Nearly didn’t make it!

Last time I said I’d see you in Oct – only just made it! It’s been a funny month in the garden. Mild, with heaps of the wet stuff but not so much of the bright stuff. Crops are taking a long time to ripen and the veggie plot looks desperately untidy, spent, tired and unloved. Overworked and underpaid – like the rest of us! Gone are the fresh, vibrant, wholesome greens of the spring; replaced by onion rust, slug damage, and evidence of pigeons who just couldn’t keep their birds lips off my food!!

I’m normally harvesting these Physalis in Aug/Sept. They’re only just beginning to ripen.
I’m beginning to think these butternut squash are never going to ripen!

Reassuringly, I’m not the only one who has found this year difficult from a food growing perspective. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to has found it challenging in one way or another. There have been some successes though; garlic, onions, potatoes, salads, leeks and all fruit. Brassicas seemed to take an age, so much so that I gave up looking for them. It seems they were hiding under the netting and I’ve discovered them just in time for Sunday lunch!

But the month has seen some fun, with garden visitors such as Albert and his arboreal accomplice, keeping me entertained by their acrobatics, a sparrow hawk that decided to have a good old preen on my trellis, and numerous other birds who regularly use the facilities to conduct their daily ablutions!

Found you!
Time for bed

There are still jobs to do on the veggie plot – sow broad beans, peas, lettuce and winter salads; sprouts and other tall brassicas may need to be staked to stop them being damaged by the winds; tidy up and remove dead and diseased plants to keep on top of viruses and diseases; replace some of those nutrients in the soil that have been used up, by adding a good couple of inches of well rotted compost/ manure -your crops will only be as good as the soil you plant them in. For the first time, this year I’ve been able to use some homemade compost – thank you girls (chickens), for your valuable contributions. I couldn’t have done it without you! I plan to get some leaf mulch on the go this year – there are plenty of leaves!!

You can prune autumn fruiting raspberry canes now or leave until February. Vines, bare rooted trees and fruit bushes can be sited now while the plants are dormant. Don’t forget to clean up the greenhouse and batten down the hatches for the winter. And of course, there’s the fun part, planning for next year. In between all the activity, I’m going to allow myself to be further entertained by he who is becoming really quite tame – as he cheers me on while I’m doing the washing up.

Published by the back door gardener

Passionate about growing food in any space and about teaching others to do the same. I'm trying to start a backdoor revolution - no allotment needed. I've fed myself from my garden for over 10 years; only needing to buy some emergency parsnips for Christmas several years ago.

2 thoughts on “Nearly didn’t make it!

  1. When you think about it, it has taken Albert a very long time to find you, as you have been there since way before 2008 when we moved there! Glorious blog as ever. XXX

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