Raspberries, rocket and ready for a polytunnel

It might be the last week of October but we are still picking little bowls of raspberries every day, they just seem to go on and on (and I’m not complaining!).

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The rocket, too, is cropping really well, and lurking in the depths of the ever-growing leaf litter are other baby salad treats.

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Chervil never fails to amaze me, it looks so dainty and fragile but is a tough as old boots and adds a delicate aniseed flavour to salads. There’s a good row of ‘Winter Density’ lettuce coming along behind (both seeds from vegetableseeds.net) if only I can keep the slugs at bay – I suppose there has to be a downside to the mild weather.

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The winter greens have really got going at last so although we’re going to miss our usual staples of parsnips and leeks this year, we won’t be completely veg-less.

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Usually at this time of year we are tidying up the garden after a busy growing season; this year, we’re still creating a garden so it’s all systems go. Roger hired a mini-digger to make several jobs quicker and easier. These included digging the base for a polytunnel. The timber is from a pile that was left here (what a bonus) and the soil is deep and rich so we should get off to a good start next spring.

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Last year I raised a dozen ‘Connover’s Colossal’ asparagus plants (vegetableseeds.net again) from seed and they were going well in our French garden. Upset at the idea of having to start all over again when we moved – let’s face it, asparagus is a long-term project – I lifted them into pots and brought them back across the Channel. They’ve grown like stink in their pots so I decided they would be better off in the ground (at this point, if planting asparagus is completely the wrong thing to be doing in October, I apologise to those who know better!). Using some more of that reclaimed timber, we built a raised bed at the end of the soon-to-be-polytunnel: this should be a perfect spot for them, sheltered, sunny and well-drained. Just a matching bed on the other side to make now.

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Much of the ground here is wet and boggy; we’re draining some areas but want to exploit others in order to encourage wildlife. So, another job for the digger was to dig out an area which is naturally very soggy to see if the clay will hold water to create a pond without the need for a liner. Answer, after a couple of days’ heavy rain: yes, it will. There’s much digging work to be done here but it should make a great wildlife pond once it’s done.

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Thanks to all at vegetableseeds.net for my October voucher: we have lots of decisions to make over winter about what to grow next year. I think I’ll probably end up ordering herbs rather than vegetable seeds this time as I’m keen to extend our collection and try some new varieties. I’m also planning to raise lots of wild flowers from seed to keep the garden as wild and natural as possible. There’s still plenty of colour in the garden (not exactly wild flowers, but still very beautiful) . . .

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. . . and of course, Nature at her wildest is showing off, too!Β  πŸ™‚

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4 thoughts on “Raspberries, rocket and ready for a polytunnel

  1. So the cat left you some salad leaves after all! Exciting news about the polytunnel. I’m going to start my asparagus project next year so looking forward to hearing about your progress and at what stage you’ll be getting the first harvest. The ground looks quite like ours so a natural wildlife pond should work – ours does very well as a haven for frogs. Just have to keep on top of the brambles trying to clog it up.

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    • Mmm, still not convinced about the cat! I don’t really know what I’m doing with the asparagus but it’s going well so fingers crossed for a small harvest at some point (they were dead easy to raise from seed). Given how you grow such tender things up there I bet yours will do very well. Brambles are going to be an ongoing theme here, too – but at least we won’t be bored! πŸ™‚

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  2. You’ve done so much! A poly-tunnel – how exciting, and are they crabapples in your soon-to-be-pond? I’ve given up already and just pretend the brambles have been left intentionally – if we don’t eat all the blackberries they at least feed the birds, which has to be a good thing….:)

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    • Oh yes, surely brambles are essential in any eco-friendly garden so we won’t stress about them too much (although they are banned from the veg patch soil . . . !). We’ve taken out some branches to give that crab apple some more light, I have plans for jelly next year. We’ve missed the boat with the polytunnel now the weather has cooled, the plastic won’t stretch … but we can dream about next spring! πŸ™‚

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