Autumn Farm, Garden & Allotment Jobs
With greyer skies, plenty of orange leaves on the ground and temperatures dropping it most definitely feels like Autumn is here, and with rains coming in we have some clues as to what the next few months are going to be like.
Summer is over, and therefore it is on to our lengthy list of Autumnal jobs on the farm.
We would like to however point out, that after a busy Spring and Summer season, this is the time to take some rest. Enjoy watching the season change, enjoy some autumnal veg in heartwarming foods, and even get the fire on to warm your feet. It’s as important as all of the Autumnal jobs listed here!
Once refreshed though, it’s on to the list of Autumn Jobs for your garden, farm or allotment. It’s easy to think that now the flowers are losing bloom, and the main crop of veg is ending that your garden, farm or allotment doesn’t have any jobs that need doing.
However, there is a lot to do to prepare for both the colder months ahead, and also to give you a strong Spring next year.
So here is exactly what we are up to in October for Autumn Farm, Garden and Allotment Jobs:
- Garlic – It’s time to get these in! We’re sitting in front of the telly in the evenings pulling our garlic cloves into bulbs, then getting them in the soil this week. If you have the heavy clay we have here, then you may want to plant in Spring or mound up your beds and give them plenty of organic matter. This helps with drainage and prevents cloves rotting.
- Broad Beans – Yes you can get these straight in the ground now too! Again, the soil needs to drain well to prevent rotting seeds so make sure to fork in some well rotted manure, or nice fertile compost.
- Turn the compost heap – With many of your Spring Summer plants coming out, it’s a good time to do some compost heap management. We turned out compost heap this week while maintaining the green / brown layer strategy. Green layers include plants, grass cuttings, etc. The brown we layer in with spent hay, cardboard, chicken manure or even some woodchip.
- Winter preparation – Now is the time to get ready for extreme weather and cold snaps. If you have any polytunnels make sure to ensure any spots that wind can get in are blocked off, doors are strongly attached / repaired and posts are solidly fixed together (tightening up any bolts). If you have a greenhouse then repairing any damaged glass, adding bubblewrap and making sure no clips have “pinged out” can be very advantagous before any strong winds come in.
- Start gathering those leaves as they fall. Whilst fallen leaves can be really good for soil, we love to collect them little and often to make leaf mould. Leaf mould is amazing for those seeds and germinating them. Doing this throughout the winter now won’t necessarily give you enough time to prepare for this Spring but making it a yearly task will give you a great supply for Springs.
- Top up any woodchip / bark paths. As rains start to come in any walked areas can get pretty muddy, wet and thin. We like to get in touch with our local tree surgeon to see if they can drop excess woodchip off, and top up all these areas with another layer of woodchip. So that we can still walk around our growing spaces in wet winters.
- Sow your Sweet Peas. For extra strong roots come Spring, we sow our Sweet Peas now, in long root trainer trays or if you don’t have them you can simply use toilet roll tubes, or even a few sheets of rolled up newspaper. Sowing them now and keeping them in a polytunnel, greenhouse or on a windsill for Winter gives them a great boost for next year.
- Lift any containers off the ground – Those plants that you have in containers are likely to hate excess water and cold soils. Leaving them on the ground with lots of cold rain coming in can upset plants throughout Spring, we like to lift them up onto walls, pop them on bricks, or use “pot feet” to prop them all up.
- Prtoect any plants that can be frost damaged. For those in the ground get some strong fleece on them, for those that can be; move them into a greenhouse or on to windowsills. Remember even crops in polytunnels can get frost damage so if a particularly hard frost / winter is coming in then have fleece ready for these too.
- General maintenance – Have any lawn? Then you can get a last cut in this month before it gets too wet, but remember put your mower up a setting don’t cut it too low. Any edges or hedgerows that need maintenance, it’s a good time to cut these back lightly now. If you have heavy clay soil and a spare Sunday afternoon, aerating lawns can also be a good idea.
- Fence, shed and other maintenance – Whilst there are still some dry days it’s a good time to paint sheds, repair fencing and do those other jobs that need doing around the farm. Especially preparing any wood areas on the farm to prevent weather damage.
- If you have chickens, ducks or other animals it’s time to get them ready for wetter weather. Chicken Coops can be rife with Red Mite… Therefore check wooden coops (all the little cracks for these little buggers) blast them out with a hose or carefully use a weed burner, clean them out & treat the coop. If you can get hold of it old fashioned creasote will keep them away, other wise creote and then use red mite powder on coops and birds. Make sure that the coop is water tight for atleast where the birds sleep, they need a dry warm place for the coming months.
- Get some bird feeders out there. Birds are a farmer & growers friend, they keep a lot of pests at bay! So encouraging them to keep coming in to your space throughout the Autumn Winter months.
- Get ordering… We are ordering and will be planting in the Winter new Fruit Trees, Fruit Canes and Perrenial Plants too.
- If we are planting out new crops or extending growing spaces, and if like us you are on wet hevay soil then you might want to be preparing new growing spaces now before the end of October. We will be preparing new beds and adding a mulch of compost on to them so that they are ready and covered so they warm up quickly in Spring.
That’s our job list for this next month or two, amongst other bits and pieces… Will keep us plenty busy! But if you have any extra jobs you are doing that we have missed out then do please let us know, drop us a message on social media via the links below. We’d love to hear from you!