When is Autumn?

When is autumn, or fall as it is known as in North America? This season comes after the warmth of summer and before the coldness of winter.

The months of autumn are August, September and October in the northern hemisphere and March, April and May in the southern hemisphere.

The daylight begins to decrease and the nights get longer with the clocks changing in October here in the UK. The temperature can noticeably begin to get cooler. 

The month of October can bring more rain. Sunny days and clear nights that comes with high pressure could result in some morning frosts.

The plants begin to get ready for their dormant time in the winter, with the leaves on deciduous trees and shrubs begin to turn a variety of different colours. Some types of trees giving a wonderful display of golds, reds, yellows and oranges. Eventually falling to the ground leaving their branches empty.

The mixture of deciduous trees in contrast to the evergreen trees give a wonderful patchwork of colour if viewed from high above. Evergreen trees and shrubs provide the protection for wildlife and colour for people during the coming dull and dark days.

There are many types of plants that flower at this time of year to bring colour and beauty into the gardens. When the leaves on some shrubs fall off, the shrub can then have beautiful coloured bark which will extend the colour season. 

The September Equinox

The meteorological Autumn begins on September 1st. This is a set time so that analytical data on the seasons can take place. For yearly  comparisons in the weather a set time is needed.

The September equinox is when the sun crosses the equator or the celestial equator projection of  the equator in outer space. The sun leaves the northern hemisphere and travels to the southern hemisphere, this can happen between September 21 - 24th.

The sun seems to get lower soon after the September equinox and this is because it sets more to the south and also rises more in the south as well.

The equinox is when the centre of the sun is right over the equator and this happens twice a year, once in March and again in September.

When is autumn as that is harvesting time?

pumpkins growing on the plant

After the sunny days of summer have ripened the many fruit and vegetables in the farms, orchards and gardens, harvesting begins in earnest at this time of year.

This also happens in our little farming plots in the many gardens that are in the country. If the weather has been kind, there could be a bumper crop of tomatoes, beans, pumpkins or raspberries. These all need picking before the birds, insects and little animals feast on them.

Although some fruits and vegetables are ready in the early summer the majority of them are ready at this time of year. 

What to do with a glut of fresh produce can be daunting but this is the time to prepare for the next season of Winter when not much is grown.

Preparing soups, fruit, stews or vegetables to freeze is one way of doing just that. Pickling little onions or cucumbers or making the many pickles to accompany our meals is another way.

Jam making soon used up excess fruit and if your garden is too small for growing these, pick your own farms can provide many supplies. The farms will usually advertise the crops ready for harvesting.

Harvesting time also turns out to be a weather watching and predicting time as on a larger scale the weather has to be just right so the crops don't rot while in store to feed people and animals in the winter months.

A failed harvest is very costly both in time, effort and money whatever the scale whether it is large or small.

Many countries give thanks for the harvest that would last them throughout the winter with harvest prayers and festivals as celebrations.


This time of year can bring a time of reflections on the memories of the warm days that are in the past, the different memories now to be made and the colder weather yet to arrive.

In some years the warmer days of late summer can be extended into the early parts of this season. This is known as an Indian summer when the temperature in September and October can sometimes be better than June and July.

All of the seasons are important for different reasons and each are beautiful and unique.

Some look forward to the warmer days to be outside but equally the cold darker days gives time to do different hobbies or interests. Noticing the frost patterns on cars or windows or the dew on spider webs are equally lovely.

Enjoy each day as it comes and take a few leaf kicking walks noticing the changes in the plants that grow.