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Closing down the garden for winter

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  • Closing down the garden for winter

    I am now beginning to shut down some of the garden for winter, so the first thing was to move the heap that is mostly for composting, but has some woody bits of rubbish mixed in, it usually takes a couple of years to rot down, this will be a winter hibernation spot for hedgehogs and toads if last year is anything to go by, I moved it now before any frosts. I am cutting down shrubs that have flowered and some of the perennial's too, leaving things like Alliums with seed heads for the Finches, the rest goes on next years scruffy heap. The big compost heap that has been under cover will soon be uncovered for the winter and the bin will be assembled in a new spot, again used by beasties as winter shelter. What do you guys do?

  • #2
    I started thinking this week that it's time to start getting my garden ready for winter too.

    I need to:
    - check out the compost heaps
    - mow the lawn - on a higher cut height but it must be done as it's way overdue (I cut the grass a lot less this year for wildlife and pollenators)
    - tidy up the spent sweetcorn and runner bean plants
    - keep an eye on the still very green tomatoes
    - look at tidying the greenhouse (I keep putting that one off)
    Shortie

    "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children; one of these is roots, the other wings" - Hodding Carter

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    • #3
      Me, I'll be clearing away weeds and fallen branches (Storm Gloria) now that the leaves have all died and I can see what's what. And I'll be clearing some patches to put in onions, spinach, peas and the like.

      This year has been disastrous, so I'm hoping to use the autumn and winter to get ready in advance for next spring. Oh, and picking people's brains for advice on some plants like brassicas that I tend to buy as plug plants but which I'll be growing from seed next year.
      Location: north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep. Last frost: usually mid-April, sometimes first week in May. First frost: mid-October.

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      • #4
        Yes this year wasn't great for me in the veg side of life either Snoop. But I kind of half baked it so I can't be too annoyed.

        I'll be getting pathes ready for next year, looking at what I want to sowe early (eg I normally plant onion sets this time of year but I might give seedlings a go instead)

        Oh, and get my garlic out end of September / early October too
        Shortie

        "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children; one of these is roots, the other wings" - Hodding Carter

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        • #5
          More or less nothing, to be honest, other than clearing away spent veg plants and taking down the bean frames. Even then, some veg plants (like courgette and squash) I usually just leave to rot in situ.
          Last edited by ameno; 02-09-2020, 02:44 PM.

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          • #6
            I put a good layer of mulch on to the beds (I mostly have raised beds) so it can protect, nourish and break down into the soil over winter, ready for spring. The beds I mulched with my own compost last year were much more productive than those mulched with bought bagged composted horse manure.

            Sometimes I cover those composted beds with landscaping fabric/cardboard to stop seeds landing there and getting cozy. Carpet seems popular with most people at my allotment. No idea where they are getting so much of it from, but it also does hold the seeds/weeds at bay over winter.

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            • #7
              I’ve still got crops in all my beds so won’t be doing anything yet, once my peas, runners and french beans have finished and frames removed I’ll be adding dalek compost to those beds.
              I’ve got lettuce in modules ready to go in the GH once Toms have finished then spare lettuce can go in buckets.
              I’m hoping winter will be a long way of.
              Location....East Midlands.

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              • #8
                We had temperature of 6 degrees the other night, always get a frost in September, so there's a few crops that will be coming in ready or not if it gets any colder, one of the Dahlias looks like it's been nipped by frost.

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                • #9
                  I've been moving one or two plants around while the soil is still warm enough for them to settle in well. Mostly thyme plants. I had several dotted here and there through the flowers and in the veg patch, but now I've amalgamated them all into one bed against the house wall on the south side where they will be hot and dry. I'm hoping they will all merge together to completely cover the ground there as not much else will tolerate the dry.

                  Done a bit of deadheading and weeding among the flowers, and had a chat to the squashes that have produced masses of male flowers and only one female between them. Mind you, they did well to grow at all. They refused to germinate in pots in the house, so the compost was slung over the flower garden, where they all cheerfully germinated and romped around.

                  So I've no idea what the one female will be, as there were courgettes, summer squash, winter squash and marrows in the mix. (All old seeds I sowed to use them up).

                  As things start to die down they will be tidied up, and when the earth is fairly clear it will be mulched with HM compost, and some bought in stuff too as I can't make enough. (Who can?)
                  Location - Leicestershire - Chisit-land
                  Endless wonder.

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                  • #10
                    My marrows have still got fruit fattening up on them so they are not ready to come out.
                    I have in small strips been sorting out a bed that is seriously contaminated with bind weed for parsnips next year. In the next couple of weeks after the pumpkins are finished as they have vined over the heap of cleaned soil it will all be peeled over and manured and left to settle.
                    I will leave the kale and kohlrabi for now as some of it is still fattening.
                    Runner beans were not that good this year bur have still got a few more to come. Others have had trouble with them so it is not just me.
                    I have got a couple of trees to plant too.
                    Near Worksop on heavy clay soil

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                    • #11
                      I am trying to learn to grow veg in such a way that I can enjoy homegrown veg all year round - so I’ll be doing a bit of closing down, and a bit of staying open ;-)

                      So, once the onions and spuds were out, I put in some oriental veg, carrots, radishes, rapini, cornsalad, swede,leeks, and savoys. Will put in spring cabbages soon (had to resow due to slug damage so am running late!). I’m also going to try overwintering some peas and broad beans a bit later in the year, as well as Christmas carrots in pots so I can take them into the greenhouse when it gets too cold.

                      With the areas that aren’t in use, or become vacant as I harvest stuff, I’ll weed and mulch with last year’s manure from the pumpkin bed, give the greenhouse a thorough clean, and hopefully find a bit of time for some structural repairs to paths and terracing and building a fruitcage.


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                      • #12
                        I have one of my raised beds full of carrots and parsnips, when the tops begin to die back and the frosts appear, I cover them with fleece and can then harvest them through the winter. At this time of year we get so little daylight up here I have found it difficult to get anything to grow.

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                        • #13
                          Three hanging baskets have now finished, the Lobelia were a success, the Livingston Daisies were not really visible as the pot was quite high, so they will be in pots next year where they can be seen and the Nasturtiums were disappointing, they didn't thrive at all, so need to try something else in two baskets next year. The compost/roots are all going into the big compost bin.

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                          • #14
                            I still have masses of colour in the flower bed.
                            However my sweetpeas are finished.
                            Took all the foliage and dug it over and raked it.
                            I still have kale and a few cabbages growing.
                            Cut down the sweetcorn and beans today.
                            Hoping for some more time before the winter sets in.

                            And when your back stops aching,
                            And your hands begin to harden.
                            You will find yourself a partner,
                            In the glory of the garden.

                            Rudyard Kipling.sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Whilst fishing today I saw the first winter migrant birds flying in, Fieldfares' and a few Pink footed geese, could that be a harbinger of a tough winter?

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