Sunday, 18 October 2015

October chores

The middle paddock has been cleared up already
Our amazing weather has held all week and the garden clear-up has continued apace. The top two paddocks are mown and all the mulch has been distributed. We harvested the comfrey (in the bottom left corner of the picture) for the first time and are making fertiliser tea in two rain barrels from it.

All the tender plants have been taken inside or covered up with cloches or fleece. Jim made nice little cages from a bit of fencing wire (our old washing line) and we got the tea plants covered just before the coldest night so far.
Winter quarters for the tea
In the summer months, these cages will have to be covered with chicken wire as our chicks have developed a bit of a taste for tea - maybe that's why their bedtime is later than that of the adults. But, to be fair, they try everything and eat pretty much everything apart from nettle (pity, but at least they do seem to enjoy dock leaves very much).

Young ladies of leisure, but next month they'll need to start working
This fine young cock has discovered raspberries
In the veg garden, the beans, broccoli and courgettes are coming to an end and all the winter veg (leeks, celeriac, parsnip, kale) are starting to come on line. There are still lots and lots of carrots. The Jerusalem artichokes are flowering, but we haven't dug any up yet - very soon. And, of course, there are still squashes ripening. It's always hard to tell when they are ripe the first year that you grow a variety. All the repeats are obvious to me, but I don't want to harvest the new ones too early.

The sweetcorn is more of a baby corn alas, no comparison to Canadian peaches & cream, but then we weren't expecting much after the cool summer. Good to have a taster this year and we'll try again next year.

The one thing that is early this year is the Christmas cactus:

Not bad, Mr Lidl
Now we just need to tackle the bottom paddock (and start on the huge pile of wood waiting to be processed) and then it's time to celebrate two years here next weekend. With pumpkin, of course.


  1. How much cold can the tea plants tolerate?
    Your Christmas cactus seems to be about a week ahead of ours - we have begun to call them autumn equinox cacti but this year we took them in very late and thus also the flowering is delayed.

    1. I think the tea plants are pretty hardy overall, but the other Scottish tea growers all seem to cover them with fleece in the winter so I thought we should probably follow suit. Autumn equinox cactus just doesn't have the same ring to it, somehow...