Monday, October 08, 2018

The Clear Up Begins..

The farm never seemed to get as green and bushy this year as it has done in previous years, thanks mostly to the random weather. It always looked a bit like it was struggling this season with too many gaps.

Pretty much everything has finished now, we've had a couple of sharp frosts already in Essex, a look at the Currently Growing list shows what we've got left and compared to a few plot neighbours its not a lot really. 

My cross breeding pumpkins never really made it with only a hint of orange, but I'm pleased with the greyhound cabbages, kale and chilli's.

Given that we are not big fans of the winter gardening we've been busy clearly the beds ready to manure and cover. I have one more raised bed edge to do, which is scheduled for this weekend, the woods already purchased. This one will be the standard 19 x 8 1/2 feet with a 3 foot extra of frame on the end for the compost bins which are moving to a new spot for next year.

I emptied the compost bins last week to move them to allow me to do the new edges and got one full bin of useable material which I spread around, and a shock when a rat with a foot long body shot out as I lifted one of the bins. It's a good job Heather wasn't around, I'd be deaf by now!

The raised beds have already saved me a lot of time managing the grass edges this year so if I can get the last one done soon we'll be in a good position for next year. I am going to divide the beds in half with a raised wood chip path across the middle. Ideally I'll get this done before we put the covers on, but time and weather may affect that one.

The digging was pretty easy but did show that the soil was still pretty dry, I'm going to leave the covers off for a bit longer in the hope of rain to replenish the moisture ready for next year. I have to go and collect some builders buckets of manure before they go on too. It was worth digging the potato bed over again as it yielded about a plants worth of spuds that had been missed...

I love the look of a freshly dug and raked bed

So still growing we have:

Bed 1 - Cape Gooseberrys, Chard, Spring Onions and Tomatoes  

Bed 2 - Carrots, Parsnip!, Beetroot, Leeks and Asparagus

Bed 3 - Cabbages, Kale and Courgette

Bed 4 - Chillies

Bed 5 - Just cucumber and the last sweetcorn plants to come out.

The fruit bed is next years project, I'm still thinking about that one. 

The blog posts have been a bit sparse this year, a time thing again, something that affects a lot of bloggers I think. I'm thinking of changing the format from a large blog articles which take time to sit and write, to smaller posts from the mobile app, more like Facebook or Instagram posts. Smaller but more regular. I'm still thinking about this one. 

Hope you've all still got plenty growing and are on top of the jobs.

Happy gardening folks!


Daisy Debs said...

Yes you,ve done very well in that extraordinary hot summer . I like the protection netting nice and tall over your cabbages ...I really need to get some protection from the pigeons now . It's lovely today here in Cornwall ,it's quite warm and humid here ,but there is rough weather coming ,so we're busy fixing and painting window frames , pruning back bushes and grasses, cutting the grass ,bringing in split logs from the woodshed and generally battening down the hatches . Love reading your blog and seeing what you're up to ! :)

Dicky said...

Thank you Debs. Sounds like you're mad busy as well. We've got some nice weather here for the next 10 days so I'll be pushing to get everything closed down. The cage is an old fruit cage frame I picked up for free online with a scrap wood base and butterfly netting. It needs a repair after some strong winds here but its height is useful as I'm 6'1
Aiming for a better posting record next year!