Sunday, 14 October 2012

Autumn? Winter? False spring?

   What can I say? In the last couple of weeks the weather has swung from very warm and dry to freezing cold to warm to damp to flipping soaking wet! Of course, the grass which has lain dormant for at least two months sprang into life and I had to mow it (13/10/12). Hopefully that is the last time this year but I fear if it stays mild it will not be!
   Two nights of mild frost killed off my haricot vert /buerre and my runner beans which had just started to set beans again. So they have been cleared away! I have sown outside over winter peas (which have now germinated) and White Lisbon spring onions (which have now germinated). Chou Milan and Brussels sprouts planted out a few weeks ago are thriving. The Chou Milan are going to be big cabbages! I think I have lost the potatoes that I was trying to grow for Christmas dinner. It was a chicken strike! I have several rows of carrots ranging from fully grown to just germinated. The just germinated carrots are a hardy variety that I have grown under a fleece cloche which in theory should stand over the winter! Celeriac and the remaining stands of celery are still looking ok. I have had to resow the Limousin turnips (only two germinated!) and I have added a row of Milan rouge turnips just because I can. Final harvest made of the sweet peppers (over 2 kg) and they have been cleared also. They were disappointing, a bad year for sweet peppers. I have managed to clear the nettles from the reed bed and I am now starting to dig up their roots. That is going to be a long job. 
Clearing nettles from the reed bed 
   I have dug up one bed of strawberries (virtually non existent due mainly to the dry summer) and replaced them with Mara Bois strawberry plants. I took out a big pile of stones from this bed!

Rocks removed from strawberry bed number 2
   In the poly tunnel tidying up is the main preoccupation There are more tomato's to pick. I picked 500grams of yellow toms today (14/10/12) and I reckon there is at least two or three kilos of reds to come  yet. They are defying the cool nights (down to zero degrees at times). With the mild weather and the damp fungus has been an issue as it was last year. It has attacked my flat leaf and curly parsley. Nothing I can do about that except clean up the mess! Transplanted some Kohl Rabi and All the Year Round cauliflower. Lettuce, beetroot, coriander are growing nicely. Winter leaf lettuce and Red Salad bowl are doing fine. The basil has been removed and there are spaces in the borders!
  It is only a matter of time before the cold snaps in and everything slows really down but meanwhile plans for next year are hatching! The garden is still producing leeks, carrots, beetroot, potatoes and celery. We had eaten our first "all grown and raised" meal of chicken, potatoes, peas and carrots! RESULT! 

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