Autumn seems definitely to have appeared. The days shortening and the autumn colours starting to take over in the trees and shrubs.
With it we will all start to think what we need to do to prepare our growing spaces both for winter and the new year and new season. Whilst many see this time of year as the end of the season, in so many ways it’s the beginning of the year and preparation now will stand the land we grow on in good stead.
And so for many of us the yearly work to improve our soils begins and this year perhaps with added vigour, in the knowledge that healthy soil is vital for carbon capture as well as the health of our plants, and so by supporting good soil preparation, we are also helping in the fight against climate chaos. Where edible landscaping is made up primarily of perennial plants, including trees, shrubs and herbs, ensuring the soils flora and fauna continues to thrive is important to ensure the health and well being of the plants themselves and ensure good harvests in the years to come.
So practically what does this look like? Well it’s the time of year when we all realise that no matter how much compost we make in our gardens there is rarely enough to spread across our soils. Ideally a good layer of 2-3 inches laid on top of the soil now can be left and the worms will take it down over the winter months. Alternatively it can be dug in, but leaving it and allowing the soils flora and fauna to process it naturally means that the soil structure is kept intact. Fortunately there is some excellent peat free compost made across the country using the green waste from gardens, and whilst sometimes it takes some tracking down, it’s not impossible to find. Closing the circle on these local economies is an added bonus here.
Of course it’s also a prime time to look to the future and to create more compost and leaf mould bins and now is the time, as the leaves begin to fall, to collect them for leaf mould, the perfect medium to mulch trees with. A few pallets, nails and a hammer and bins are easily put together and all these tasks are perfect to keep warm over the winter months!