More Autumn clearing up.
I had to wait at the plot for my manure delivery yesterday so I spent a while tidying up again.
Here you can see the leeks which are doing well, having stopped sulking and taken off at last. Behind them is the carrot bed, now all harvested. I've left the marigolds for a while as they cheer me up. The bed behind that was potatoes and beetroot earlier in the year. I have now cleared and dug it, and sowed broad beans "Aquedulce Claudia". Weed seeds are germinating everywhere so these stand a chance of putting on a bit of growth before the cold weather finally slows things down.
Starting on 1st October we can have bonfires again. DH loves starting them so I let him...then when he went home I fed it the whole afternoon with anything that was rubbish. I had piled up a lot of twiggy stuff all summer waiting for bonfire season. Some of it had rotted down beautifully so I've left all that in situ. This area will be weeded and raked over and piles of compost made and it will be my pumpkin bed next year. The pumpkins will be harvested before I need to have a fire again.
I was pulling up a load of nettles here when I spotted a beautiful yellow toad that I had obviously disturbed. So, feeling sorry for him I have half buried a flower pot, a large black plastic one, and covered it in soil and a heap of weeds. If he takes up residence I guarantee not to disturb him again.
This area is allotted for more Autumn Bliss Raspberries. I want some for freezing next year. The 10 canes I put in two winters ago just about provide enough for us to eat fresh...so more are needed and I have the room.
This is the tomato bed from this summer in my kitchen garden at home. They had all collapsed in spite of the bamboo supports (I must do better next year!), and the tomatoes will not continue ripening outside now as the weather is turning after Sunday, so I picked all the green and red tomatoes and pulled up the lot. I moved off the strawberry troughs to reveal the bed.
I spent a couple of hours digging out the bindweed roots, then I manured the whole bed and gave it a sprinkle of lime, and then set to planting out the strawberry plants. I bought these as a special offer at The Chelsea Flower Show form Ken Muir. When they came I had no room for them anywhere so I "held" them all summer in the troughs. There were 18 plants and I have started on planting them in the bed. I've done 12 and will take a picture when they are all in. I have some leeks to put into the bed too as suggested by Gertrude Franck ("Companion Planting; Successful gardening the Organic Way"....long out of print but still one of the best gardening books I own)...they make good companions.
At 3pm I could hardly move, came in for a cuppa.....and that was that! But I had enjoyed what I had done. The afternoon was so very beautiful, warm and wind-free. Tomorrow promises to be fine but more blowy so it won't be quite so pleasant when I am finishing off the job.
I had a chat with the man who delivered the manure (20 bags at the plot, 10 at home.....£30 for the lot!) who was saying that he is getting very much busier with his manure business. This year he has noticed a marked change in veg growing. He has delivered bags of manure to our allotments and to the ones in Cowes for years, and he usually took a few bags to Cowes, as a few old folks there would have a couple or three bags each and that was that. This year a lot of the plots have changed hands and the new tenants have been ordering 20 or 30 sacks each so he has been working hard trying to fulfil them all.