Gardening tips for autumn

Glenn Hatfield offers tips to prepare your vegetable patch for the coming winter months.

autumn garden tips

Although the main work in your garden has ended for this year with the close of summer, never fear, there is still plenty of work left to keep your fingers green this season. Below we have listed some useful advice for your vegetable garden.

Early Autumn

Harvest: Most crops – including a start on sweet corn, tomatoes, marrows and ridge cucumbers. Lift shallots and dry out in the sun before storing for winter use.

Sow – Outdoors: Winter spinach, spring cabbage (early in the period), onions for over wintering, spring salad onions.

Cultivate: Continue hoeing to control weeds, watering and liquid feeding where necessary. Keep side shooting cucumbers and training cucumbers where they are cordon grown.

Protect: Ripening onions and shallots from heavy rainfall to prevent re-growth and split bulbs. Harvest crops as soon as they are ready to prevent rapid ageing in hot conditions.


Harvest: Beans – French and runners, beetroot cabbage, carrots, cauliflowers, cucumber, lettuce, marrow and turnips. It is a good time to lift potatoes (leave them to dry for an hour or two before storing for winter use). Make sure you have stored crops such as onions before the end of this period.

woman cultivating soil

Sow: Lettuce, onions to overwinter and turnips for turnip tops

Plant: Spring cabbage from the late summer sowing.

Cultivate: Soil as potatoes are lifted to prepare the cabbage and other crops. This is a good time to start another compost heap as the autumn clean-up is under way.

Protect: A good time to erect polythene-covered structures, both cloches and greenhouses. They will then survive two winters and at least one summer.

Late Autumn

Harvest: The first brussels sprouts and the last of all crops to be destroyed by frost. Lift and store all the root crops as they mature. Complete lifting potatoes and put in store for use through the winter months.

Brussels sprouts

Sow – outdoors: Lettuce and round seeded peas and broad beans (towards the end of this period) to overwinter, ideally under cloches.

Plant: Spring cabbage before it gets very wet and cold.

Cultivate: Start autumn digging and cut down the old stems on asparagus, this is a good time to dig in well decayed garden compost.

Protect: Protect endive to give blanched hearts and start to force chicory in pots indoors.


By Glenn Hatfield

Last modified: August 28, 2015

Written by 4:05 pm Gardening

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