I did a lot of tidying-up jobs: for instance, I cut down the cucumber plants and the aubergines, both of which were definitely at the end of thier useful lives. I also tied-in my broccoli and Brussels Sprouts, which have got very tall now and need plenty of support in preparation for the inevitable Autumn gales. While doing this (which entailed temporarily removing the anti-fox netting), I took the opportunity to remove any yellow leaves that had dropped off those plants. This will help to prevent fungal growths, and will give slugs fewer places to hide. I had an interested audience... a grey squirrel sat on the fence and watched me, no doubt hoping that one of my tasks would be to refill the bird-feeder!
I planted some bulbs too, mostly in pots. I know that if I plant them in the borders they will immediately be grubbed-up by the damned foxes, and I sometimes have to go to great lengths to protect my pots. I have made a barricade using the wire shelves from my mini-greenhouses, weighted down with bricks and stones. It looks unsightly at present, but this is down the side of the house, which no-one but me sees. Later on I will move the pots to more visible locations.
I thought about pulling up the solitary volunteer tomato plant which is lurking in amongst the Runner Beans, because its foliage is looking very tatty, but the fruits were looking good, so I left it a bit longer. There are about 4 or 5 trusses like this:-
The best of the "Golden Acre" cabbages was harvested. It's a fine example, though not very big. It's a fact that if you grow brassicas at very close spacings like I do, they will remain quite a lot smaller than if they had unlimited space. This suits us well, because a cabbage like this feeds two people comfortably and doesn't hang around in the fridge, part-used, for ages.
My Runner Beans are still going strong, so thet're not coming up yet. I picked 933 grams of beans at the weekend, and there are plenty more to follow.
Some of the bean leaves are yellowing now, but for me even these have a sort of "shabby chic" attractiveness as photography subjects!
These beans are amazing - without a doubt this has been my best year for Runners ever. I grew two varieties - "Red Rum" and "Scarlet Empire". The former has been OK, but the latter has been amazingly productive. They just don't want to give up, and the plants are still continuing to produce new flowers.
I think this proves a point. Here in the UK we gardeners have been dismayed by the unsual and unpredictable weather conditions this year, and many vegetables have performed poorly (such that we hear dire warnings of food shortages and/or high prices for the coming months), but Runner Beans love lots of moisture and they had thrived when other plants have failed. The best advice I could give to novice veg-growers is to sow/plant as many different types of plant as you can find space for. Some of them are practically certain to do well, even if some fail!
Here are some photos of my weekend harvest:
The Cabbage and Runner Beans mentioned above, plus a handful of "Cobra" climbing French Beans, the last few Aubergines, one solitary (tiny) Cucumber, and some green Chillies.
I'll be entering this post for Harvest Monday on Daphne's Dandelions. If you haven't yet discovered this popular weekly link-up, why not have a look right now?