cuts need a few weeks to heal before the plants go dormant to prevent infection from getting in.
My Early, or Summer Fruiting Raspberries were cut down at the beginning of August with all of the old stems, which had fruited and started to turn Brown, cut out completely. The young, green shoots will need tying in for the coming Winter and next season, but as yet there is not much growth on them. The “Lates,” or Autumn fruiting varieties will be cut down much later, as they will go on fruiting for a while yet. Then they will just be shortened before the Winter sets in to prevent the winter storms from rocking them and cut down to the ground at the end of February next year because they will fruit on next Springs new growth.
As of writing this I am just starting to prune my Black Currant Bushes. Remember though that they do fruit on old wood, so you can’t take out too many branches at once, or else you will have no fruit for a year or two. Whereas, White and Red Currants fruit on new growth, so can be cut down harder. Many people leave Currants until Winter to prune, but they can be safely done now.
While pruning my bushes I found quit a few stems had been pulled down to the ground, by the sheer weight of fruit and they had rooted. These were carefully cut off and trimmed before being potted as free plants. I did put some of the ordinary prunings in as cutting as well though. It is a bit early to be doing this with what are essentially “Hard Wood,” cuttings, but Currants root so easily it would have been a shame to waste the shoots. If you get the cut shoots mixed up between Black Currant and Red and White, you can easily tell which are Black Currant, because the leaves smell, whereas White and Red don’t. This may be why Gooseberry Sawfly doesn’t attack Black Currants, but does Red and White. Birds don’t seem to go for the Black Berries so much either, but that may be due to the fact that they seem to instinctively home in on all red berries.
On the subject of cuttings I have been putting in lots of cuttings of garden plants as well. Semi ripe shoots root easily and quickly at this time of year. Some of them may need a bit of shelter in a cold greenhouse, or cold-frame before planting them out, but they should make good plants for next year. This is especially a good idea if you have any plants that are a bit tender like some of the Salvias, or Osteospermums.

As Autumn sets in it won’t be long before we have to start and prepare other things ready for the coming Winter. Having said that the first frosts don’t usually come until November so we have some weeks of good weather still ahead of us for quick growing and last minute crops.


Click Here For Information