Late autumn

14 Nov

I read something the other day that said once you have done Halloween and bonfire night then you can consider yourself in winter. I prefer to think it’s late autumn, I’m not quite ready for winter yet. Autumn is the most dramatic, and for me, depressing season because it can start out so sunny and goes steadily downhill. The fact it will be colder at the end than the beginning is guaranteed and in that respect, as a season, it is unique.

All this cold, rain and wind has seen me ignoring the plot. For two weeks I have been plot starved. We popped there at the weekend to pick the last of the pumpkins but aside from that I have spent little time there until today. I miss the walk there most of all – that has become my gym, that walk. Don’t get me started on how much I hate gyms – the lycra, the sweat, the irony of being some out of shape bod who drives to the gym. I digress. On Sunday we picked 4 green stunted pumpkins that now reside in the shed. Perhaps they will turn orange one day. Perhaps I will make that pumpkin curry at last.

last of the pumpkins

The last crop of pumpkins

late autumn pumpkin patch

Pumpkin patch now covered

So today, in between having a cuppa with a friend and my Sainsburys shopping delivery I squeezed in a visit to the plot. The first job was to cover the old pumpkin patch up with more membrane. I didn’t get around to digging it over as there were other things that needed doing, so I just covered it in the hope it might be easier to tackle next year.

It was cold this morning so I didn’t fancy my chances of staying there long but I now have my nice dry boots and a thick jumper and soon I was as absorbed as ever. I dug the raised bed and cleared the last of the courgette plant, which in my absence had been devoured by slugs. I covered it with my own home made compost and then put the old shower doors a friend gave me to keep the earth from freezing.

late autumn shower doors

A near perfect fit for my raised bed

Then I pulled up the last useless tall non sprouting broccoli plant to give the Brussel sprout plants more room, sun light and nutrients. I fed the leeks with organic manure, they are doing well but I’m not sure how long they will survive these frosts. The poor pepper plants I planted several months ago are now black – singed by frost, if that works as a metaphor.

late autumn

My leeks are one of the last things still growing alongside brassicas and onions

late autumn dead peppers

My pepper plants are no more

I pulled up some straggling beetroot that had not really grown and chucked it in the compost. Every time a crop gets cleared there is more digging. I did the old beetroot patch in record time, aware I was late for my cuppa and it’s cold out there. Gone are the days when I linger and an hour turns into three. It was more a case of my planned 20 minutes became 40 minutes but that was all I could bare. I am sure I will fit in a few more brief visits before the year comes to a close but I now have free time again in those once plot-filled hours. I am not sure how I will spend this extra time but I do know I won’t be spending it down the gym any time soon.

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One Response to “Late autumn”

  1. Gill Ridgewell November 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    The leeks are still looking good – unlike the peppers! But you’ve had great success from your first year of crops haven’t you? I am seriously impressed by your plot endeveavours! The new boots must have been heavenly! XX

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