Overwintering Plants & A Welcome Friend

It has really felt like Autumn this week with the wind and rain that we have had and the trees in the park are now turning into beautiful colours.

IMG_2678 IMG_2684

At home in my kitchen garden I have started to tidy some areas.  I gave my pyracantha a light prune as it seems to grow so quickly…..I made sure I left all the berries for the birds to eat.

SAM_2067

I also gave my comfrey its last cut of the year too:

SAM_2069 SAM_2072

As my compost bins were full I spread the comfrey over an empty bed and I will dig it into the soil another day after it has died.

SAM_2071

I also decided it was time to strim my green manure (phacelia) that I sowed in August, as it was beginning to flower.  Phacelia has beautiful purple flowers which bees absolutely love, but unfortunately it self seeds like mad (which I don’t want in my small garden) so I cut the plants down before they flower.

SAM_2118 SAM_2120

Soon I will dig the green manure into my soil to improve it, however until then I have covered it with weed suppressant as I have found through bitter experience that digging Phacelia into the soil doesn’t always kill it……but the weed suppressant will kill it if I leave it down for long enough:

SAM_2121 SAM_2147

This week I also cleared the yellow, dying leaves from my rhubarb plants.  The plants have grown very well this year, though I will leave them another year before I harvest any to allow the roots to grow strong:

SAM_2070 SAM_2076

 .

In the middle of August I sowed some Broccoli raab ’60 days’

SAM_1628

This week I finally got around to thinning the plants to their final spacing:

SAM_2077 SAM_2080

I was very pleased to see that a couple of plants actually have a broccoli spear growing in the center….I have never grown this variety before so I am looking forward to seeing the results, though I don’t think I will be harvesting at ’60 days’ as the packet suggests:

SAM_2109

.

This week I have also been sowing some seeds.  I started with perpetual spinach, which should really have been sown a month ago…so it will be interesting to see how it does.  I then sowed some ‘All year round’ cauliflower for next year and some overwintering peas which I have sown in modules which I think improves the germination rate.  Finally I sowed some coriander which is sitting on my kitchen windowsill:

SAM_2140 SAM_2111 SAM_2110 SAM_2139

.

I also ‘pricked out’ the winter lettuce and corn salad that I sowed a few weeks ago:

SAM_2101 SAM_2104

.

This week I removed my last two outdoor cucumbers (which felt quite sad) and I then pulled up the remaining plants and added a bucket full of compost and some blood, fish and bone to the soil:

SAM_2143 SAM_2144

I bought garlic to plant this week in place of the cucumbers.  It is a softneck variety called ‘Cristo’ which I haven’t grown before…..hopefully it will turn out well.  I have planted some cloves directly in the ground and I have decided to put a cloche over them in a few weeks time to stop the cloves from rotting in my heavy, clay soil over winter.  I have also kept some cloves back to plant in pots in my greenhouse, ready to plant out in February.

SAM_2151 SAM_2148

I also planted out my overwintering onions next to my garlic this week:

SAM_2154

.

Last weekend I picked my final ‘outdoor girl’ tomatoes.  They have given me such a good crop this year:

SAM_2126

I have finally started to pick some of my ‘Money maker’ tomatoes too, but as you can see from the photo below I still have lots left still to ripen:

SAM_2128

I knew we were in for some rainy weather during the week, so I made the decision to pick my remaining green tomatoes and place them in my greenhouse to continue to ripen…..this way I wont lose them to ‘blight’ .  I’m not sure if they will ripen this late in the season, but if not I will be making green tomato chutney!

SAM_2131

.

On Sunday Mr Thrift was very happy as my sweetcorn was finally ready to pick.  I picked four cobs that were cooked and eaten within fifteen minutes and they were delicious!

SAM_2135

Finally this week I noticed that I have a couple of new, very welcome visitors to my garden.  I don’t know if you remember, but when I first started my kitchen garden I placed some rocks around the edge of the garden to attract beneficial insects to my plot…..My plan seems to be working as I found a couple of frogs hiding in the rocks this week…..the frogs will eat the slugs so they are welcome to stay!

SAM_2123

.

.

This week in the home:

.

This week it was Mr Thrifts birthday and my daughter made him a lovely cake.  I was especially impressed with the footballs she made out of icing…they must have taken her ages to do!  The cake tasted delicious.

SAM_2100

I made Mr Thrift some shortbread as it is his favourite biscuit:

SAM_2062 SAM_2081

And I also made a chocolate traybake with chocolate frosting and grated chocolate on top, for Mr Thrift to take to work for his colleagues.  He said they enjoyed them:

IMG_2681 IMG_2680

Finally this week my lovely friend gave me a bag of crab apples from her tree, so I spent a happy few hours topping and tailing them ready to make crab apple jelly.

SAM_2117

Well that’s it for this week.  I will be back next Friday as usual.

Have a great weekend!

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Overwintering Plants & A Welcome Friend

  1. I have a couple of rhubarb crowns in our gardens which survive from year to year and produce quite well. Do you have any suggestions for feeding them over the winter and spring? Any suggestions welcomed. Thank you.

  2. The garden is looking lovely and organised as usual! All the photos make it look cool there! The weather here as heated up so quickly! The firefighters have had to attend 17 different fires in out Shire, and everyone is anxious about what summer will bring!
    Your rhubarb is looking great! Mine is not that big yet as I moved it last year to a. Better spot, but because the heat arrived early they are struggling a bit.
    I’m so glad you have such success with your seeds! I have had to give up the idea of seeds for now, because I have no way of protecting them! Coverings don’t seem to work, and I cannot use snail bate as I have dumb chooks and a dumb dog, lolL
    Oooohhh! That chocolate tray bake makes my mouth water! Mmmmm!

  3. Crab apple jelly is so nice and what a wonderful gift to have, your garden has done so well this year, i am looking forward to seeing how it goes next year, i am going to move my fruit up at the land (it is not doing well where it is)and re organise ready for next year, we have covered most of it with black liner and it seems to be working, and where we have grown potatoes the ground seems so much better, the soil was just empty of anything, worms etc, but they do seem to be coming back now we are putting manure in the ground, it has taken so long to get it into “good heart” again.
    Have a good week.
    Sue

    • I’m not sure what you mean?….the phacelia isnt deep rooted but I find it easier to kill it off by chopping it down and then covering it with weed suppressant to make sure it doesn’t grow back. I then dig the whole thing back into the ground.

      Hope this helps?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s