Kitchen garden: October takedown

And now, more fabulous foodstuffs on a shoestring. The kitchen garden is amazingly still giving us a few plum tomatoes and a lot of green beans, although most years these would have been finished weeks ago.

The cherry tomatoes are finished, so I’ve cut them all down and composted them.

This year I’m trying out different seeds for ‘green manures’, to see whether they will partially or fully revive the compost in the planters, and stop weed growth and nutrient loss in the bare patches of ground. It’s a bit late to sow most types of these seeds after the unusually long growing season, but I have some ‘grazing peas’ ¬†which are OK to plant in October and November, so fingers crossed.

Canes have been pulled up and cleaned, small pots have been emptied, washed and rinsed out with scalding water, and dead leaves have been raked and swept up. But that doesn’t mean that the garden is shutting down for winter. Far from it…. The big brassicas are only just getting going. The white sprouting broccoli has started its growth spurt, and is already monstrously big like Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors, ¬†(shown here with gigantic cat nearby for scale):

And the brussels sprouts should be ready for December. The stems have buttons on them already. Here they are before I took away the dead leaves and gave them a bit of mulch:

The mini-greenhouse is still giving us sweet peppers and chillies, but I’ll bring them back inside to the sunny warm windowsill at the end of the month. Then I’ll plant out my remaining dwarf kale and purple sprouting broccoli seedlings and give the greenhouse a good scrub out with detergent. I’m hoping I can keep a few herbs and hardy salads growing under cover though the colder months, but will write about that later.

Meanwhile, here’s what I brought in at lunchtime: chillies, green sweet pepper, tomatoes to ripen indoors, salad burnet, French beans, fennel, spring onions and radishes. Not bad for the middle of October.

Are you growing any herbs or vegetables at the moment? What have you been doing to get things ready for winter?

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