Over the half term I spent some time putting the garden to bed, as it were. The runner beans and French climbing beans had all needed to be taken down and the canes packed away. It is a little sad to be undoing all your hard work from earlier in the year: so much blue string tying up the canes and plants that have overgrown the tops of the canes and hang now with brown drying fruit.
So I took some of the pods and harvested the beans inside for planting next year. I don’t have a clue if they will be good seed, but I don’t see why not. So I took the plants and piled them up on the compost heap – which is finally looking like it will produce some decent mulch for next year.
The greenhouses are almost clear too: the tomato plants seemed to bear fruit way longer than I was expecting – but finally we had to say goodbye to them and put them to compost too. And I harvested the last the green peppers before they died: 17 green peppers which will go in the freezer.
But it wasn’t only digging up and composting that needed to be done. With the so-called storm of St Jude due, I took the precaution to make sure that what veg there are in the garden would still be standing come daylight. So I staked the white sprouting and green calebrese, as well as the Brussels sprouts which really have sprouted in the warm autumnal air. Thankfully they survived what turned out to be a bit of a damp squib of a storm: nothing like the great 1987 storm when whole forests seemed to be devastated. All we had around us was one telegraph pole leaning slightly precariously towards the main road with a van from the power company parked next to it all day with its hazard warning lights on.
But we all survived as did the garden plants as we head on into winter.