Thursday, 29 October 2009

Autumn planting

Yesterday I planted two bulbs of garlic (which was only about 1 1/2 rows), a packet of overwintering onions, and a packet of broad beans. I didn't get down there until about 3pm, and it was starting to get dark by the time I'd finished. I hope the garlic grows a bit bigger than it did this year.

This is where the broad beans are planted. I had to leave a gap at this end, for where next year's runner bean frame will go, and I only just had enough room before coming up against a row of potatoes that are still in there.

When I went to the garden centre to buy the sets and seeds, I took with me a long shopping list of all the seeds I need for next year, thinking I might try that instead of ordering them on line. Just because I like to pick up each packet and look at the picture and read the blurb. However, I should have realised, being nearly Christmas (yes I know it's still October, but it's not summer any more so therefore in retail terms it's nearly Christmas) everything gardening related has been replaced with Christmas trees and decorations. I thought being a garden centre they would have seeds in stock all year round. There were a couple of stands of them, but the choice was very restricted. So back to plan A: buy on line as usual. You can't browse the packets, but at least you get what you want.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Greenhouse Clear-out

I can't tell you how useful this cheap and cheerful shower caddy has been - first for chitting potatoes, then ripening tomatoes, and now for drying/ripening seed pods. There are a few sweet peas on the bottom, some french beans in the middle and the very last of the tomatoes on top.

I have just been clearing away the last of the greenhouse crops. I've picked the last few peppers and tomatoes, and emptied the compost into bags to take up to the allotment. The pumpkins and squashes that were 'curing' in there have been put on a wire trolley in the shed. The only things I've left are the chillies which still have a few green ones on which I am hoping might still ripen.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


The whitefly are everywhere and making a right mess of things. Everyone else's brassicas seem to be badly affected as well. Bring on the cold weather...

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


I've been entrusted with watering next door's greenhouse while they were away, and one day (soon after that very windy period) I went in and found glass all over the floor. A pane had cracked and part of it had fallen in. No idea how it happened, except that possibly a tree branch (well, a floppy coniferous frond really) may have been tapping against it in the wind. As it was my tree I feel perhaps I should take some responsibility, if that is what it was, though I can't be sure.

Anyway, a couple of days later, my son and his friend managed to score a direct hit on my own greenhouse with a football, breaking two of the roof panes. More smashed glass to clear up. So off I went to the glass shop, came back with three new panes and set to. Fixed mine ok, then discovered the neighbour's greenhouse is a slightly more awkward shape. A small piece of the top corner needs to be cut off to make it fit the frame. AND... whilst removing the remains of the broken pane, the really awkwardly-shaped triangular pane above also slid out and broke. Good job I had gloves on, or I could be missing a finger by now.

Well, the neighbours have come back this evening, but I haven't had a chance to see them and explain what's happened. It will have to wait until I'm back from work tomorrow afternoon.

I have been doing one or two pumpkinny things: a batch of sweet and spicy pumpkin chutney (ideal with curries!) and some spicy roasted pumpkin and pepper soup tonight, yum yum.

I'm hoping to get a couple of hours at the plot tomorrow afternoon, and will hopefully remember to take the camera - I want to show you how revoltingly black and sticky and whitefly-y my purple sprouting brocolli has become.