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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture


My current focus is on preparing my garden beds for winter crops. So I'm continuing on removing old plants and pulling grasses out. Although I practice no dig gardening I am removing horrible grasses completely. If they are left in place they will slowly overtake as one of my beds can attest to. One of the plants I removed today, roots and all was my sweet potato plant. It is my first attempt at growing this vegetable and I only put in one plant to see how it went. I got it in fairly late and given the cool summer I wasn't expecting much. It did give a couple of tubers which I'm really excited about so I will perhaps put in a few more plants next spring. I managed to prep one more garden bed that I filled with seeds. I'm copying natures method of growing, and spreading lots of seeds right through the bed. Coriander, rocket, red radish, daikon radish, broad beans and peas will all hopefully come up and I will just thin them out as it seems necessary. Quick, easy and time will tell if this method is successful.

While I was out in the garden I noticed that I had missed a few cucumbers. I started collecting a few but quickly realised that I would have to grab my basket. The cucumber plants had slowed down a little so I wasn't checking them as regularly but they had sneakily kicked in again. A few of these are really past ideal harvesting time so may head to the juicer or the chickens. One made it into a cucumber, tomato and basil salad for lunch - seasonal eating at its finest!

One activity that I'm still getting skilled at is propagating. I have a lot of planting to do to fill up this property with beautiful trees, shrubs and herbs and the best way to source these plants is to create your own. I'm hoping to get a mint meadow going along the length of my house and replace a lawn that gets quite soggy in winter and of course needs to be mowed in the growing season. I've been soaking some cuttings of chocolate mint in water to get some roots going and today I potted them up. Will leave in the poly tunnel until they get established before moving them outside.

My poly tunnel is a great space for starting seedlings and extending the season for plants that need a little warmer weather spring through to autumn. As it is just lined with plastic cool night temperatures can still creep in and is not as protected as a glass greenhouse would be. I have a couple of tomatoes, chillies and an eggplant in there which are all doing great. Definitely worth the effort of constructing!

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