Some of the early starters are now finishing, including the cherry tomatoes and the bushy round tomatoes, and I’ve uprooted one of the Glacier plants as it’s given up all its fruit. It was a heavy cropper, and has given us reliable toms for weeks on end. I didn’t think it would do so well, having been bred for colder climates, but there you go. Not had any blight on anything yet, which is pretty good for this part of the world.
The courgettes are still productive, but they’re all showing signs of starting to slow. I might try to grow on another green courgette into a marrow for some Autumn comfort-eating baking, and think the round Tondo courgette plant is the most likely candidate. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that the Tromboncino courgette won’t make any more fruits now, which is a shame because they are the only courgette that turn into a winter squash when they mature.
The Brussels sprouts seem to be doing okay, although one stalk got snapped somehow (yes, kitty, I’m looking at you) but we still have two plants growing on and they’ve been staked and tied in for extra support. The nearby kohl rabi are looking a bit weeds, as are the leeks, but I’m still hopeful they’ll bulk up.
I’ve also gone round the rest of the brassicas and removed dead leaves etc to prevent diseases, and I’ve checked for pests as well although nothing too serious turned up. There was a bit of overcrowding, so I’ve removed a couple of kale, chard and cabbage plants so that the rest of them can grow on unhindered. The thinnings included a massive mature kale plant that would have peaked before the winter, so that’s gone into the pot and been cheerfully eaten.
As well as cooking up lots of goodies, I’ve had just enough surplus to start preserving a few things. That includes roast and chargrilled courgettes, blanched kale and French beans, and different tomato based sauces. It will be a taste of sunshine in the darker months. Well, we’ll be picking kale fresh in the winter, but there might be the odd rainy day when I don’t fancy floundering about at the bottom of a muddy garden…
I think we’ve had the last of the radishes and the red and yellow beetroots, and the last batches of carrots and lettuce failed to germinate, but there’s been finally quite a lot of success with the garlic. A nice surprise. I’m currently trying to dry some of it out a bit in advance of storing it, but haven’t been able to resist adding a few fresh cloves to sauces and stews, and roasting a couple of bulbs for their sweet, melty contents. I’m also going to try replanting some of the new cloves, to try for a few new spring garlic plants.
There have been some gigantic snails and slugs roaming around in the last few days, and I’ve basically picked them up whenever I’ve spotted them and fed them to the nearby ducks. Serves them right for killing all my mizuna, pak choi and Chinese cabbage – not one seedling has survived. This might be partly my fault for not using the slug pellets often enough, so I’ll try to keep on top of that a bit more.
The pumpkins seem to be losing some of their older leaves now, and I’m letting them die back, helping them along the way if they’re overshadowing the fruits. Most of the pumpkins are ripened in the sun and ready to go for curing, but I might try to hang on for a week or two longer with the plant that’s nearest the deck since it’s sprouted a couple more mini pumpkins that might just be big enough to make the cut along with their more mature vine companions.
I’ve also spent £1.00 on tomato food in the last few days. It’s a bottle of the concentrated stuff and it’s being used to pep up the tomatoes and cucurbits, especially any of the ones in the pots. It should last well beyond the end of the season, and I’m adding a drop or two to the water most days when I water the peppers indoors. I’ll soon have to move the outdoor chillies and sweet peppers to warmer spots – mainly the greenhouse or an upstairs windowsill – to keep them going.
Hopefully I won’t need to spend any more money on the kitchen garden between now and the end of December, as I don’t want to go over budget. The rest of it will all be down to elbow grease and improvisation. There’s still plenty to do this month…
How’s your garden growing? Any gluts? Any epic fails?