As I write this first post we’re entering Autumn. There is a noticeable shift in the seasons as the mornings are a little nippy now but, thankfully, we still have some bright days to enjoy working outside. Things are still battling on outside including my dwarf beans, variety Ferrari, swede even though the leaves have been nibbled to death, climbing peas Colossus along with sweet peas and my Christmas spuds. (I love Christmas so make no apologies for mentioning it now!)

I have to say now is my favorite time of the year but I appreciate this is a bit of a weird thing to say when traditionally our gardens are a little quiet. However I love September as it leads to the cold months as my kitchen Rayburn is lit after the summer break, my boys love coming home from school to baked treats in front of the fire and I’m indoors planning for NEXT year!

My New Greenhouse and Bench

Ⓒ Louise Houghton – My New Greenhouse and Bench

Also at this time we can look to overwintering edibles and this year is my first year of trying.

I have only had a greenhouse since this summer (complete with my own greenhouse bench) so hope to make good use of it along with my wonderful polyhouse which my husband built.

I’m a bit girly regarding these two as you can see – can’t beat a bit of bunting and some bright paint.

Inside my Polyhouse

Ⓒ Louise Houghton – Inside my Polyhouse

I’m learning what’s best to grow in both the greenhouse and polyhouse; the latter I really need to start using as a poly tunnel as I think the structure really should make it work the same way…

In the polyhouse I started off some cabbages, variety Offenham 2, and these will be planted out in some of my tyres in which I grow various edibles; better be soon or they’ll be pot bound! (I know some people may not like the idea of having edibles in tyres because of the rubber but I find the heat kept in by them aids growth and the taste is never affected, plus I’m always looking for yet another place to plant out!)

Trays of spinach beet and beetroot were begun in the polyhouse and I planted the beetroot in the greenhouse after taking out the cucumber plant that has come to an end.

Homegrown cabbage and spinach beet

Ⓒ Louise Houghton – *Left to right – homegrown cabbage seedlings and homegrown spinach beet seedlings

The spinach beet is a fab edition when you want to bulk out a stir fry and this is now in a drainpipe also in the greenhouse but I grew it in my main patch in the summer and its still going strong. A drainpipe is another great place for planting out if short of space and I do this for lettuce in the polyhouse, too. My gherkins have been wonderful this year; I pickled some for the cellar store room.

What haven’t been good this year for me are the tomatoes; I’m always very nervous when it comes to growing these very useful edibles. I’m unsure if I under or over water, pinch out too much or not enough, etc. etc. Out of around 12 plants I’ve harvested literally a handful of fruit. Never mind as of course I’ll try again next year – learning all the time to do things better.

Well, hope to see you here again another time when I plan to update you on my overwintering efforts and whatever else is going on here in my little patch of paradise.

Louise, is a married stay at home mum to her two boys. Living in Mid-Wales after moving from Greater Manchester three years ago, she grows a variety of fruit and vegetables. In addition, she is attempting to provide for her family with her chickens and ducks. Louise enjoys baking, cooking, sewing and is also an AirBnB host.

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