Summery Again

Thanks  to an extended period under high pressure (well a week or so) we now have daytime temps into the low 20’s (C) but night-time it drops to below 10 deg so a bit chilly first thing in the morning.

The other effect at this time of year of course is the shortening day – there hardly enough time in the evening to get things watered and one or two simple jobs and it’s already dark (before 8pm already too dark to work).

I’ve also had lots of things to do inside – like work and decorating – so outside work has taken a bit of a back seat. It’s been frustrating as well since the weather has been fine and sunny. It’s not that I don’t have plenty to do – there are over 70 ‘winter bedding plants’ in trays in the greenhouse which will soon need planting out.

Meanwhile I can scarcely keep up with harvesting the tomatoes, though amazingly by having pasta sauce made with our own tomatoes, we’ve been able to keep on top of the tomato situation. However, that isn’t so true of the courgettes, though production is slowing down now so maybe we’ll catch up.

The other bit of routine harvesting that has been handy is the raspberries – this time from just one cane I’ve had a few years, it is an autumn cropper and is quite prolific – so I’ve been able to have raspberries with my breakfast cereal several mornings each week, just picking the ripe ones just before breakfast – yum!

After finding a rather disappointing harvest of ‘Maya Gold’ potatoes from two bags the other week – scarcely enough for a couple of meals – with small portions. I emptied one of the bags with Maris Piper in the other day. This proved a bit more productive (see pic below)

Maris Piper harvest

Maris Piper harvest

So we had them mashed (with roast pork)

What’s the most depressing thing about wandering round the garden is the weed situation – boy have they proliferated – although the flower beds aren’t too badly affected, its mainly the areas around the raised beds and those bits I haven’t cultivated this year that are affected. I think an assault with the strimmer is called for….

I have harvested the grapes from the greenhouse  (pic to follow) but haven’t weighed the crops, seems like several pounds though. I’m now desperately looking up things to do with them – looks like gape juice or jam/jelly at the moment.

Wildlife

A major development for the birds is a ‘squirrel and pigeon proof’ enclosure to put over a ground feeding station (picture to follow) purchased from the RSPB. Within hours the dunnocks and a robin had worked out that it wasn’t a problem – haven’t seen any blackbirds inside yet – in theory they can get in. Sadly the pigeons have failed to appear (or a squirrel) since I put it out so I haven’t been able to gloat over their inability to get at the food yet.

Speaking of squirrels, one appeared last week, so the trap duly went out. Next morning I could see something was in it – but it was a hedgehog! So I rolled it out and after a few minutes it decided  the coast was clear and wandered off I have a picture which I’ll add). It does at least prove the hedgehogs are still around, so it served a useful purpose. Needless to say the squirrel hasn’t made another appearance, at least while I’ve been watching…..

Hedgehog just moving back to hide

Hedgehog just moving back to hide

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