• IvyShepherd

Blackberries and rosemary - This week in the garden

Weekly jobs to keep your garden looking lovely all year round



Welcome back to my weekly jobs, gardeners.


Have you felt a change in the weather? The growing season is starting to become shorter now, as the days are not so long any more.


So remember to get in as many sowings of quick cropping veg as you can. Think salad leaves, radishes and beetroot. And continue to harvest as well, as this will encourage more fruit and veg to ripen.


All things being equal, this lovely produce will certainly see you through the autumn and beyond.


So, here are a few jobs to keep you busy in the garden for the next week to come.


See you next week, folks.


 

Plant out leeks

I love growing leeks. They do take a little bit of care and attention to get them just right. But then you can reap the rewards of all your hard work, as they taste so much better when you grow your own.


If you sowed your leeks in the spring, then they should be ready soon for planting out to their final position. Now is generally a good time to plant them out, as there should be some space in your beds after a busy growing season.


They are usually ready to be planted out when they are about the thickness of a pencil.


Traditionally leeks are planted by ‘puddling in’. Make a hole in the soil, pop the leek in and fill the hole with water. This will help to lengthen the growing stem.


Leeks can be harvested when they are small, but tender plants, or they can be stored in the ground until they are ready for use. Then they will provide you with tasty veg through the winter.


Support tall plants

The autumn winds are just around the corner, so it’s a good idea to stake some of your tall plants now. Otherwise you could find a few casualties after the worst of the weather has been and the impact of these impressive plants will be lost.


Choose those later-flowering perennials that have tall stems and give them a little support with canes or a wigwam. Check your echinacea and rudbeckias, and not forgetting some asters and dahlias too.


Propagate your rosemary

If you like cooking with rosemary, then why not try propagating some for your garden. Propagation is the process of making new plants and it is fun and easier than you might think.


Find a side shoot on your rosemary plant that is growing from the main stem. Pull the side shoot off with a small piece of bark in place at the bottom of the cutting. Take off some of the bottom leaves and remove the top of the cutting.


Then place your cuttings around the edge of a pot of compost that is quite moist and gritty, this will ensure it is well draining. Make sure that the cuttings do not dry out or get too hot.


Soon you will have lots of lovely rosemary plants to pot on and cook with.


Start to harvest berries

Have you started harvesting your berries yet?


Soft fruit is a joy to grow and harvest. It can be a challenge to get to them before the birds do, but it is well worth the effort. They will taste so much better than fruit you will buy in the supermarket.


Blackberries and raspberries should be ready to pick and loganberries too if you have these growing in your garden or allotment.


If you find that you can’t keep up with your harvest and you have too many berries to eat, then they will freeze very easily and this means they will last you much longer.


Pick your berries and lay them on trays. Place them in the freezer until they have frozen and then they will be ready to store in bags in the freezer to last you through the winter.


Happy berry harvest, gardeners!

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