Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Another productive week-end!

The photos above show a couple of the flowers I had on the lottie this year including the lovely sweet pea wigwam above. The date on the photos is wrong as the camera keep going back to the original setting and I'm too challenged to change the date every time I take a photo. I had months of lovely bunches of flowers in the lounge - not to mentioned the delicious smell which wafted through the whole house. The nastirtiums in the photos are mainly self sown and are making a bid to take over the lottie - I will have to get them in hand next spring and be brutal in weeding the seedlings. The dahlia and cosmos flower bed which I started this year has been very productive and I think that this year instead of lifting all the dahlia tubers I am going to give them a good mulch and protect them with cardboard and fleece and leave them in the ground over winter. Hopefully they won't rot off.

Well - I managed to get down to the lottie on Sunday at about 11:00 and DH got out the lawn mover and did a lovely job of cutting all the grass. It is amazing how much better the lottie looks when the grass has been mown. I'm sure that DH hopes this is the last cut of the season ! (Fingers crossed - last year we ended up cutting the lawn almost all winter).

The SA corn has been very slow in maturing this year so after harvesting only four immature cobs I have decided to leave the rest on the plants and see if this last burst of lovely weather will finally ripen them. I find that sometimes nature seems to catch up in a last spurt of energy. If not, I think that it will be the last time I use these and will start using UK seed. I have also left a hubbard squash on the vine hoping that it can get a bit bigger as all the other squash has already been eaten - so I do not have a lovely stock like I did last year. I notice there are quite a few baby squash on the vine as well so will leave those and hopefully they will get to a decent size before the first frosts strike!

I cleared out the last of the beetroot in the raised bed, I was quite amazed as the bed looked quite empty but right now I have a decent pot of beetroot cooking away for me to bottle. Yummy - something to eat with all those lovely stews over the long, cold winter. I then manured it with chicken manure pellets and popped the garlic and some overwintering shallots in it. The broad beans I planted a couple of weeks ago are a couple of inches tall now so I have placed some fleece covering over the raised bed to protect the baby plants from the frost. I will have to keep checking and staking them as my lottie gets a lot of wind rushing through. I have tried planting raspberries across the bed last year but I think it will be a year or two more until they can create a decent wind barrier.

I also took the protective mesh off the early sprouting broccoli (white and purple), and the cauliflowers, then weeded the bed and staked the plants. I also then re-netted the whole bed with mesh to protect my brassicas from the flying rats!(pigeons) they are an absolute pest down at the lottie.

Also managed to clear out the last of the tomatoes out the greenhouse - leaving me with about 2 kgs of green tomatoes. Guess which recipe I will be digging out of my collection?? - Yes, green tomatoes chutney!!

DH erected the table to go in the greenhouse for all my precious little babies to overwinter safely and I have already got my autumn sown sweet peas, cleome and a couple of other seeds planted after reading SR's book saying that she got a better performance out of them if they were winter sown. I will keep you posted on the outcome! If anyone wants some home saved sweet peas give me a shout and I'll pop some into the post for you. Can't remember what kind they are but mainly peach, pink, lilac, magenta/purple but he smell was absolutely divine this year.

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