Now that autumn is virtually upon us, it's time to get ready for a season that bursts with potential
As the ground will still be warm in September, it will be a good time to try some late sowings - whether it's for cupboard staples like garlic, onions and shallots or the more exotic Pak choi, early autumn will be the time to grow your own tasty vegetables.
Here, The Greenhouse People share their tips and tricks that every gardener needs to make sure theirs is an autumn of plenty...
1. Baby spinach
There are many benefits to spinach - not only is it bursting with iron, but it's also a great source of other nutrients we need, such as magnesium (key for bone health and maintenance), and potassium (essential for maintaining blood pressure).
You can grow these nutritious greens at home, with the trick being to plant spinach as early as you can to help them to reach maturity before the temperature drops too much.
You can grow spinach in a greenhouse or conservatory, and it will be advisable to put a protective cloche around the plants during the day and a horticultural blanket at night. You should also add a thick mulch to the base of the plant to keep the surrounding soil warm.
2. Garlic, onions and shallots
These three are all members of the same family and are relatively undemanding while demanding a good yield - the perfect option for beginners. The clever kitchen staples virtually looking after themselves over winter, before being enjoyed in summer.
When it comes to watering them, you should give them plenty up until November, when you should start to reduce the water until early spring. A well-textured soil which incorporates bulky compost can retain enough moisture to see the crop through winter. Garlic, onion and shallot bulbs all thrive in open and sunny sites - if they're exposed to sub-zero temperatures, there will be a risk of bolting (this means the plants will produce flowers at the expense of the harvestable bulbs).
3. Pak choi
An oriental vegetable (that's also called a Chinese cabbage), Pak choi will make a great addition to stir-fries and is also the perfect meat accompaniment. As a cool-weather plant, it's also the ideal addition to an autumn vegetable garden.
For the best results, you should plant Pak choi seeds in a moisture-retentive soil, while also ensuring the plants are well-watered during their growing period.
However, one thing to remember - Pak choi will also prove to be popular with certain pests, including flea beetles, aphids and cabbage worms. Get around this by picking or hosing them off on a regular basis.
As it's fast-maturing, you should be able to harvest the young leaves within 30 days.
Once hidden away in niche health food stores, kale is now experiencing a heyday. Full of antioxidants, it's a versatile crop that flourishes in most conditions. It's another good choice for beginners as it's less prone to attracting pests and developing rot diseases in comparison to cabbage and broccoli.
Get the best from these vibrant flowers by planting the bulbs two to three times their depth, facing upwards, in enriched soil with compost or manure from the previous season.