Autumn – Dryer than the Summer….

Sorry about the long break without a post – lots of things to do in the house and as a result the garden has been somewhat neglected apart from harvesting stuff.

Here we are in the autumn and we’ve had very little rain for the past several weeks, fortunately there is nothing left to water in the garden otherwise it would have meant being out with the hosepipe.

Anyway, most of the crops are over or just about. I picked the last few runner beans yesterday, the plants are just about hanging on though. The broccoli are mostly in flower (the guinea pig likes them) but there are a few small heads. They have been a disappointment mostly though considering the amount of ground they take up. Not sure I’ll grow any brassicas next year, unless I can divine the secret of getting a decent crop.

The sweetcorn produced laughably small cobs (see below) – but we are in the process of eating them – I harvested the whole lot a few days ago. That part of the garden is too shady for them. It’s one thing I have to tackle this winter, reducing the size of the shading trees & bushes.

pathetic sweetcorn cobs

pathetic sweetcorn cobs

In the same area the celery has grown ok – not very big, but now it is being blanched so we may have some to eat soon. The currant bushes close by have all been pruned right down to the base – and the two in the section where the sweetcorn was may come out altogether over the winter to help give more light – they are pretty old and I have some replacements growing elsewhere now.

The curly kale is standing pretty high, we haven’t eaten much of it so far but it should come in handy through the winter. The lettuce is all gone to seed – again I’ve only let it as the guinea pig likes the flower heads. I’ve still got some carrots and beetroot close to the greenhouse which we should eat soon.

The tomatoes are still cropping, both inside the greenhouse and outside, though the ones outside the greenhouse are looking pretty unhappy now. The ones outside the kitchen though, since they get more sun are still producing. Most have been a small orange sweet tomato, and the rest a small olive type (see pic below).

Kitchentomatoes - ony a few days ago

Kitchen tomatoes - ony a few days ago

In the greenhouse the one aubergine plant has produced 3 aubergines – quite successful, I may try a couple of plants next year.

 

Aubergine in greenhouse - ealry October

Aubergine in greenhouse - early October

The sweet peppers though are way behind, only one actual pepper and that quite small, I doubt very much whether that will ripen either. Must try and get them going earlier next year. The grapes have produced a good harvest, they need picking pretty soon.

The courgettes gave up some weeks ago – thank goodness, somehow there always seem to be more produced than can be used. The cucumber – especially the ones grown in containers and growbag have produced well, I picked the last one only a couple of days ago. Interestingly, the growbag cucumber was sharing with a courgette plant – which produced no courgettes at all (a blessing in disguise I suppose).

Nothing much very exciting has happened on the wildlife front – apart from evicting a couple more squirrels and seeing a fox at the bottom of the garden – they haven’t been so obvious this year. The buddleia plant  near the house still had flowers until only about 10 days ago and we were still getting visits from red admirals. More worrying not a single tortoiseshell at all this year.

The blackbirds have begun to argue about territory in the last week or so after several quite happily coexisting on the lawn through the late summer.

I cut the lawn for the last time probably a couple of days ago and am in the middle of the last bout of hedge cutting – still a lot to do though.

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