There is still much post party blooming on the plots, but the growth is slowed and retreating. I am furiously writing notes about what worked, what didn't. Where I had gaps in crops. There is nothing for it, I am taking the fork to the beds, splitting perennials and moving them; rescuing some that have been over taken and relocating to a better spot. The soil is warm and damp so it's the perfect time to do this. If I don't do this now, a frosty night can blacken foliage and make it difficult to remember where things are. It's also a vital job to do before I can plant bulbs out to naturalise in the long border.
The echinops are huge. They love the soil here and flowered for months. These need dividing. They, along with hollyhocks, eryngium, achillea, nicandra and sweet rocket are all being relocated to the field plot where they can thrive. These plants need little attention, no staking and can freely self sow. Perfect for this space. And make way for those that do need more care and protection from the walls here.
In their place, I am planting out winter salad crops - for the chickens and for us as a productive cover crop. Several beds in the Braybrooke garden are being cleared of annuals. They won't have for several months now so these are good infill to keep the soil covered and active in the meantime.
Jobs for the Weekend
Moving Perennials I am moving self sown spring plants into position (foxgloves, sweet rocket) and dividing late summer ones. A little compost to mulch will help settle them in.
Plant out winter salads. Plant out those sown in modules or final sowing. Just about time for corn salad, asian greens and pak choi. Look at Vital Seeds. Salads from the plots are utterly delicious - the lettuce so buttery and it is wonderful to have so many herbs. I plant these to edge the flower beds to increase the diversity and make sure we have a constant supply of some kind of leaf for essential pesto!
Planting out Ranunculus. The corms chitted last month are ready to be planted. These are going on straight behind the snapdragopns. I am simply cutting the plants to the ground and spacing in between with a compost dressing. This year we chitted into trays as usual and tried modules. The modules take longer but they have created plugs which is a revelation! We have hundreds more to do; all corns chitted this way from now on. Email me if you want some as I always do more than we need. Collection only.
Photos from this week on the plots -
Ranunculus Plugs ready to go out
Annuals and Perennials in various stages before being potted on, pricked out, planted or simply sheltered until next year. Hopeful and optimistic space this tunnel!
Chicory growing beautifully (with self sown peas trying their luck in-between!) The Braybrooke beds will be mostly cleared for the winter and won't have much in the soil until mid/ late Spring so planting winter salads to cover until then.
Spring bed of strawberry and Sutton apricot Foxgloves with Canterbury Bells, nicotiana behind. Might leave that bed as it is over the winter to die back, or at least cut down and leave plants on soil for cover, food and shelter for wildlife. Dahlias behind in full flow!
A view from a desk - parcels to the 'Grow' Class for 'twix session' activities and boxes of bulbs and corms to sort and plant.