Sunday, 27 September 2009

Tidying up for Autumn

Welcome back to Reads Retreat! Oops ! - I started this post about 2 weeks ago, and forgot to finish & publish it! God, where does the time go? At the time of these pictures, we were having a good run of green toms, so many in fact that i decided to cut these from the dwindling plants, to bring them inside to hopefully ripen up on the windowsill. I'm pleased to tell you that this is going well!

Notwithstanding the plethora of green toms, we are also madly harvesting the rest of the ripe toms. The daily haul includes Moneymaker, Gardeners Delight, and Yellow Pear. We seem to be getting a good late crop, even as I belatedly type this post up (well into October) we are still harvesting them on a daily basis. Yum!

The plants themselves are now a tad bedraggled, and very soon we will pick the remainder of the crop before tidying up and throwing away the remains of the plants. We really have had a bumper crop, and have to lay the blame of late pickings on the weather.

We've had some similair late successes with our Chilli plants. This one of unknown origin (a present from Huw & Jane) has done remarkably well, producing an abundance of 3/4" long hot specimens. They've mostly all ripened on the plant, though some will inevitably be taken inside to finish their ripening.

As for this beauty - we've had loads of these fiery hot "Firetongue". This plant was purchased from Victoriana Nurseries, quite late in the season, and with a bit of TLC has put on tremendous growth. Jen used this variety in our home made tomato sauce!

These Jalapeno "Hercules" are somewhat dissapointing in that they have failed to redden up. We've been using them as they are and have no complaints!

We've been tidying up the raised beds, and this one has a fresh mulch of spent grow bag compost on top. It's uncanny just how much the level in the raised beds has fallen over the last couple of years, and this top dressing should go some way to rebuilding that level. We've had some excellent crops from this bed, including some great tasting Lollo Rosso - cut and come again lettuce. There's still half a dozen or so carrots left to pull, before the bed is finally covered for the winter.

Our Rhubarb crown has done bloomin great this year, providing substantial harvests up to the end of August. We'll let the leaves die back a tad more, before applying our winter dressing of manure / compost. We do this every year and it seems to do well from it. We have a second crown in the borders now (v. Victoria) which should mean an even bigger crop next year.

We still have this Butternut Squash (v.Hunter)in the raised bed. Won't be long now till harvest time, as the weather is deteriorating and the temperature starting to drop. Must get this one in before the first frost.

Our Asparagus bed is doing pretty well. 8 out of the original 10 plants have survived, and we're hopeful that we'll get to harvest some next April. If not, then we'll have the satisfaction of eating fresh Asparagus from the allotment - the plot we've just taken on has an established asparagus bed already!

This runner bean plant (v.Scarlet Emperor) has inadvertently turned into our sacrificial seed generator. To be honest we kind of forgot about the seeds that Ruby planted, and as we had such a great crop recently from the plot, we never needed to harvest these. There's a good bunch of nice sized dry pods, which will yield a good amount of seeds for next year!

And finally a pic of our ever eager helper. Ruby had a fantastic time "helping" us clear up the garden. Cant wait for next year when she'll be a bit more able to understand what we're doing.

That's all for now folks, but check back soon for more updates.

Enjoy your gardens - we love autumn!



Sue said...

Ruby is adorable!! Glad you let her "help"-even though sometimes at that age it isn't really a help!!
Who knows, you may be grooming a future Master Gardener!

gumboot goddess said...

thanks for your update - we also have a plethora of green toms - I'm making salsa out of them. Keep us posted on your asparagus - I'm keen to try them myself.
Your Ruby is adorable! what a great little helper, and the best way to get kids to eat their veggies! (now if only my 2 teenage boys would help me and eat theirs!)
happy harvest!

Anonymous said...

wow...all your harvest looked great....butternut squash was lifted a long time ago form our allotment and was very tasty...I hope your asparagus goes well...this is something I am thinking of growing next year......I hope Ruby enjoys the garden as much in winter as she seemed to over the summer!!

Anonymous said...

It's really nice to see your vegetables growing and bearing good fruits.

I love tomatoes.^^

Layla said...

WOW!! Really love your photos and your blog!! :)

I've been interested in raised beds too, so do report how it goes.. (We have a regular 'sort-of-eco' garden..)
Also, in comparison with not raised beds, how it goes, what's the difference.. (Only easier work or..?:)

There's quite some work involved with clearing the garden and putting away the produce, making things ready for Winter..