Thursday, October 30

It's not over 'til the keen frost stings

Winter may be creeping inexorably closer but the plot hasn't been tucked up to sleep just yet.

There is still lots to do - mainly tidying up and getting the beds into a fit state for winter. Happily our use - some may say overuse -of weed control fabric not much weeding is required.

Beds are being cleared of any crop debris, fabric removed and soil dug over. The fabric is then moved to the appropriate bed for next years crops. The fabric is cut to suit particular crops and so rotates as appropriate.
The fabric is covered with a mulch. Hopefully the covered soil will receive some protection from the battering rain and will warm up a little faster in spring. Not all the beds will be covered. Beds with rougher soil will benefit from a bit of weathering and beds destined for first early potatoes will also stay uncovered. As Martyn wrote in his blog post, although planting potatoes through the fabric was a success it did make it difficult to lift individual roots of first earlies so these will be grown conventionally.

Fruit beds have been tidied. Top left is the redcurrants area, as this is covered with weed control fabric only a little weeding was necessary. I also cut out any branches that were broken or trailing on the ground or making it difficult for me to move around the plants. The tops of the bushed were trimmed back so that they didn't push against the netting that covers the top of the 'cage'.

The blueberry bed - top right - just needed a general tidy.





Although we will be planting up a new strawberry bed this year, the old bed will be left this year and so had a general tidy up.

We like to weed selectively. The pear bed below may look as though it needs weeding but the weeds are actually candytuft seedlings which I am leaving to grow and hopefully produce a carpet of colour early nest year. I've been collecting and sprinkling other annual seeds in this bed to try and encourage other annuals to colonise this bed.


Other 'weeds' such as self sown foxgloves have been transplanted into more appropriate locations.

A few flowers are hanging on in the annual flower bed, mainly cosmos. In other beds the biennials - wallflowers, sweet Williams and sweet rocket- are growing well along with ammi that I think I sowed at the wrong time.
A few single dahlias are still flowering but I forgot to take a photo of them.




Crops are still managing to grow. Autumn planted onions and garlic are off to a good start.

Other crops will be ready to harvest shortly or will be stored in the ground until we need them.







Once the keen frosts put in an appearance all this will change. Tender flowers will wither and the alpine strawberries will stop providing fruit. Hardier plants will enter a sleepy period where they will survive - hopefully - but not grow.

The ground will harden and digging will stop and we will hide away in the warmth finding other things to enjoy until milder conditions return.

17 comments:

  1. You're certainly on top of everything at the plot. We've still got lots of jobs yet to do before winter sets in, it's just finding the time for it all.

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    1. Still lots to do, Jo on plot and in garden.

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  2. Wow Sue, you certainly seem to have everything organised :) Everything looks so neat and tidy, must take a lot of work :)

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    1. It's just a steady routine really, Linda when the weather allows,

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  3. You still have a lot out in your allotment. I'm finally starting to put things to bed here for the winter. We are going to get our first frost at the start of next week I think, which is pretty typical.

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  4. It is all looking pretty good - what a great gardening year it has been.

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    1. Let's hope for a food one next year, Elaine.

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  5. Looking good! i am really pleased with my last year's overwintered onions and garlic. At the moment I have so many self sown seedlings of pak choi, curly kale and swede, that I hardly know what to do with them. Whether it is warm enough to safely transplant them or whether to let them take their chance and transplant in spring.
    I am intrigued, when you life your weed suppressing membrane do you find lots of invertebrates underneath the edges?

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    1. Surprisingly no extra bugs in evidence under the fabric , sweffling. We had a good harvest from the overwintered onions too but the garlic was disappointing, I think for the onions getting them in earlier helped.

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  6. Good to see you ahead of the game and everything looking so organised. It's wonderful to see crops going in for next year isn't it, I too have planted garlic and onions but no doubt they won't grow, they don't usually, I think they hate our sandy well drained soil which is so hard to improve.xxx

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    1. Our soil is just the opposite, Dina wet claggy clay that is rock hard and cracks when it dries out. It has improved over the tears though and is generally fertile,

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  7. Chloris left a suggestion for you re a climbing rose on my blog....she suggests Alister Stella Gray. A lovely climber, creamy- yellow. It does look rather lovely.xxx

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  8. Looking good Sue, and why apologise for using lots of weed control fabric when it clearly allows you to grow strong healthy crops that dont have lots of competition? I think its inspired, and very practical, if not always beautiful. You have plenty of beauty on your plots too, after all.

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    1. It dies work for us, Janet but no doubt some would frown on its us although we have visited large gardens where it is used under a layer of soil, In many ways this is a bit counter productive as the weeds just grow in the soil on top Actually when mulched or when plants get growing you can't really notice it.

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  9. Everything look so tidy! ;)

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    1. There are still areas on the plot that need sorting, Malar they are just not in the photos,

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