It’s been slow in the garden this month. Growth is slowing down and the last of the autumn harvests are finishing.
Vegetable Garden Bed 1
The radicchio is doing well. I’m letting it heart up before harvesting. I’ve only sown a few heads because I don’t know if we’ll like it or not.
The last of the year’s rocket and mustard are doing nicely. I’m letting the mustard go to seed, I don’t need the space for anything else so I may as well. I keep thinking I’ll have a go at making my own mustard but I think I need to plant a LOT more mustard plants and let them run to seed. Maybe next year I’ll sow loads at the end of the summer and leave a spare bed full of it.
My parsley is totally overgrown and needs to come out.
Vegetable Garden Bed 2
Bed 2 is looking pretty sorry for itself. There’s just some late carrots that I’m trying to fatten up for Christmas. And a few spring onions that didn’t get chance to grow. I’ll leave them to overwinter and see how they go.
The last of the radishes bolted and the last of the beetroot has been harvested. I’ll be sharing my beetroot salad recipe in the near future.
Vegetable Garden Bed 3 & 4
Beds 3 and 4 are not completely empty. I pulled out the spinach as it was infected with some form of fungus and was really struggling to product anything. It was just a slug magnet so it’s better on the compost heap.
I’ll be removing the bits of broken and rotten wood. I used them to mark out the edges of the bed when I built it. But now they are just creating a habitat for slugs. They’re ear marked for the bonfire next month.
Vegetable Garden Bed Legumes
The broad beans and French beans have finished producing beans.
I think the French beans would have carried on a bit longer if it wasn’t for the ferocious appetite of my local slug population.
I’ve emptied the compost onto the other garden beds ready for next year’s plantings. This seems like a great way to rotate the nitrogen rich soil from the legumes. But I still get to plant my legumes next to the fence for support.
Vegetable Garden Bed 5
Bed 5 is still very full of brassicas. I’m getting about one portion a week of fresh broccoli. We have it on our weekly “make your own pizza” dish.
The cabbage are getting attacked by the slugs and so they aren’t producing much. I think in hindsight I have greatly overfilled this bed.
There is some Kale under all that broccoli. It’s very small and isn’t doing at all well. I think this is a combination of a lack of light and those pesky slugs again.
I do have just one precious Brussel sprout plant. It’s clinging onto life and plodding on leaving me feeling optimistic for fresh sprouts for Christmas.
Vegetable Garden Bed 6
I’ve cleared the bolted radishes form bed 6 along with the turnips which seem to have bolted too. They were just attracting slugs so better out than in.
The leeks are looking a little sad. I read that they will stand over winter but I think I’ll pull them in the near future. I have a tomato and leek soup recipe which is suitable for canning so I think they will be used there. I’m not really sure what else to do with them. Leeks aren’t really a vegetable my family enjoys on their own.
I do have a few parsnips growing here. Hopefully they will be nice and fat for Christmas dinner.
Vegetable Garden Bed 7 & 8
These beds have been decimated by slugs.
There’s a few parsnips clinging to life. I did harvest a few this month. They are very twisted and misshapen. I multirowed the seeds but I’m wondering if this may be a mistake with long rooted vegetables. The parsnips have intertwined as they’ve grown and seem to have restricted each other’s growth. They’re nice and fat on the top then a twisted mess underneath. This also made them really, really difficult to pull, I actually had to use a spade.
My courgettes have finally started growing, just as the season draws to an end. I have little to no hope of a harvest from these bedraggled looking plants.
Vegetable Garden Future Plans
The biggest problem I’ve had this year is the dratted slugs. They have decimated most of my harvests planted towards the back of the vegetable patch.
After some research I’ve come to the conclusion that the overgrown Ivy and tress at the back of the patch are to blame. As well as the fence blocking a lot of light and air from the vegetable patch.
The fence will eventually be replaced with a more industrial style of iron fence which will allow much more light into the vegetable patch.
I have already removed a colossal amount of the pesky ivy. I’ll be continuing to wage war on the weed over this winter. There is a huge amount of undergrowth behind the fence and it’s peppered with building rubble. It’s also next to a busy road so it’s simply not safe to cut it back while I have the children with me. I’m left with trying to find days which are dry AND I have both children in school / nursery. With Little Dude only in nursery two days and our wet northern climate that’s a tall order.
I’m hoping to make some significant progress over the winter and see better results in my vegetable harvests next year.
I need to cut back the strawberries and I think the gooseberry bushes still need pruning.
The chives are starting to die back. I’m letting them flower in the hopes of cutting myself some of the lovely blooms. When put in a vase without water they dry beautifully and look very pretty for ages.
I’ve already cut a lot of herbs for drying but I think I need to have much more intensive harvest before the winter sets in.
Here’s a link to my earlier blog post on how to dry herbs the old fashioned way.
My three pumpkin plants have produced a disappointing one and half pumpkins. They look nice I guess, and I have successfully grown my own pumpkins. I was deceived by the vigour of the plants and the huge number of flowers. I had visons of inviting my children’s friends over for a pumpkin picking party. Oh well, you win some you loose some. I’m going to make a red in the ground for next year’s pumpkins so that they have access to more nutrients. Hopefully that will help. I’m also going to be more careful about securing them to the swing frame for support.
I’ve removed the old plants as they died back.
The sunflowers were fabulous. They grew higher than I though possible and were beautiful. Unfortunately they have grown higher than the children’s tree house can support them. The autumn winds have bashed and bettered the poor plants so a lot of the stems have broken. I was hoping to harvest some seeds for next year but none of the flower heads seem to be producing the seeds I expected to see. I’ll bring a few inside and see if the seeds appear as they dry out.
A Little Bit About Me . . .
Thank you so much for stopping by my corner little of the interweb. I’m Bridie, mum to two small humans, full time homemaker and full time craftaholic – which totally explains why I’m always short on time!
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