The weather’s still ridiculously mild – no frost since late November. On the plus side it’s really easy to weed with the ground being nice and soft. I’d like to be a step ahead for next season with a tidy plot ready for planting, rather than my usual 3 steps behind. So weeding it is.
Today I attacked the raspberries. I didn’t really weed while they were fruiting and I can see that was a bit of a mistake. Couch grass has invaded from the paths and creeping buttercup has crept everywhere. It took a couple of hours to clear, but it’s done and the canes are ready for a winter mulching with some rotted manure. The old canes have been chopped up and added to the nearest dalek to rot down. All the bins need topping up again – my hotbin is running at 30C and still steadily churning through all our kitchen scraps.
Now the raspberry bed’s clear I can also see stealthy strawberry advances. I had a cunning plan to allow the underplanted strawberries to throw out one runner and one runner only. But I took my eye off them and they’ve gone beserk under cover of the raspberry canes. At least there are plenty of new plants to replace the tired old ones I’ll pull out on #100.
Thinking ahead to next year I’ve sown some broad beans – well Wizard field beans, which are smaller and very sweet. Because voles will eat them if I stick them straight in the ground they are 2 to a pot (my compost stinginess) and tucked up in the greenhouse. It’s possibly a bit late to sow, but if they fail I have plenty of other beans to sow in Spring.
At home the overwintering tomato is looking very sorry for itself. Its leaves are yellowing and going brown. I’ll try repotting and spraying with Epsom salts, but I can’t get it more light, which is what it really needs. Only 12 more days till winter solstice and we head towards the warmth of spring.
Categories: Diary 2015