Sunday, 3 October 2010

Clearning up after the summer

SFG after an intensive tidying-up.
Spent a happy two hours in the garden clearing out the overgrown nasturtians and doing the odd bit of weeding. Picked most of the last of the purple runner beans - the few remaining ones I'll leave on their netting to dry for replanting next May. It all looks MUCH tidier. I'd neglected it sadly over the summer.

The small green containers are slug traps. I put beer into them and leave them standing around the beds. They also trap other beasties to great effect.
The grids on the two large 4x4 beds were almost rotten, so I removed them and will replace them with new ones in spring. The reason why they're rotten and the others aren't is because the slats were just a bit too short and some ended up resting on the soil, which of course meant that they retained the damp, unlike the others which dried out. I must be more careful next time. This bed still has some autumn lettuces, a few leeks and some chives and purple basil in it (which seems to like the soil better than the usual green basil, for some reason. I think the normal basil prefers a drier soil and this soil retains the moisture for longer.)
I might even decide to use lengths of plastic washing line instead of wooden lathes - it might not look quite so nice, but I can make loops at the ends and loop round the screws at 30 inch intervals along the wooden frames. Then I can remove them more easily than I can the wooden grids before the winter. The practical effect will be the same.

 The other bed with the grid removed. All that remains here are a few garlic plants, some rocket, which I have harvested several times, and which keeps growing back, to my satisfaction, and some lambs' lettuce, which I grew from seed a few weeks ago. The tall plant is a Mexican cucumber (a present from a pupil) which has the tiniest cucumbers I've ever seen, about the size of a kumquat and very prettily striped, pale and dark green. They're edible and rather crunchy. I'm thinking of pickling the remaining ones.

A 2x4 with more lambs' lettuce coming up.