Seasonal Maintenence & Preperation Calendar

In Autumn (fall) and Winter…

the garden starts gearing down into hibernation, things still need doing and some of the heavy work now comes in to play such as turning soil, but this is a really nice time to work in the garden as the feeling of the prepping, harvesting the remnants of summer (Fruits, Tubers, Seeds etc.), creates a nice inner feeling and brings on some excitement thinking of the upcoming spring and summer ahead!! …ie: What changes will I make? What mistakes have I learned in the last season? Which varieties did I test that turned out to be great in my garden and which were not good? Was there an increase of wildlife this year? etc.

winter garden

 

Below I have compiled a list of greens etc. which can be grown over winter for various reasons such as winter food source or for a heavier more abundant crop in spring and early cropping, it does help if you have a greenhouse or a poly tunnel as you can increase varieties and options as well as extend your growing season by about a month on each end in most cases, however, it is also entirely possible to grow outdoors without these but you will have have less options and a shorter season …

Autumn / Winter Job #1: Seed sowing

  • Broad Beans (various uses, click HERE for article)
  • Some Green Manures can be sown now / soon for overwintering to ”chop n drop” in Spring Click HERE for an article on Green Manures
  • Winter Lettuice
  • Kales
  • Rocket and Mustard Greens
  • Perpetual Spinach
  • Pak Choi (aka Bak Choi) or even Tatsoi
  • Seed Potatoes for a Holiday season crop in December of baby potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Mangtout Peas
  • Kohl Rabi
  • Spring Cabbages and
  • Autumn Onion sets

Order and sow these seeds as soon as you can from September / October onwards

This will be my first winter with a polytunnel, so I will follow what I can on this list and give an overall update when the season is over and we are into spring especially for those who are thinking of obtaining or building a tunnel or greenhouse.

Job #2: Start Collecting materials for mulch

  • Pine needles are great for strawberry beds as detailed in this article Click Here
  • Regular mixed leaves for general bed mulch (Leaf Mulch) Click Here for tips on how to make good leaf mulch in a short period!!
  • Dry Reeds or Straw (for moisture retention)

Job #3: Pulling out dead / dying plants, chopping them up and adding to compost heap/s, into worm bins etc.

Job #4: General clear up:

  • Collecting and stacking pots,
  • Final lawn mowing will be coming soon, do final cut with high setting on the blades (If possible),
  • Start collecting / stocking up on brown cardboard (For garlic beds etc.),
  • Preparing an indoor site for your worm bin/s if possible,

Job #5: Harvesting the Autumn / Winter ready foods:

  • Tubers such as Jerusalem Artichokes and Potatoes,
  • Fruits such as Pears and Apples,
  • Cutting down off of their plants, all your pumpkins and other winter squashes, storing them and then, composting the dead plants,
  • The dry Bean pods for seed saving or dry food storage,
  • Winter Salads and greens etc.

Job #6: Installing your Home Made ‘Bug Hotel’ (To make a hibernation habitat for beneficial insects, spiders etc. so that they hang around in your garden until spring!)

 Job #7: Start collecting materials and planning your Hugelkultur bed / mound.

Click here for a new article on what materials you should stock up on starting end of summer to be ready to create a Hugelkultur bed, proactive pre-planning will make this project a great success.