Leaf Gathering Tips and How To Get Perfect Pumpkins

A cool breeze has begun to chill the air and the nights are getting darker which means one thing: autumn is here. With Halloween just around the corner and leaves getting into any pesky place they can, we thought this month’s article should be all about how to keep leaves at bay and our top tips for harvesting a perfect pumpkin – just in time for spooky season!

Whether you are decorating your garden for Halloween or not, keeping fallen leaves under control will help your garden look its best and ensure no slippy leaf piles become dangerous. Here are our top tips for leaf gathering to keep your garden looking presentable:

1. Using your favourite flat-tined rake, gently sweep leaves into a pile for a quick transformation, no matter the size of your garden.

2. Once collected, don’t just throw them away. Use them for compost, leaf mould or create a home for wildlife like hedgehogs and birds.

3. For the best results, try using big bags to collect the leaves as wheelbarrows tend to overspill, causing a trail you’ll have to go back and recollect.

4. If you find yourself struggling to rake the leaves together and pick them up with your hands, try using a leaf grabber or lightweight large trays you might have lying around your shed or greenhouse. This will make it easier and quicker to grab the greatest number of leaves at once.

5. Mowing over the fallen leaves is a great way to shred them ready to be collected for compost materials. What’s great about this is you’ll already have a bag full of shredded leaves at your convenience. Or you can leave your shredded leaves on the lawn to add extra nutrients to your soil.

Pumpkin harvesting

Nothing screams harvest time more than pumpkins. They are the epitome of autumn and make great fun for all the family. Knowing when to harvest pumpkins so they’re ready for carving in time for Halloween can be hard to tell but we can help!

For the most long-lasting pumpkins, harvest when they’ve reached their mature colour and the rind is hard. If you are still unsure when this might be, a perfect indicator is when the tendrils turn brown and present more curls. It should also sound hollow when you knock on it!

Pumpkins can be very sensitive to temperatures so it’s essential to keep them from catching the frost. When conditions are not correct for the perfect growth of pumpkins, they can have many common problems like powdery mildew and grey mould. These conditions are usually caused when the weather is cooler during the sowing periods.

There are many variations of pumpkins to grow. A great tip is to always save your seed packets when sowing, as these will state the best harvesting time for your pumpkin variant.

When picking your pumpkins, you want to ensure you’re wearing protective hand gear as the vines can be prickly to the touch. To prevent ruining your future growth, use a sharp knife and cut the vine away from you. As the stems can range between 4 to 8 inches long, roughly tearing away the pumpkins can cause damage – so we wouldn’t recommend this method if you want to keep a healthy plant.

And finally, enjoy your pumpkins! Whether you’re spending quality time with the family to carve pumpkins for a spooktastic Halloween or looking for all those delicious pumpkin-flavoured dishes, they’re a brilliant veg to grow for all the family to enjoy. Pumpkins are perfect for Autumn and with them being the highest in demand at this time of year, what better idea than to start growing your own!

See our other gardening tips here or follow our Facebook page for more!