An End of Season Checklist

If you’ve decided not to grow over the next few months, or if you have a half empty plot, then here is a useful checklist to follow to make sure everything is put to bed properly for the winter.

  1. Be sure to harvest the following crops soon, before frosts:
    • Pumpkins
    • Winter Squash
    • Celeriac (will tolerate light frost, but not heavy frost)
    • Beetroot/Carrots
    • Any final Tomatoes, Potatoes, Beans and Courgettes
  2. Pull up old plants and top up the compost pile
  3. Start raking up fallen leaves, collecting them for a leaf mould/mulch
  4. Earth up or stake tall crops to help them in strong winds
    • Brussels Sprouts
    • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
    • Cavolo Nero
  5. Install water butts to collect rainwater for next spring/summer
  6. Top up empty beds with well rotted manure or compost, then cover with black polythene or cardboard.
  7. Protect young plants against slugs and snails
  8. Use a cloche or fleece to protect vulnerable crops against frosts and keep them a bit warmer – all younger plants will benefit from this, but winter lettuces in particular should be protected.
  9. Add old compost/soil from used pots and containers to the compost pile.
  10. Clear up general debris to reduce hiding places and habitats for pest/disease. A tidy plot is a healthy plot!
  11. Harvest any last veg from the greenhouse, and clean down greenhouse/polytunnel windows
  12. Cut back calendula, marigolds, and any mustard greens/wild rocket that is flowering, and any herbs that are going to seed if you don’t want them to re-seed – chives, marjoram etc
  13. Tend to brassicas removing yellowing leaves from the base of plants and from the ground (to help keep slugs and disease at bay), checking for last hatchings of caterpillars, and protecting from pigeons and slugs.
  14. Prune summer fruiting raspberries – cut any canes that bore fruit right back to ground level leaving new growth to come through
  15. Cut back any final strawberry runners (unless you want them to grow!)