A beautiful sunny autumn day is just the inspiration need to go out and do some tasks that have been put to one side and the prospect of cold weather is another good reason to be busy.
I have dug over the ‘squash bed’, the planting moves around the bed but there is plenty of space for the trailing plants. I am going to try growing them up a trellis this year, In saw this done at Hyde Hall and it saved space and gave a good crop. One corner of the bed I have created a new raised strawberry bed to have new plants as the old ones are very tired and I wanted new varieties. Flamenco and Everest which is a variety that can be trained up a trellis both are ever-bearing so have a long productive season.
Two weeks ago I planted some broad bean Aquadulce Claudia seeds in cells in the greenhouse, they have grown big enough to be planted out today, I have put in the support canes now so that I can tie them up as the winter winds blow, but it will be worth the early crop.
While watching Monty Don a couple of months ago he was planting seeds for Swedes and Turnips. I planted some myself and I am surprised how fast they have grown, Swede Brora and Turnip Snowball both doing well. The latent heat in the ground germinated them quickly and a few showers of rain have swelled them well.
The Garlic Germidor planted a couple of weeks ago is up well and I have put the shallots in next to them.
The ground has been well composted and we should get a good crop of both next summer.
As there is cold weather expected I have moved all my lovely geraniums into the greenhouse along with the Ginger Lily, the Agapanthus and Fuchsias are in the cold frames but will get plenty of fresh air on sunny warmer days to prevent botrytis and mildew.
The chickens are in the fruit cage for the winter doing their usual clean up around the fruit bushes. Last year I took cuttings from my gooseberry which is a good large fruiter and I wanted to have more of them. So after seeing Monty Don plant his to create cordons I have done the same, I will keep you posted on their progress.
I have had my hands in soil ever since I could crawl. I remember well going out into the garden and watching my Father double digging the vegetable plot and being shown how to pick caterpillars off the brassicas. You could say he was an early organic gardener. There was something nice about sneaking round behind the outhouse and pulling rhubarb and dipping it in sugar, picking raspberries and stuffing handfuls into my mouth. It is these memories of taste and smell that never leave you and make you want to grow your own fresh fruit and vegetables.
It has been something of a treat then, to find myself working for Thompson and Morgan for the past 13 years and being able to help customers to solve their gardening problems