Seasonal Tips - Grow Your Own

Grow Your Own

Flower Power

Good Housekeeping

Pick all fruit

“Regularly Pick All Fruit As It Becomes Ready And Order Your Trees For Planting!“

Don't leave fruit on the tree or bush to become over-ripe, but at the same time don't pick too early or the full flavour won't have developed. Most fruit is ready when it comes away easily in the hand.

Apples and pears are generally ready to pick when they readily part from the tree after being lifted gently in the palm and given a slight twist. Pears are best picked when slightly immature. They should then be left a couple of days at room temperature to reach full maturity. It's wise to cover ripening fruit with a net to protect them from birds.

Now is also the perfect time to be ordering and planting all new fruit trees, bushes and canes. New trees can be planted once the autumn sets in and the dry weather is over. The soil will still be quite warm in September even if the weather is cool, and the roots of new plants will benefit from this. This is particularly important for peaches and nectarines. Other fruit trees may have a higher tolerance of cold at the roots, and can be planted later.

Top Tomato Care Now Ensures A Bumper Crop Of Perfect Fruits

Stop cordon tomatoes once they've reached their maximum height by removing the tip of the main shoot. Look for the leaf that's above the fourth truss and remove the tip at this point. This should ensure that all the fruit ripens. 

Bush tomatoes can be left to their own devices. Make sure they are kept well and evenly watered - if the soil or compost dries out then the crop is reduced, the fruit may split and even suffer from blossom end rot - where the bottom of the fruit turns black.

Tomatoes are also hungry feeders, and need a weekly diet of liquid tomato fertiliser. Remove side-shoots from upright cordon varieties. And make sure plants are well supported - so tie them in regularly to their supports. 

Tomato care

Start harvesting

You’ve Been Working Hard All Summer Growing Fresh Vegetables – Now Is The Time To Start Harvesting!

There is lots to harvest in the vegetable garden at this time of year.

Pick courgettes regularly before they become marrows.

Finish harvesting second early potatoes, especially if the weather is wet.

Harvest sweetcorn as it ripens. When the tassels at the end of the cob start to shrivel and turn brown, gently push a fingernail into the kernel. If the liquid is milky it indicates the cob is ready.

Lift onions, shallots and garlic when ready. Harvest when the necks start to turn brown and papery, and bend over naturally. Don't bend the necks as this can result in disease. Let the tops dry and then remove them.

Regularly pick fast-maturing vegetables, such as French beans, runner beans, courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes, to stop them becoming tough and stringy and to encourage further cropping.