Saturday, 7 September 2019

Autumn 2019, preparation for the winter.

 So, now that we are starting to get shorter cooler days, as the beds are cleared of the tender crops, I am filling them with the winter veg.

This bed was a potato bed, which was cleared mid August. It was technically cleared much earlier, but I wanted to sieve the potato beds after harvesting to both mix in fresh compost, and to sieve out any remaining potatoes to avoid volunteers, and to remove any bits of non-organic matter that was brought in with the topsoil we bought.

So on the 19th of August I sowed Spinach, two types, Butterflay and Early Prickly. I also sowed coriander which i will transplant to the greenhouse once the tomatoes are all out. And I did a cheeky sowing of one variety of Dwarf French Beans and one of Runner Beans. I mainly did the beans because I like to take a chance on warm weather in the late autumn, I don't routinely sow beans this late. I got the seeds from Seed Co-operative.

These took no time at all to start kicking into action, and I am already cropping the spinach [second picking on the 7th September].

 Bed on 7th September.

I've also sown the three other sieved potato beds with a mixed bag of seeds; mainly consisting of whatever half used packets of anything from carrots to dill, to Chinese cabbages, to kales, lettuces, radishes etc.
These get started and seem to grow better in the beds than in seed trays, so it makes sense to start them off there and then transplant them to their final positions as other beds are emptied. So I've put the more tender stuff into the greenhouse beds [Pak Choi and Chinese Cabbages], and moved the more hardy stuff to the beds that the huge carrots were in.

I'm also doing a winter tomato trial. I've sown some Maskotka tomatoes, around mid July, and transplanted into deep pots. I've put the first two into the greenhouse beds; where I took other tomatoes out. They already have their first flowers on, and the idea is to keep them low to the ground, bending them over if necessary so that the stems root and get as much nutrition as possible, and then see how late I can get them to crop. I did these last night and by the time I got to the allotment today they had already lifted their heads up to the sun. 

I used Maskotka as they are a bush tomato, and they seem much happier in colder temperatures and they also taste lovely.

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