Saturday, 16 October 2010

Preparing for Winter

Today I had a bit of a blitz on the garden, tidying everything up before the weather turns cold wet and windy (gardening is a lot more pleasant in mild weather, isn't it?)

I have moved some of the chilli plants over near the house, where hopefully it will be just a bit warmer and more sheltered. I managed to get a couple of them inside one of my mini greenhouses.

Chillis moved to a more sheltered spot

I replaced the nets over a couple of my raised beds with fleece. This was not as easy as it sounds -- on one of them I had to cut a large Cavolo Nero plant which was right in the middle of the bed, sticking up a couple of feet above the rest of the plants.This is now in the fridge, wrapped in a plastic bag. I expect we will get round to using it some time in the next few days.

The Cavolo Nero sticking up in the middle of the bed

This is the finished task.

Chicories and Endives protected
In the other bed I still have four Celeriac plants, which are also tall. This meant that my piece of fleece was not long enough to cover the whole bed, so the sorrel plants at one end drew the short straw and are outside the fleece. I don't think this is too much of a problem, since they are dying down already. I'm fairly sure they are perennials (I haven't grown sorrel before...) so hopefully they will come up again in the Spring.

The other salad / celeriac bed -- unlucky sorrel at the left

 The cucumber plants were finally removed. I'm pondering whether to replace the rickety old compost bin during the Winter...

Cucumbers -- gone

Then I harvested all the remaining beans. They were mostly the second half of the Borlotti, but there were also several overgrown runners and even some 'Cobra' French beans and a couple of tiny 'Italian Gold'.

The final harvest of beans

After picking the beans I took down the bean plants and their poles. This was a task I was glad to be able to do on a fine day -- it's not pleasant in the wet. When removing the bean plants I left the roots in the soil, since the nitrogen nodules on these will be beneficial to the next crop that goes in -- I plan to have brassicas in there next Spring.

The bean plants have gone too
Whilst I was working on the beans, my friendly Robin was hopping around excitedly, picking up insects exposed by what I was doing. As ever it was very difficult to get a decent picture of him, because he never sits still for very long.

My friendly Robin takes an interest in the work...

I also harvested the very last of the 'Ildi' tomatoes, and cut down the plants. Many of the fruit are still green and will probably take a while to ripen, but to me that's an advantage because it means that I will still be eating home-grown tomatoes at the end of October.

Last batch of 'Ildi' -- just another couple of hundred or so...

So, quite a busy day then... Very therapeutic though.

1 comment:

  1. Love the colour combination of the kale and French marigolds.


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