Sunday, September 23, 2007

So where was I?

Somehow the summer took over and the garden got relegated to second place. I've still been working in the garden, but mostly just to weed, tidy up and harvest stuff. We have had a remarkable butternut and gemsquash harvest. Great raspberries and blackberries. Nasty apples. A good crop of strawberries.

Today I harvested some lettuce leaves for salad, picked the rest of the gemsquash, almost all of the butternuts, bar a few that were still green, and one giant courgette that got away from me.

My courgettes didn't do well at all this year. They got mildew. Next year I plan to grow more courgettes, start them off earlier and keep them at home in the warm until it's time to go outside.

Today I planted the rest of my Rainbow Chard seedlings so I now have two beds of that. And four rows of Bordeaux spinach. I need to take down the greenhouses and clear up those beds so that they're ready for more lettuce plants.

Plans for next year? More butternuts! They cost 3 euros per kilo in the shops and we love butternut. The gems were great too, but we may have had too many. More courgettes please. The kids want more peas and I want more sweet peas.

Onions and garlic were good this year and so were the shallots. I intend to plant a gooseberry bush and to try again with the red raspberries. I planted two this season and both died. The autumn raspberry (a yellow one) did wonderfully. I'm hoping it will repeat the event next season.

The tomatoes on the balcony did really well, but next year I'll be growing them in the greenhouses I got from the Lidl.

And for this autumn?

  • There are three very old blackcurrant bushes that need to be removed from the garden.
  • The rhubarb crown that was in the garden when we took it over needs moving, and the new rhubarb plant that I planted this season needs to be cossetted a bit.
  • The compost heap needs to be turned.
  • The plum tree has lost all it's leaves and needs pruning.
  • The strawberries need to be moved to a different bed. The one they are in receives too much shade in summer even though it's sunny in the spring and autumn. I might fill up the space with raspberries. Or plant the buddleias that I bought for that spot.

Before I forget, another success in the last few months was my propagation! I propagated some herbs from cuttings and managed to grow some more rosemary plants, thyme, lavenders and oregano.

Thankfully I had taken a cutting of my purple sage just before the kids stood on the original plant and crushed it so I have a new one of those too!

Finally, I have one word that means a lot to me. Worteldoek. I hate weeding and I don't like getting my feet dirty.

Worteldoek is a permeable plastic membrane that you cut into and plant your plants through. I will be using worteldoek over my entire garden next year.

It keeps the soil clean and warm and keeps the vegetables from lying in the dirt. The slugs don't seem to like it much either.

So here's to worteldoek and the end of the summer.