Autumn-Leaves-130917During the past week, summer has begun to make way for autumn in Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden.  The night-time temperatures have dipped and the weather has become squally with the strong wind and rain setting in.

The leaves from the surrounding trees are already begin to litter the ground, signaling that it's time to dig the leaf rakes and grabbers out of the shed.  Leaf fall always keeps us busy for several months in the lead up to Christmas as the garden is situated in an area of woodland and we have many trees in the wider gardens.  We like to keep on top of the leaves by regularly clearing them away and keeping the garden as tidy as we possibly can.  Our leaf mould bags are empty and ready to be refilled over the autumn months.

Similarly, crops in the kitchen garden are beginning to drop leaves and plant debris as they end their productive life for the season.  We have already cleared the sweet corn plants, having harvested all of the delicious cobs.  Some of the early squash plants have also been cleared away, after their leaves turned brown and crisp, literally overnight.  The squashes are laid on a tray in the greenhouse to harden their skins before being stored in the larder. 

 It is so important to clear dead leaves and plant debris from the garden at this time of the year.  They may contain pests and diseases that will overwinter in the soil ready to appear again next year, and clearing them away quickly will help prevent this from happening.  Plus, it keeps the garden tidy and looking it's best as long as possible.

Despite the slide into autumn, the summer is still clinging on.  We are of continuing our get harvest of Climbing French beans, tomatoes, chillies, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, runner beans, blackberries and sweet peas and they show no signs of slowing up just yet.