This post is a photo record and some notes for myself. We are heading into autumn now so this is a longer post with some notes for me to refer back to and remind myself of decisions I am making now about next growing season.
I have just picked the last decent sized cucumber, I am not sure if the remaining small ones will ripen but I am going to leave them a while to see. Having two plants in the largest planter is sufficient for me and next year I won’t plant more than 2.
The tomatoes are ripening, this variety are yellow when ripe. A beastie has been munching on my pak choi and a slug has got past my copper strip somehow and has been munching my baby leaf lettuce/kale mix! I don’t think the squash or courgette will do anything else so will compost those. The one outside in the border was the most successful by far. Next year if I do one in the greenhouse it will be in one of the largest pots.
I cleared out half the mangetout (snowpeas) border and have leaned the later sowing diagonally, next year I won’t plant so many seeds. They have been very productive and we struggled to keep up with eating them and ended up shelling some peas out of some that had gone too far.
The carrots and beetroots we are continuing to pick and either roast, stir fry or use raw in sandwiches. Next year I will plant more carrots. I only did 2 successional plantings and will do 3 next year.
The seaweed kale has been a bit of a nightmare. The texture of the leaves makes it hard to see if there are any caterpillars in them…and I accidentally roasted a couple of caterpillars 🐛😢. My husband was not amused and he’s a meat eater! We haven’t eaten any since! Next year I need to construct a cage to keep the butterflies out as we love this vegetable baked with a drizzle of sesame oil and salt.
I’ve had a problem with miner beetles destroying the spinach leaves, and some of the beetroot leaves too, but less important as they don’t affect the root part. I have pulled out all the spinach, even though it was a perennial variety. I may not grow any next year, we don’t eat it much.
The squash plant is ginormous and we ate the third squash from it. For how much space it takes up it is still mostly leaves. There’s potential for 2 more squash from it if they continue to ripen. The courgette has been so prolific, soooooo many!
The broccoli plants are absolutely ginormous and I worry they will make it through the winter to fruit in Spring. We shall see how much snow we get. It’s so huge I haven’t even been fighting the caterpillars.
The flower border…oh my the cosmos are ginormous! They needed staking earlier and are flopping over but the flowers are great.
Pots and containers
The lupins and columbines have been drying out too quickly in the containers. We had used some from my mother in law’s stash and they all had ginormous holes cut in the bottom, so the water drains far too quickly. They will need re-potting or as there are so many I may just see which make it through winter and then just re-pot any survivors.
Courgette in the small outdoor pot wasn’t very productive but the pot was too small in hindsight.
Peas in the larger pot were okay, but I think next year I may dedicate a border to them and successional plant them. I also need a better sparrow defence system.
Almost no jostaberries in comparison with last year’s hoard, so I think I pruned it wrong last year. The blueberries have been amazing though. By far the most productive year, even with a sneaky thrush breaking through my bird defence system and munching quite a lot, we still had loads. The wild strawberries down the side of the greenhouse were actually enough plants to manage although I did have to walk on them to get to the compost bins. The crab apple tree doesn’t have any fruit so I think I pruned that too hard last year, but it does get huge and obstructs the rotary clothes line. I need to cut a lot more off it again and my try pollarding it.
Trees and shrubs
The eucalyptus tree that we had cut down to a short stump has come to life as a bush! Rather than the oval drooping leaves it is growing back with round upright leaves! How strange is that! I won’t allow it to get higher than me and will try to keep it as a bush and use trimmings from it for a wreath perhaps.
We did quite a bit of pruning off the silver birch tree that is by our fence with the neighbour after she made some comments about it and whilst we were there we did some pruning of some of the other shrubs.
Last year I had really hacked back the two shrubs on our front lawn and they bounced back to as huge as normal! They are beautiful colours in autumn so will leave pruning until the leaves are falling.
Our maple trees need tackling as since I removed some nearby conifers they have started to really grow. I will prune them once their autumn leaves have fallen.
I will leave the rowans as they are as the thrush birds love the berries, but as soon as they are finished I will cut them back by half, as they are getting very tall.
The alder tree is going to need the crown reducing professionally again, maybe next year.