As we ride into October the tasks in the garden seem to step up a notch as the race is on to gather in the harvest as well as commencing the task of sowing, mulching and preparing for next Spring!
Intrigued by a blog post by Charles Dowding earlier in the year – I thought I’d trial a method of producing new tomato plants from old ones. The procedure being fairly simple. Fill a small pot with compost and vermiculite then cut off a small side shoot from the parent plant and stick it into said pot. Supposedly the small off shoots will then develop their own root system and over winter on a window sill. Whether this works or not isn’t too much of an issue as I am essentially getting something for nothing if it does prove fruitful!
What I liked about this task – was the overlap that we often get in Autumn. The final collected tomatoes shared the table with the new cuttings – completing the annual cycle in quite a poignant way!
My attention next turned to the tedious job of cleaning out the greenhouse. The remaining tomato plants and cucumbers seemed to be infested with tiny little aphids and white flies. The atmosphere in the greenhouse being rather humid with rotting vegetation; there was also mould covering the surface of practically everything in there! The whole job took me a couple of hours and it helped free up plenty of space to pop my remaining pepper plants onto the shelves. My hope is that these will ripen over the coming weeks but it is a fight against the failing light and heat with temperatures forecast to sink to freezing this very evening. Once again though – it is a bonus rather than a necessity if I am able to harvest fresh red peppers through the month ahead. I can also still use the green ones in salads and pastas too if they fail to grow any further.
My little experiment with the mini pumpkins has given me a small harvest this year. However I’m a little disappointed by the number of fruits available after such a long, hot growing season! Nevertheless – it’s a feed and I am hoping to trial different varieties next year which I intend to train vertically in order to maximise the space available in the garden.
As can be seen from the image below…space really is at a premium and the amount of room the pumpkin plants have taken up could have been used for something else!
Oh well – I guess three is my lucky number today!
After all the harvesting, cleaning and moving of plants – it was rewarding to enjoy the simple pleasure of sowing this year’s garlic. This was made even more so by the fact that I didn’t have to buy any cloves this year! My harvest from June has seen me through the months since and will continue to do so into next year too! I therefore opted for the option of picking the largest cloves from the bulbs and putting them straight into the ground previously taken up by the carrots!
I have no reason to think that this will not work and if anything – the garlic should be attuned to the local growing conditions since the cloves came directly from the parent bulb which sat in the same piece of ground four months earlier.
I now eagerly await the sight of the small green heads protruding from the soil but am also impatient to savour the delights of the next host of crops which are reaching maturity. In my small patch of earth I currently have cauliflower, cabbage, runner beans, parsnips, leeks and fennel to see me over the leaner winter months. I hope to bring some of these to the Christmas table but will aim to try them myself first! A sort of quality assurance check!
As the days start to diminish and the cold nights set in – the garden is nearly ready for the hibernation period. Next week I aim to sow my Broad Beans – starting them out in the greenhouse first before planting out. For now though – I can sit back and watch the shifting season unfold as we ebb towards winter.