Leaves, Lawns and Autumn!

Summer has now finally departed and autumn has brought some much needed rain to the garden – especially the lawn. Have you noticed that in times of drought the grass shrivels but the dandelions and other weeds seem to thrive?


Now is the time to prepare your lawn for next year. Scarifying will help remove the moss and aerating with a fork then applying a top dressing of a sand, soil and peat mixture will help promote new growth next year.


Dead leaves should be removed – I find the easiest way is to set the mower on its highest setting and just mow them up.


The tomatoes are finishing up now; it’s been a bumper crop – especially for the Tumblers which I grow in pots on the back garden fence. The Jerusalem artichokes are almost ready for lifting. Strange plants, which aren’t artichokes and don’t come from Jerusalem; they’re actually members of the sunflower family. They have a nutty flavour and are good for roasting or pureeing (is there such a word?) but beware the effect on the digestive system – they’re not known as fartichokes for nothing!


The goldfinches are still here in abundance on the bird feeders in the front garden; they seem to have had a bumper crop as well with half their numbers being made up of juveniles – easily spotted by their lack of a red crown. Hopefully, if I keep the feeders well stocked they won’t decide to migrate for the winter.


A couple of weeks ago the field between Eynsford Rise and Austin Lodge was  inundated with feral pigeons – there were literally hundreds of them and quite a spectacular sight when they took to the air. I did search for the collective noun for pigeons but there seem to be many offerings; a loft was one of the more common but that doesn’t seem apt for pigeons in a field.


Unfortunately as it looks like Covid 19 is going to be with us for some time to come the Winter Show is likely to be a virtual one.


Happy hoeing!


David Ketley