Sunday, 15 October 2006

October so far ...

My garlic has already surfaced and is looking very healthy. Last year I didn't plant until December, and got very small bulbs in July when I harvested them, so next year I'm hoping for a bumper crop.

The Japanese onions have sprouted too, just hope they don't get too waterlogged over winter, not grown the before, so will be interested to try them next year. Understand they'll be ready a lot sooner than spring planted sets.

I've re-dug beds 9 & 10, which were done very quickly in May / June and were only half dug by the time the pumpkins were ready for planting, as the discovery of my vole family halted digging. I've spoiled myself over the summer with my other beds - the soil is so good and the weeds so few from all the hard effort I put in over the winter, that it was a shock to rediscover the joys of digging soil that is bursting with bindweed runners and other nasty weeds. Will have to rethink my disposal plan. Boy its hard work.

Bed 11 was the potato bed this year, I've finally finished digging and raking it - but it's huge, so I need to think about paths to break it up for the next season. OH started to tackle the hedge behind it, I want it taking down to around 3-4ft to let the winter sun spread its warmth across the bed, which is slightly wet. As soon as the leaves arrive (courtesy of the council), I intend to cover it with barrow loads to try and improve / condition it. OH also replenished the bark paths running down each hedge - they look great and are really helping keep the weeds down. My only worry is that the bindweed is probably taking hold, as it can spread unseen and unchecked under the mulch.

I've set up a temporary cold frame with an old packing case and some perspex. It is currently housing the lavender cuttings (not sure that they've been terribly successful), strawberry runners (loads more to pot up), and some poppy and lupin seeds that I'm going to try and get established before the winter. If I manage to get any spare time over the winter months I want to build a permanent cold frame - I've got a plan and some glass, just need some wood and some spare time.

Next month is my one year anniversary, so I'm going to take some photos and then do a last year / this year comparison.