Monday, 5 November 2012

First ice of the winter and a policy change...

  Frost and ice! On the morning of the 29th October there was a frost and the water on the ducks bowl had ice on it. The minimum temperature overnight on the thermometer outside the front of the house showed -3C. At 0840hrs it is -2C! After a couple of days of -3C starts to the day it has warmed up a little and I have managed to finish mowing the grass. Hopefully this is the last time. Now it is raining. I have started to light the fire in the evening a sure sign it is colder.
  The nettle battle continues. Progress is slow but sure and more black currant bushes have been cleared and pruned. I have transplanted self grown bushes and now have three more. In my head I have a plan coming together as to what to do with the reed bed area. It will take quite a bit of effort but I think in the end it will look very nice. The days are short so time will be the telling factor here as I still have to keep the rest of the garden in check.
   In the poly tunnel the tomatoes succumbed to the frost and I have picked what was left. They have now been cleared. The poly tunnel now contains asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, khol rabi, coriander, beetroot and parsley (flat leaf and curly) with an odd plant of basil and fennel! It will not be long until the cauliflowers are ready. I am having a good deal of success with cauliflowers (variety All the Year Round) in the poly tunnel. This is my third lot that I have managed to get to produce decent sized heads. 
   Everything is slowing down and leaves are falling more frequently. In the outside garden the over winter bought cabbage plants continue to do well as do the Brussels sprouts. I do not believe that the Brussels sprouts will be ready for Christmas though. Some others that I grew from seed look like they may produce a few helpings. Overall though growing plants from seeds particularly brassica's has not bee the most successful. The broad beans and peas survived the frosty mornings without any sign of damage. The garlic has put on a good growth already. Much to my surprise the celery also stood up well. I think it will take more than -3C to damage it.
The celeriac looks good and I should get some decent sized ones.

   I have decided this season to try to grow only "real" seeds. These are seeds that are not F1 or other hybrids. Some are heritage types and I am going to have go at saving my own seed. So as I have invested a reasonable sum of money in buying these seeds so I looking forward to planting and eating the results and see what difference there might be. It is interesting to see that a number of the seeds are French varieties.

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