The previously lush, leafy garden is looking a little threadbare now, after I’ve pulled up most of the courgettes and cucumbers, all the winter squashes, and the finished Tigerella, Glacier, Black Cherry and Golden Sun tomatoes.
The bright pink, speckled borlotti pods have just been harvested too, with their roots left in the soil.
We’ve also had an unwelcome visitor in the last few days: late blight. It got the Plum Roma tomatoes, so they’ve had to be binned before the spores could spread any further. It’s a bit of a shame, but we’ve had about two thirds of the fruits off them already, thanks to the long hot summer. Can’t complain too much.
The Losetto cherry tomatoes are blight resistant, so I’ve left them where they are and given them some liquid feed to keep them going. Amazingly, they’re still giving us quite a few tasty little toms, and even have a few flowers on them here and there. I’m tempted to put one in the mini greenhouse, along with a chilli plant or two. The French beans are still flowering too, although some of them look more spent.
I’ve also just taken some of last month’s garlic, split off a few juicy cloves, and replanted them where the Marketmore cucumbers used to be. Might plant a few more in November too, if there’s space. The salads and oriental greens that were sown recently are getting going now, and I might sow a few more things once the last courgettes and squashes are out.
The Brokali Apollo is still giving us a fair amount of tenderstem-style spears, although I’ve had to remove quite a lot of leaves because they were getting mildewed, so I think its days are numbered. The nearby kale is growing strongly, but I’m not using it yet – they say it’s better to keep it until you need it.
Mellow mists and fruityness
On the fruit front, the cherry tree has survived its late summer pruning, and I’m still waiting to see whether the Cambridge Favourite strawberry runners I pegged down are going to take root. I’d love it if we could get another four plants to replace the ones that got squashed during the building work in the spring, but we’ll see.
We’re still picking plenty of autumn raspberries, and they’ve put out more leaves and flowers, so let’s hope the frost doesn’t arrive too early this year and they keep fruiting. The little alpine strawberry plant I was gifted a few weeks ago has sprouted like a weed and is filling its pot with shiny green leaves, so I’ll undoubtedly be transplanting that somewhere with more room to roam in due course.
It’s also been the ideal time to sort all of the herbs out. The rosemary has been pruned back a little and any dead leaves removed from around the base, and I’ve done the same with the sage and thyme plants to thin them out. The bay tree isn’t looking great, so that’s had its flowers removed, along with some unhealthy looking leaves.
The Moroccan mint and tarragon have started to die back with the change in the season, and have been cut right down. The next job is re-potting the fennel, once a larger pot has been freed up, and after that all I’ll need to do is move one or two other pots of herbs under cover to keep them going though the colder months.
There’s also been lots of tidying up, composting spent plants and fallen leaves, and some removals of snails and other garden pests. Fortunately the number of pests seems to be declining, but I’m still checking for them every now and again, just in case.
How’s your garden growing?