Saturday, 22 November 2014

Tidying up, clearing down...

Last weekend I had a serious "Sort out the garden for Winter" session. I cut down all the Raspberry canes along the fence

My Raspberries are "Autumn Bliss", a primocane variety that fruits on new wood, so they get cut right back every year.

One cane had a temporary stay of execution because it still had one or two fruits left on it:

The Asparagus has also been cut back for the Winter. In the photo below you can see the "stubble" from two plants. These stems are of course only the ones which were left to produce fern after the main harvest was finished, so you can see that each plant produces a lot of spears. (Never quite enough, though!)

Now that I have washed and put away all the big pots in which my tomatoes were grown, there is space alongside the house to put my coldframe and little plastic greenhouses.

The coldframe is now full of potted herbs - Mint, Oregano, Thyme and Chives.

The plastic greenhouses are also filled with herbs, in this case Parsley, Pineapple Mint, Lavender and more Thyme - oh, and my little Bay tree (the one that is about 12" tall).

I have had to throw away one of my plastic greenhouses and the big wide one called the "Seedling Greenhouse", because the plastic had gone brittle and had split in several places. These things don't cost a lot (about £12 for one of the 2-tier greenhouses) so you can't expect them to last for ever. I think the one I threw away was probably about 4 years old. I'll need to replace it in the Spring, because they play a major role in my production of tomatoes and chillis.

I have also tidied-up my other potted plants (mostly flowers), cutting away all the old leaves and stems and removing any accumulated debris and moss. I have brought most of the pots close to the house, where they will be a little more sheltered and possibly fractionally warmer.

The patio has been swept too, and the pots there re-arranged neatly.

Notice Strawberries in black boxes, and the Leeks in the "terracotta" planter

There is one big job still remaining though - collecting up all the fallen leaves:

My excuse it that since the leaves are currently wet, my electric leaf-sucker / blower thingy won't pick them up well (or safely), so I have to wait for a suitable dry day. I might be in March or April...


  1. Job well done. Do you leave your herbs in a cold frame over the winter?

  2. Yes, I do keep as many as possible of the herbs in the coldframe, but I have so many pots that they don't all fit.

  3. I gave my raspberry canes a good trim as they were rather tall, I haven't cut them right down yet. It has been very soggy, I admire your optimism over a dry day.

  4. Being exposed on the plot I cut back out autumn raspberries in spring and unless the fallen leaves are on the paths they are left to rot and as a rummage area for bits and minibeasts,

  5. Nice job Mark! I have a question I've been meaning to ask and I looked back though your old posts but might have missed it. What kind of soil mix are you using in your asparagus raised beds? I've been thinking of turning one (or two) of our raised beds into permanent asparagus beds but I'm trying to find what blend of soil is best, what asparagus likes best. Thanks!!

    1. Well, I don't claim any special expertise here, but I think Asparagus prefers light sandy soil. Mine has had a fair bit of leaf mould and home-made compost in its time. "Well-drained" is often advocated.

    2. Awesome, thank you, obviously yours are very happy with what you've done, ha. We love asparagus so much and we thought it would be nice to try to have some always on hand. Thanks for the info!

  6. Everything look so neat and tidy as is the norm for your garden. When I clean my garden, part of me loves the neater look, some of me is sad to see it all go.

  7. I do love the felling of accomplishment that comes with a nice tidy up session at the end of the season. Our weather in the last couple of weeks has been downright frigid - getting into the negative teens a few times, which is downright unusual for this time of year - together with a nice foot of snow. Today, we finally have some "seasonal" weather at around 6°C and all of the snow is basically melted away, so I'll have an opportunity to top my strawberry & garlic beds with straw for the winter.


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.