25th October, 2010

There have been some glorious sunny days of late but this has been tempered by the first sharp frosts. The freezing temperatures should improve the flavour of the winter veg. So I have harvested the first of the parsnips. The one I dug up had a nice neck but the root was split which I attribute to the clay soil. I think the root expanded within the loo roll but didn't go downwards much. More compost needed to improve soil structure.

I also tried some young Brussels sprouts which were also very nice.

Other harvests: beetroot, Swiss chard, spring onions, raspberries, sweet potato, tomatoes, green peppers, last of the aubergines, chillies.

The sweet potato bucket was emptied finally. Not a good yield. I probably anticipated this and won't try again, I think I am too far north to get a long enough growing season.

I also uncovered the celery growing inside the Pringles tubes. One or two will provide a few edible stems but again I'm unlikely to try this again. But never say never.

My Thompson and Morgan seeds arrived so I have sowed 30 broad beans (Claudia Aquadulce) in individual pots which are now in the greenhouse.

I also planted out the overwintering onions (Thompson and Morgan first early) which I grew last year with good results.

I've started collecting leaves, always a worthwhile activity.

13th October, 2010

I've been remiss in not posting in September, despite it being the main harvest time. The reason partly is that I have been busy putting up the fence to replace the Leylandii hedge. I'm quite pleased with the result.

I have been able to do some other work.

Sowing: coriander (for indoor growing through winter). Winter lettuce (my dad gave me some).

Planting: strawberries (I decided to get the new plants I propagated into their final spots before winter set in)

Harvesting: apples (lots of them!), raspberries, turnips, beetroot, Borlotti beans, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, aubergines, tomatoes, peppers and runner beans.

Yes, runner beans in mid October! Here's the proof.

The aubergines have had a growth spurt just to prove me wrong when I thought I wouldn't get any. Mind you three plants did not produce any fruit, so only a partial success.

And there are some more on the plants.

The chillis are also latecomers. These are the usual cayenne peppers I grow.

These are Bolivian rainbow, given to me by a work colleague who is a keen chilli grower.

The greenhouse is also producing the peppers finally and there are still plenty of tomatoes. Despite my concerns that they are not Gardener's delight, they have a delicious taste.

The Swiss chard has grown very fast in just over a month.

These are just some of the apples. A good harvest.

And seven pumpkins for Halloween and pies.

Finally, this is the very large heap of hedge shreddings and grass mowings that will make some lovely compost next year. Yes, you read correct, grass mowings! I'm still mowing the lawn in October.

The compost makes the soil go much darker and I'm really impressed with how it is transforming the clay soil.