We may be in the midst of a washout summer but as gardeners and allotment holders we will already be thinking ahead to the autumn and winter months. We will be busy thinking about all the things we can sow and grow into Autumn/winter and the prep we need to do to get those areas ready again for the spring madness.
There are still lots of things to focus on into the later summer too. Harvests will be at their peak so continue to pick your vegetables regularly to allow the plant to then produce more flowers and fruit while the sun is still shining. Make sure you feed your plants at least one or twice a week to encourage growth and to help ripen fruits. We have an excellent organic feed called Plant Fuel that will boost your flowers and vegetables.
There should be lots of vegetables ready for harvest and you may find that you have a glut of the vegetables below. It’s a good idea to make some freezer space so you can store and use your harvests into winter. Make sure you look up ways to store your harvests so you can make the most out of what you grow.
During the summer months it is important to regularly deadhead your flowers this will help the flowers put more energy into the plant to produce more buds to flower rather than the plant putting energy into the plant to create seeds. If you grow dahlias remove spent heads as soon as possible and this way you will enjoy flowers up until the first frosts.
Whilst there are lots of jobs to still be done into the late summer one of the biggest things to start thinking about is Soil Health and what you will be doing to your soil to improve it ready for next season.
Soil health is a huge part of what makes up these delightful spaces we love to spend time in, and to get the most out of these spaces we need to improve the soil so we can create flourishing garden borders and bountiful vegetable patches. We have a fantastic range of Peat Free composts to help improve your soil. Whether you have Heavy Clay, Sandy soil or chalky soil we have the right products to help you get it back to its peak so that the ground is usable for next season.
Our two main products for this are:
Soil improver – whether you have Heavy clay, Sandy soil or chalky soil our Soil improver can be added to your soil to help change the consistency and overall health of the soil. Our soil improver is made from broken down Maize, Rye and Grass making it the perfect organic matter to be dug into difficult soil types. The soil improver is N:P:K rich and has a great source of readily available minerals and nutrients to feed your soil and plants. Our Soil improver is best dug into the ground especially heavy clay soil, it will help break up the heavy clay and create a perfect consistency for planting. You can use these products all year round, but preparing your beds in the autumn and winter will give you the best start to the spring.
Mulch – Mulching is the way to go, everyone is doing it and talking about the benefits of how good mulching can be. We have our very own Magic Mulch and it really is magic! There are a couple of ways you can use our mulch, the first is by using it the same way as our soil improver and digging it into difficult soil areas to improver the consistency, water holding properties and wadding nutrients to the soil. The other and most popular way of using mulch is to try it No Dig by adding a thick layer of mulch to your soil and allowing it to be taken into the soil below by worms. The mulch with create a natural barrier on top of the soil that will help retain moisture in the soil below, suppress weeds, naturally repel slugs and snails and it will add nutrients to the soil.
Getting these gardening/growing spaces ready in the autumn for the following season is the best way to help get your gardens flourishing. You can still do these things in the early spring, and You can add mulch to borders and beds at any point in the year to give them and extra boost especially during hot summers to help the moisture retaining properties.
Continuing your growing spaces into Autumn
If you would like to keep growing in your gardens and allotments over the autumn and winter months August /September are still the perfect time to sow and grow the following. Our Peat Free Seed & Cutting compost is perfect for germinating your seeds.
- Christmas potatoes
- Swiss chard
- Herbs on indoor windowsills
- Microgreens on windowsills
- Spring onion
- Salad leaves
You may now want to start thinking about spring bulbs, we will start to plant these in September and October so have a think about what spring bulbs you want to add to your spaces to encourage pollinators, add colour and create texture and height in those borders.
We hope you enjoy the last few weeks of sunshine and the summer in your gardening spaces. Our next blog will be all about autumn jobs in the garden and allotment.