The first weekend of the month saw mild weather. Sunday was very warm with a few light showers.
The first job was to unwind the fairy lights from the garden arch and pack them away until next year.
The second job was to tidy up the cupboard in my shed.Then the whole shed – including removing next door’s jasmine which finds its way in through the smallest gap – and then drops its leaves. There had been a mouse in there, enjoying the sunflower seeds from the heads I’d stored. So the floor needed sweeping – difficult because it’s decking. So I took the opportunity to sort it out.
Various items had been stored there over the summer while the house was decorated, not everything made it back. And now some of it has gone in the bin or is waiting to go to the skip. But it looks much better now – and I even emptied the bottom cupboard, brushed it out and put stuff inside.
I also took the opportunity to drain the water butt. I can’t remove it because there is no grid for the downspout, but we have some spare hose, to maybe I can run that across the patio and into the drains. Something to think about.
I finally cut down and dug up the last of the cosmos. There were still plenty of buds on it which confirmed my thoughts of having it in the front garden next year. Though I am worried that with the Japanese anemone AND the cosmos, the whole border will be pink for Autumn. I wonder if chocolate cosmos is just as prolific and long lasting?
All that’s left in the second raised bed now are leeks.
I spent the second weekend searching online for varieties of heritage vegetables. So far I’ve ordered tomato seeds – Yellow Pear and Super Marmande. In 2019 I’m going for flavour not looks; and while cherry tomatoes are very tasty, they’re a bit fiddly to slice for a sandwich!
Talking of tomatoes, all the green tomatoes I picked in September slowly ripened in bowls in the kitchen and the final few were fried and eaten on a slice of toast a couple of weeks ago!
I’ve also ordered a third non-heritage variety – Ildi. These are also a yellow pear-shaped fruit, though the description online just said cherry tomato. These are cordon tomatoes, each growing 5 feet tall with three or four trusses. Which doesn’t seem a lot, but the packet promises over 70 tomatoes on one truss! That should be interesting. I’d better buy in a supply of new 6-foot bamboo canes then. Or put up another arch with a leg in each pot!
I can start sowing these from February indoors.
Was surprised to see that these were supplied by a company about 7 miles away from home. I could have collected them!
Then a mid-week trip to the garden centre to buy more seeds ready for next year.
Pea Boogie – promises a bumper crop of blunt-ended , 7-9 seeded pods between June and October. Direct sow March to July, harvest June to October. Prefers full sun.
Carrot Sweet Imperator Mix F1 – comprising Honeysnax F1, Creampak F1, Snowman F1, Yellowbunch F1 and Purple Elite F1, between June and November. As I’m going to grow my carrots in pots in 2019, it will be relatively easy to stagger sowings – one variety every two or three weeks April to June though I may experiment with extending the sowing season. I need to research each variety to see which produces decent-sized roots in the shortest amount of time. Prefers full sun.
Broccoli Summer Purple – direct sow between March and June, harvest June to September. Prefers full sun. I might sowing some in a shadier area to see how that affects growth.
Courgette Tricolour – another promise of “huge crops”. Sow indoors April and May; direct sow May to mid-June, harvest July to October. Another plant preferring full sun, and another to try in pots (large ones).
The weather turned much cooler the third week of the month, with heavy frosts and the threat of snow on high ground. Then a cold snap at the start of this final week brought another wave of falling leaves, followed by grey and miserable weather. As we’ve both had colds, it was not the time to be out and about.
I’ve also joined a local group – HomeGrown@ParkinthePast who will be working at a new heritage site about two miles from home. Park in the Past, is an initiative to turn a disused gravel pit into a Roman themed park to include a reconstruction of a Roman Fort and a Celtic Village, including an Iron-Age farm, with community vegetable growing running alongside.
They’ve only just made a start and I haven’t been to any meetings yet, so I’m looking forward to next year. Hopefully it will give me some space to grow the root vegetables that I don’t really have room for at home, and access to free compost once things have become established.