The Autumn Garden
Welcome to our first garden blog. So pleased you could join us on the great gardening journey. We hope you will find this blog useful and informative. Most of all we hope you find the time to get out and enjoy your garden.
Autumn is my favourite time of the year. Sure, the garden is dry after a long summer, and things look a little parched, but among it all there is the anticipation of the next season. Warm sunny days are followed by cool, crisp nights. Crocus are popping their cheery heads up; sedums are looking amazing; roses are having another flush, and everyone seems to have a glut of one thing or another. There is much to be thankful for in the autumn garden. It's a great time to get out into your garden. Dead head spent flowers; tidy up old vines; look out for powdery mildew; continue picking fruit and veg .... and be sure to make the time to sit in your garden and enjoy all it has to offer.
Autumn is a fabulous time for collecting and storing all the beautiful produce you have grown over the summer. Here are a few tips and tricks on storing your fruit and veggies so that they might last longer in your larder.
PUMPKINS: allow pumpkins to dry naturally on the vine, and then cut the vine about 2 inches from where it meets with the pumpkin. Pop your pumpkins on their side in a warm sunny spot to harden off .... popping them on their side means any dew or rain will run off the pumpkin .... placing them on a low roof is ideal.
APPLES: pick your apples with their stalk. Cook up or eat any which are marked or damaged. Gently wipe any grime off the remaining apples with a soft cloth, wrap in newspaper and store in a cool shed - or if you have the room, pop them in the fridge.
TOMATOES: By far the best method of storing an abundance of tomatoes is to sun dry them or cook them up into a tomato sauce.
This taste recipe for a basic tomato sauce is a winner. Be sure to give it a go if you have enough tomatoes: the link is:http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/7996/basic+tomato+sauce
If at the end of the season you have green tomatoes on the bush which are not ripening, pull up the whole bush (roots and all), and hang it in the shed. You will find the fruit will ripen slowly ... be sure to discard any fruit which rots on the vine so as not to spoil all the fruit.
POTATOES: Harvest your potatoes when the leaves die down - this is usually between 3 and 5 months after planting. Brush off the worst of the dirt, being careful not to damage the skin, and then allow the potatoes to dry before storing them in a cool dark spot in your pantry.
QUINCES: Quinces are my favourite autumn fruit. I love them for their divine aroma, their fluffy, furry petina, and their fabulous colour. But most of all I love them for the amazing roasts and pastes which they produce. The Smyrna quince is probably the best, producing a delightful deep ruby coloured paste and lovely sweet roasted quince. Pastes and jellys are best made from slightly green quinces where the pectin level is higher. Quinces however, keep for many weeks at room temperature .... if you have an abundance pile them into a bowl and make a feature of them in your kitchen.