Yes, the garden looks pretty messy now, partly because it’s autumn and mostly because I haven’t had time to clear it up. The beans now look sad on the poles with a few unpicked pods and dying leaves. A couple of the tomato plants outside the greenhouse have died completely and I’ve taken them out, one is hanging on and trying desperately to ripen a last couple of tomatoes. The tomato plants outside the kitchen are hanging on and I’m still picking the odd one but it won’t be long before they are over. The courgettes and cucumbers have all had it and I have managed to remove their remains. We’ve only just finished eating the last of the cucumbers as well.
There are still some lettuces and salad leaves growing but with night time temperatures now dipping below 10degC and daytime temps only getting into the mid teens at best, it doesn’t feel much like salad weather really.
Inside the greenhouse there are still a few tomatoes ripening but the sweet peppers have finished, we just incorporated the last one into pasta sauce last week. The four aubergine plants are still flowering, but only two aubergines have set on one plant and they are pretty small at the moment – I’m hoping they grow a bit before they get zapped by frost… Don’t really know why the aubergines wer such a dead loss, I’ll have to investigate a bit I think. I’ve harvested the grapes but not sure what I’m going to do with them yet, they are currently living in a fridge but may move into the freezer if I can’t make my mind up.
My one raspberry cane growing near the greenhouse, a late fruiting variety was still producing fruit until last week – providing a useful supplement to my breakfast cereal or being added to fruit shakes – if I can locate the variety again I must get another one.
We’re working our way through the stored apples, some have gone into puddings but mostly being eaten after meals, they are very nice. The pear at the bottom of the garden is literally ready to fall down, I’ve only left it as a home for wildlife and so on but when that goes I think we’ll have another apple tree since the first has been pretty good.
I harvested another of the potato containers the other day – turned out to be ‘Javelin’ so as an early I should have taken them out a while ago, not a very good crop though only a few kg – still some of them roasted up quite well. Still 2 lots to go – maybe they will be better as they are both main crop. They were an experiment after all.
As for maintainance, I’ve been working through the hedge cutting routine the last few days (hopefully the last time this season), so the front and about 10m of the back are done – still lots to go though. Mind you, cutting the bit near the house proved slightly tricky as we have a wasps nest under the house and their entrance is close by so I had to cut carefully so I didn’t annoy them too much. I also cleaned out the bird box successfully used by blue tits last spring so it is ready to go for next year now.
Other wildlife points – got up one morning a couple of weeks ago to find a fox prancing around on the garden – not sure what it was up to but it was quite amusing. Last week as I was walking down the garden there was a loud ‘ki-ki’ki’ from the holly trees on my left and a kestrel (or merlin?) flew out – it was so quick I can’t be sure what it was but definitely a raptor – quite amazing. I’ve evicted another 3 squirrels but there is still one hanging about, and of course one of our hedgehogs decided that peanuts were wonderful and spent part of last night in the trap – wandered off happily this morning though.