Friday, 28 September 2012

clean up begins

It's that time of year again. What a daft expression, surely it's always that time of year, whatever time of year it is.

But I digress, it's time for the autumn clear out and clean up. For some reason over the year I just seem to accumulate mounds of stuff which ends up jammed into any odd place I can fit it. Under the potting bench, in the shed, behind the shed, hanging from the roof......

By stuff I mean containers and lengths of wood I find on the shore, empty compost bags, things I bought and never got round to using.....

So, with the tomatoes and cucumbers now finished and removed from the greenhouse I actually have room to turn round in there and make a start. I want to get it clear and disinfected before I bring the overwintering salads, etc under cover. The glass is quite dirty as well and it obviously benefits the plants to have as much light as possible in the winter months. The only problem with all this is that I hate throwing anything away so what normally happens is that all the pots/containers get sorted for size then stacked inside each other. This frees up space, makes everything look tidier and I get to keep all my rubbish.

That's what I've been doing for the last week or so with a bit of weeding and pruning when it hasn't been raining.  Not very exciting but then gardening isn't all excitement and anticipation. Anyway, doing something is infinitely preferable to sitting on my backside.

Today's picture is evening light on Skiddaw and the Northern Fells. While I was down on the marsh  taking pictures I found a broken scaffold plank. I'm sure I can find a use for it somewhere!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

final sowing frenzy

I took advantage of some decent weather last weekend and had my final sowing frenzy of the season.

In went:
lettuce (winter gem and loose leaf)
pak choi
spring onions
carrots (Amsterdam sprint)

All but the turnips are in containers so they can be brought into the greenhouse over winter. They don't do much during the coldest months but once the sun starts to climb a bit higher in the sky they're off for some super early crops in spring.

Also pricked out some winter gem lettuce into individual pots which will be their permanent home.

These are in a rich compost but they will need a liquid feed boost to help them along once they reach a decent size.

Because the potato crop was later than normal due to the weather I had nowhere on the plot to put the first of my leeks so they were planted in an old plastic basket that I found washed up on the marsh. Sunday's chicken dinner had home-grown leeks which, although not large, were perfectly good. 

These will probably all be used before the first hard frost whereas those on the plot will stand through the winter to give us fresh right through to next spring. With much stuff harvested and not much left to go in it's now a time to catch up on all the jobs that were delayed from the summer. Some overdue pruning of the plum and cherry trees was number one as it needs doing before leaf-fall in order to avoid disease. I don't make a list of things to do but rather just wander round the garden and do things on a random basis. Perhaps I should be more organized but why break the habit of a lifetime?