Gardening Magazine

Winding Down

By Mwillis
It feels very much like the end of Summer now. We still have daytime temperatures in the low to mid twenties (Celsius!), but the nights have been a lot cooler, and in the early morning it definitely feels Autumny. It won't be long before I have to start sweeping up leaves!
In my garden too there has been a subtle change from "Summer jobs" to "Autumn jobs". This week I have harvested the last fruits from several of my tomato plants, and put them on my garden table in the sunshine to finish ripening.
Winding down
The spent tomato plants have been cut down and composted, the canes have been put away in the garage and now I just have empty pots. I think it's too late now to sow / plant anything else in them.
Winding down
Behind the empty pots you can see some of my second-crop veg -- things that were sown once the potatoes had been lifted. For instance, one pot contains a few beetroot, which are just beginning to swell.
Winding down
In another pot are two Kaibroc plants, which have produced a small but steady succession of broccoli-like spears for the best part of two months. The spears are getting smaller now that the plants are nearly exhausted, but they are still worth having.
Winding down
In a third pot, half a dozen "Canadian Wonder" Dwarf French beans are just setting some pods. Hopefully they will mature before any frosts come along.
Winding down
Talking of empty pots... after a very productive season, the Cucumber plants have come down too.
Winding down
One other job I have done this week is to remove the old Parsley plants from last year, which I had allowed to go to seed this year. I stripped the ripe seeds off them before they went into the compost bin, and scattered them on the soil from where the plants had come. It looks scruffy now, but with a bit of luck at least some of the seeds will germinate next year.
Winding down
This is what I'm aiming for - a huge patch of Parsley that will supply us throughout the year - or at least the Summer! (This is this year's patch).
Winding down
I've also been taking a close look at my apples to see if they are ready for picking yet. I notice that last year I picked apples in the last week of September. For me this is a 5-minute job, by the way. I have only three very small apple trees, and this year one of them has produced no fruit at all (it didn't even blossom). The "Winter Banana" apple tree has managed to hang on to about 8 fruit this year. All the others (and there were quite a lot this time) fell off at various points along the way - a rather prolonged "June drop"! The ones that remain look nice, but I think I'll delay picking them until the end of the month again.
Winding down
Meanwhile, I shall just sit and admire my Squashes (of which, as a novice, I am inordinately proud) as they slowly ripen in the sunshine...
Winding down

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