Autumn in the Vegetable Garden

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It's a fantastic time of year in the kitchen garden and down at the allotment. There's still plenty of produce and late flowers. And also the start of the growing season for next year, with the first onion sets and broad beans to be planted.

Runner Bean

I've brought back all of the squashes and most of the beetroot from the plot and I'm in the process of tidying it up for winter. But in the garden I'm still enjoying sugar snap peas and runner beans. Both were planted much later than normal, and as a consequence there are lovely fresh pods to be harvested in the autumn. They aren't growing as quickly as they would in mid-summer, but there are still quite a few to harvest and this late in the year they're a real treat.

Broad Bean

Normally I'd be pulling beans out by now. In fact the borlotti and French beans down at the plot are long gone. But by planting much later I've extended the season, and next year I'll definitely try this again. Rather than having a whole row of beans ready at the same time, I shall plant half a row at the normal time and the other half about six weeks later.

Cosmos

With sugar snap peas I shall sow successively, and hopefully be able to harvest them from June until October or maybe even November. They really seem like quite a luxury at this time of year now that the tender fresh salads of summer are on the wane. I have a handful of tomatoes, the last of the cucumbers and some salad leaves that are slightly less tender than they once were. But the sugar snap peas are still crisp and fresh and really delicious.  One of the pleasures of gardening is picking up new tricks every year.

Dahlia

Thanks for reading!

Claire Sig