I don’t currently having any real fruit/veg growers with the approach of Winter looming, and yet having said that … l do have two indoor pepper plants that are being allowed to just stay as they are in preparations for early crop next year.
Outside and in the gallery above you can see a huge pot of Cape Gooseberry, they originally transferred from the Hillyfields garden in three smaller pots and l transferred them to one large pot and allowed them to grow and die off naturally, so they too will start the next season early.
Aside from that l have a pot of mixed parsley and a pot of horseradish. All the other growing medium and pots etc, have been fed and turned, mulched and covered for the Winter itself. They will be turned and fed again in early March and mulched in prep for the later Spring season and early summer season plantings.
I haven’t clearly defined nor decided to myself what l shall be growing fruit and vegetable wise aside from crops already mentioned for next year. l will be more aware of that in the next few months.
Compost Bin Update
Once every 12 days or so l check the contents of the composters. I am currently working a cold compost unit which is half filled with my garden debris and l will be asking my neighbours next door and across the road if they would be able to award me their garden wastes? The courtyard garden as you can clearly see from the photographs is quite small, but comprises mostly of branch and shrubbery waste materials and very small quantities of weeds with occasionally windfalls of leaves.
The latter however l have been tending to allow to be swept back into the ornamental garden beds and stay there to serve as a a covering mulch for the later autumn and winter months. They will gradually break down into a compost for the soils, but before that happens they will leechate valuable nutrients for all the microorganisms in the garden soils themselves.
When Suze’s garden is a bit more active also, there may be some more garden waste – but neither of our new gardens produce large quanties like before.
I will be writing a fair bit about composting’ from next year as l know this is of interest to many gardeners.
Worm Bin Update
I know that Ruth of Don’t Eat It was quite interested in the progress of the worm farm, so here it is.
Like the composter above, l check the worm bin once every 12 – 15 days. The last time they were checked, turned, fed, turned and covered was Thursday 22nd October and the worm population was thriving. I feed the bins properly once a month with the Bokashi bin mixture as you can see below and it is then dug into the bin itself.
Once this is done, l turn the soil back into the bin so as to completely cover the food, rake the top and spread fresh egg carton boxes and shredded papers across the top to act as a protector and an insulator.
The bin isn’t just filled with worms, although they are by far 95% the main resident – it also shares with 5% assorted microorganisms, wood lice and slugs – all of which are excellent soil enrichers and decompostion experts.
Worms do escape, that is unavoidable considering it is an open air system, however they are never far from the main unit, and are usually found underneath pots and plants and if not there, l have noticed the top 3″ in surrounding soils in the ornamental beds has a thriving worm culture.
Worms that are not enriching the soils composition and pH are predated upon by smaller birds such as the thrushes, robins and blackbirds which l have healthy numbers of here. Spilled suet from the bird feeders also is fed on by worms in the soil who are then fed on by predators or they enrich the soil further – so everything is a huge win.
Overall, l am impressed with the progress of the worm farm. It is now four months of age since it was first established back in July this year, and we have thousands upon thousand of worms thriving in the community. I have checked the quality of their top soil and it is wonderfully rich and filled with worm casts and nutrients which when required to work as a top soil mulcher layer for the growing soils themselves will be excellent.
The real challenge will be presented next year when it comes that the soils will have to be sieved without causing unnecessary injury to the breeding stocks – however l think l may have found the solution to this in the form of bananas and l will try that experiment this week and show you the results.
Welcome to the Secret Garden folks, thanks for reading and see you next time!