Harvest time is here! Time to reap the rewards and enjoy tasty home-grown treats.
Hopefully you are still picking tomatoes, peppers, chilies, beans and courgettes. Remove any old tatty or yellowing leaves – these have done their job by now and this will allow extra light to get to the crop to help it ripen.
If your French beans, tomatoes, chillies and courgettes are still giving you plenty to harvest, give them a feed with a seaweed-based fertilizer and a handful of fresh compost. Combined with a good watering, this should keep them going a little while longer.
If your plots and containers are looking worse for wear with yellowing leaves and no more edibles to harvest, clear them out. Compost any material except the very diseased and pest ridden.
Believe it or not there's still plenty more to grow through the next few months. Top up containers with fresh compost, a handful of poultry manure or comfrey pellets, lightly fork over and start again.
You can either sow directly into the ground/container with winter lettuces, rocket, winter purslane, mustards, kales and chard. Alternatively, small plug plants should now be available to plant. Luckily these crops will also tolerate a shady spot.
Another option is to plant or sow some edible flowers/or herbs such as violas, nasturtiums, borage, parsley and coriander. You may find with care and attention these plants will give you an autumn crop, sit over winter as small plants and then provide you with an early crop next year.
If you're not planning on growing anymore crops this year, sprinkle on some green manure seeds, such as phacelia tanacetifolia. These will protect the soil surface and help smother weeds, and in the case of raised beds will return nutrients to the soil when they are dug up in spring.
Amanda Brame is deputy head of horticulture at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB; petershamnurseries.com. You can learn more about growing an urban garden by attending one of Petersham's masterclasses.