The japonica apple ( Chaenomeles japonica) produces pink flowers followed by hard, knobbly fruit. The fruit, plain though it is, serves as the base for very nice jams and desserts when combined with sweeter fruits. This lovely but thorny plant is easy to grow. Keep it away from paths to avoid becoming a scratch-hazard. The only maintenance it requires is a little judicious pruning. It is not bothered by birds or insects and the fruit can stay suspended from its branches throughout winter.
Plant more brassicas
Plant punnets of caulis, cabbages and broccoli. Though it’s cheaper to raise them from seed, brassicas are slow to grow. At this time of year, planting punnets gives you a good month’s head start, plus it’s a good way to ensure you don’t end up with a glut from over-sowing. Plant one or two punnets per fortnight.
Sow broad beans
Squeeze in a quick crop before winter arrives. Broad beans are usually sown in autumn for spring harvests. But in warm areas, provided the bumblebees get to them in time, they’ll crop in early winter. Sow a couple of rows now. Find them too bland? Mash with minted frozen peas.