Sunday 21 October 2012


In mid-October I don't expect there to be much in the way of veg left in my garden. The Summer things have finished, and the Winter ones (mostly Brassicas) are not ready yet. However there are still one or two things worth having, and in a veg plot as small as mine you need to seize every opportunity, so I'm not pulling anything up until I'm sure it has delivered 100% of its potential.

This Red Cabbage is supposed to be ready by now. Probably due to the strange weather this year it has grown incredibly slowly (the heart is only about the size of a grapefruit). I'm tempted to cut this one now,

because it's not likely to get much bigger. I just checked my records, and it was sowed on 9th March!
Red Cabbage "Primero"

What can I say about the squashes? A dismal performance all round. This one Patty Pan is the only squash fruit of any sort (I had 3 types) that has made it past infancy, and it will probably succumb to frost before it's big enough to be worth eating. Or to Powdery Mildew, as you can see...

Patty Pan squash

Beetroot, on the other hand, has done well. The crop has matured steadily, a few at a time and with hardly any bolters. These have all gone now - at least as far as the kitchen - and we used several of the small ones in our Baby Beet Tarte Tatin.

Beetroot "Red Ace"

The "Autumn Bliss" Raspberries are nearly done now - just the odd few coming on, and mostly a pale shadow of their earlier excellence. Literally. Their colour is much less intense.

Raspberry "Autumn Bliss"

My "Cobra" climbing French Beans have not done well, but that was mostly my fault. I sowed them too early, and I put them in a position where they were cold and didn't get enough light. However, they are still going, and having any pods at all in mid-October is welcome. You can always use even just a handful of beans in something.

Climbing French Bean "Cobra"

This "Matsuri" miniature Broccoli is growing in a pot, an experiment that I don't think I will repeat. I'm sure they would have done better in open soil. Lots of watering required, and a small return at the end of it.

Miniature Broccoli "Matsuri"

The Batavian or broad-leaved Endive seems not to be at all frost-tolerant. We had one night last week when the temperature dipped to minus 1C, and this happened: (The Curly Endive seems fine, meanwhile).

Batavian Endive

Now what about this for optimism? A tomato plant producing new fruit in October! This is the little volunteer plant growing amongst the Runner Beans. I don't expect that fruit to ripen...

Tomato - volunteer, type umknown

But some of these just might! That's a 9" / 23cm diameter plate, so you can see that the fruits are no more than the size of a decent currant.

Fruit from plant shown in previous photo

I wasn't going to mention beans, but I just couldn't resist it:

800g of beans, mostly Runners

The speckly ones at the bottom left of the photo above are those Mechelse Tros or "Mushy Pea" beans. Not enough to be worth cooking, but I'll dry them and keep the seeds for next year.

Talking of remains... I saw this dead fox on the footpath by the side of the road, only about 200 metres from my house.

Should I be happy or sad? I have mixed feelings. After all it might be the one that caused so much havoc in my raised beds earlier in the year...


  1. That was so sad - the fox I mean had it been knocked down by a car?

    Back to all things gardening I wonder whether there will be any more raspberries waiting for us on the plot!

    1. Sue; Yes, I think the fox was almost certainly knocked down by a car. Foxes don't generally have a lot of road-sense.

  2. I think that's a really sad ending to your post, never mind the fox. I'm lucky that I don't have any foxes ruining my veg beds, but I still wouldn't wish them any harm if I did, I think we just need to work our way round these problems, which I know you do. You make the most of every morsel you grow, I'm surprised you haven't harvested that Patty Pan. I've just picked three which weren't much bigger than that. There were loads more on the plant but they've been savaged by the cold so I thought I'd grab the other three before they succumbed. Waste not want not.

  3. Poor old fox - it saddens me to see anything that's been killed. I live in a small town that's surrounded by countryside and all too often see foxes, pheasants or badgers by the roadside. So sad.

    1. Our local deer population suffers a few casualties on the roads too.

  4. My garden is winding down too, but we won't have winter veggies. So I am harvesting fall ones. Not quickly mind you, but next week ought to be the big carrot harvest, so I'm expecting a lot from that. I hope it doesn't disappoint. You never know though until you dig them up.

  5. Wo es mit dem Blaukraut doch so gut anfing. Und ...mmmm... die süßen Himbeeren. Aber so schade um den Fuchs.

  6. My patty pan squash plant is long gone and I think I harvested 3 the whole year. I will try again next year as they do taste and look great. I also have a tomato plant outside producing flowers (a bit too late I think).

  7. So jealous as usual. Sort of good to know that it wasn't just my squashes/courgettes that did nothing this year! I had one and it got ravaged by slugs. I'm envying your beetroot and raspberries particularly. It's a shame about the fox but I know what you mean, should you be happy or sad?

  8. Well...maybe 'happy' is the wrong word but you know what I mean!

  9. I've have mixed feeling on the fox as well. Beautiful creatures but can be so destructive. Funny how those tomatoes don't know any better - just keep flowering and fruiting, trying to survive.


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