With clocks having gone back nights are most certainly drawing in sooner. This means the time on your plot becomes more at a premium. With the additional task of clearing leaves time gets even more pressing so it pays to get the equipment you need to make the tasks quicker and simpler.
At Marshalls we look to offer you those handy bits of gardening and growing equipment to make your life easier and tasks quicker.
This leaves us to wish you happy days enjoying the fresh air unique to autumn.
The Marshalls team
Our Top 6 jobs for the month
Sow seeds of the following vegetables in module trays, seed trays or even in individual pots. Do this now and get harvests earlier next year than if you wait to sowing from spring.
Get bare-root plants of currant bushes for planting now. They are cheaper than container varieties yet are just as quick to grow and equally as productive. So take a look at our range, choose your favourite and get bare-root plants in the ground this autumn.
Get armed with a sharp pair of secateurs and clip back any stems that have grown too far from the central crown and are growing just that little bit wayward. With string to hand too you can tie any healthy stems in you don’t want to sacrifice just yet to keep them neat and tidy.
If you want a fresh stock of nice young plants with potential we recommend the Long Cropping Collection.
It’s easy to create a compost perfect for your vegetable plot with fallen leaves. Collect them all up using a rake, place them in a biodegrable sack and bury them in the soil. The sack and contents all break down, replenishing the soil of nutrients and encourage worm activity which improves the soil structure.
Autumn is an ideal time to add soil conditioners to your nutrient-depleted soil from the summer.
We recommend you add Organic Farm Manure to vegetable plots after you’ve finished harvesting.
You can grow a row or two of leafy plants (green manure) which you cut down and dig into the soil in a month or so to improve the nutrient-level of the soil. Green manures make get pest-control and fumigate the soil keeping soil-borne disease spores out of your soil.
Harvest top fruit like apples and pears now using the right tools for those out of reach –after all it’s the ones at the top of the tree that tend to be the best quality as these get the most sunlight to ripen and grow.
Top crops to plant and sow now
Grow evergreen bay trees (Laurus nobilis) for leaves at your fingertips 365 days a year. They add flavour for sauces making them richer and turn bland dishes into decent dishes, just by adding a single leaf.
They look beautiful as trained trees by the doorway, welcoming you home. Get bay cones, bay lollipop trees or bushes to suit your tastes.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
2 bay leaves
2 large onions (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 red peppers (sliced)
2 courgettes (chopped)
1 aubergine (chopped)
1 415g can of chopped tomatoes
Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan and add onions and garlic. Cook for around three minutes or until onions look ‘glassy’.
Add courgettes, aubergine, peppers and mix. Fry for a further five minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, herbes de Provence and bay leaves, bring to boiling and then let simmer for half an hour to let the flavour of the bay seep slowly into the ratatouille.
In the meantime fry four eggs.
Pick out the leaves and serve into four bowls placing a fried egg on each serving.
Watch for pests and diseases
This is a disorder rather than disease which becomes evident in the autumn once you start to store them. Your apples begin to get sunken patches and brown flecks and give off a generally bitter taste.
Bitter pit is caused by lack of calcium and is more common after long, hot and dry summers like the summer this year. For next year we recommend you feed apple trees through the summer with a calcium-rich feed like Gro Sure Tomato Food.
It’s important to keep soil moist through the summer which you can ensure by improving the soil in spring. Dig in lots of organic matter to the surrounding soil if possible. If not cover the soil surface with a moisture-locking mulch like attractive Smart Ground Cover.
Well done to grower James Lowe with his winning Gogorez pepper at 460g in weight shown at the Malvern Autumn Show 2018.
Our partners the National Vegetable Society (NVS) hosted the Gogorez- Heaviest pepper competition at the annual show as part of the Marshalls Show and Grow series.
Watch this space for next year’s vegetable of choice revealed in our newsletter next month.
Dig for Victory gifts
Marshalls brings four beautiful gifts into its range from the unique Dig for Victory collection from Kent & Stowe. This collection has been inspired by the British civilians who were called upon to become self-sufficient and Dig for Victory in the Second World War. Uniquely- packaged gardening gifts using newly digitalised images from Imperial War Museums’ (IWM) vast collections.
Every gift includes FREE authentic tips and recipes and is perfect for anyone with a love of gardening or history.