Saturday, 24 November 2012

Time for raking up the leaves

   Finally most of the leaves have fallen. The garden oak tree is starting to look bare and its time to rake up the leaves and put them on the leaf mould pile. This autumn I am also going to use them to mulch the strawberries but I am sure there will be plenty to go around. Oh, our mallard/muscovy cross duck is laying!
Raked up oak leaves
   The garden has been pretty quiet. Sprouts, cabbage, broad beans spinach, garlic and peas are all growing. Celeriac, celery, carrots, beet root and leeks are being pulled. The herbs are still ok to pick and there is curly parsley. The green manure crop, Luzerne, after quickly germinating is now establishing itself. The mild weather will help it I am sure. I continue to tidy up and I have managed to finish burning a big pile of plant material. The resulting ashes will be used on the garden along with the ashes from our wood burning stoves. This is a very good source of pot ash.
   In the poly tunnel no sign of the broad beans yet. Transplanted kohl rabi are establishing themselves and the other brassicas (purple sprouting, cabbage, cauliflower) are looking healthy. The sweet marjoram that I planted is looking good unlike the outside plants which have now died off. Fingers crossed I might get some cuttings in February. Beetroot looks ok but I fear that they are going to be all leaves and no beet! There is lettuce (Batavia Grenoblise and salad bowl) but they are small and some have succumbed to stem rot. The tunnel looks under utilised!
   The nettle battle continues and I have cleared another small patch. The nettles left are growing back! I have some major pruning that needs to be done on the old apple trees and now that the leaves are down that job is creeping up the list. I must not forget the vine.
   I very pleased to say that I have managed to pickle some of my Cheltenham green top beetroot. Despite being in the ground a long time they are still very nice to eat. They have not gone woody at all.
   Right. Lots to do, only short days to do it in! This mild weather cannot last much longer surely. In the mean time I need to get as many jobs done as I can, like clearing weeds and forking beds.

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