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When the squirrels are harvesting

When squirrels are harvesting  And birds in flight appear -  By these autumn signs we know  September days are here."  -  Beverly Ashour, ‘September’

It’s definitely feeling autumnal now. And that makes us want to prepare the garden for the winter. Containers are being emptied when annual plants finish. And we are moving some perennial plants from the smaller containers to bigger ones ready for next year.

Volunteers are still busy weeding and tidying as usual. At least the recent rain has meant that we haven’t needed to water much. Although September has been a lot dryer than usual so some plants have suffered from this. But the recent rain has produced some interesting fungi. It seems to like growing by wood. So there has been some by the book tree and the reading circle.

In the veg garden the potatoes, beans, pak choi and tomatoes have finished. I‘ve planted more winter veg seedlings. Broccoli, Brussels, spring cabbage, celeriac, kales and winter lettuce. I’ve not grown winter lettuce before and can’t believe it will survive the cold weather.  But if it does, at least the slugs will have lots to eat over the winter.

I’ve re-planted an aubergine that I was growing at home. Earlier in the year the flowers were dropping off. But a couple have set and we have a baby aubergine or two. It won’t last more than a few weeks more, but I thought it might like being in the garden.

There are a lot of daddy longlegs in the garden this month. Or should I call them crane flies? Their larvae, called leather jackets, spend the summer below the grass munching at roots. Then autumn rain loosens the soil and it’s the sign for them to hatch. They come to the surface, live for 2 weeks, mating and laying more lava. Then they get eaten by the birds.  What a life!

Talking of birds, we have been providing them with dying sunflower heads, corn cobs, seeds and nuts. There are still insects and berries in the garden for them to eat. By having things for the birds to eat now though, we get birds used to feeding there. That way they are familiar with eating there when they need to in the winter.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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