We are now officially into Autumn. We should have known that – it’s been getting darker earlier over the past few weeks but now we’ve had the equinox this will accelerate.

If you’ve ordered any seeds or plants by mail order you will no doubt be in the middle of the avalanche of catalogues. Leaf through them and if you spot anything really attractive mark the page. Leave it for a week or two and you’ll find things that are even more attractive.

Bin the catalogues. Drastic but look around at what you already have and see if you can fill in the gaps by taking cuttings or gathering seeds. If you haven’t done either before have a go.

Ripe seed pods are easy to gather in paper bags and cuttings are fairly straightforward. Take off a strong stem, trim to just below a leaf joint, remove the bottom leaves and put into pots with open well-draining compost. If the leaves at the tops of the cuttings are rather large remove some or cut them in half. The cuttings will need to be kept frost-free and if you have a heated propagator even better. If not put a clear plastic bag over the top. Hold this up with a stick and anchor round the pot with an elastic band. A spare windowsill works well.

If this fails buy seeds locally if available or plants at local nurseries. The one thing that is probably better from specialist growers now is seed potatoes. Sheds will have some later on or early in the year but these tend to be easy to come by and if that’s your thing then go for it.

If you want something a bit more unusual mail order is the way to go. If you are short on space most suppliers will sell small quantities suitable for large pots and some even have offers for kits with the pots as well.