Monday, 24 August 2009

Late Summer Gardening

At this time of year the pace of work starts to reduce and I start to look towards the next year. As soon as a vegetable bed has finished producing, I clear it and try to get it prepared for the spring. If we get a cold spell in the winter, the soil can be frozen for weeks and so every bit of work now saves time later.

Above is the last tub of compost from last year's bin - it's good stuff, and has been spread on a couple of beds which needed some "oomph".
Horse manure has started to arrive at the allotments - local horse owners dump loads of this by the gate. It's all free and rots down well. I cleared the last few scraps of old manure from the pile, and then started this new one. I have another pile of manure which I created last winter and that will be used in spring, so this one will be built into early 2010 and used in 2011. The corrugated sheets on the right create a lid which lets in light to heat the heap, but keeps off excessive rain.
After clearing the old broad bean plants from the bed, I started on the strawberries, cutting away the old and dead leaves and removing weeds. I peg down any runners I find at the same time. As you can see from the picture, this job is going to take a while given the size of the strawberry patch!
The tomatoes are growing well - the warm, humid weather of the last few days has suited them. Since I grow my toms outdoors, I don't get early tomatoes but there's nothing nicer than a good crop in September - the last flourish of summer.
The courgettes are still producing large fruit, there is still some spinach and I picked a massive three pounds of runner beans!

Happy gardening...
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