Getting ready for winter

The clocks changed today and the temperatures have suddenly dropped. The forecast for 0°C this coming week prompted me to start a winter tidy up.

I’ve taken out all the drip irrigation. Craig will clear the water pipes and close off the taps. The last of the peppers and tomatoes are picked (what an amazing crop I’ve had!)
The lemongrass goes into the shed, to be wrapped in fleece to protect it from the cold. It is really difficult to buy it here, and I cook with it a lot, so it is worth coddling over winter. In front of it is the Tabasco chilli – it is so pretty, so I will see if I can protect it over winter. I don’t hold out much hope!

Butternut are picked and left for a few days to dry in the shed before being stored in the barn. I have 65 from 6 plants. That should last us until next years crop 🙂

The Pumpkin Patch is now looking messy.  Did a last picking of the cherry tomatoes and will leave them and the peppers to be frosted off before I do a clean up and spread a thick layer of manure. Lots of stone in this bed, so each year I try to clear a little more – not my favourite task!Winter vegetables looking good. Harvesting cauliflower, spinach, chard, kale.  Huge parsnips too. All of these will not suffer from the cold – in fact the flavour improves after a frost.Brussel sprouts are growing fast, though I have had a late infestation of cabbage moths. Damned caterpillars attack all the brassicas.  I’ve read a lot about Bacillus thuringiensis as a biological insecticide and will try it next year.
I’m keeping the leeks covered against the leek moth for a few more weeks. The grape on the pergola is looking good – amazing how much it has grown in one season, and it was burnt by a late frost in spring too. Next year it should provide shade in my seating area.
Still lots to do before I can take a break over winter!

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