Autumn garden preparations

Autumn garden preparations

I feel like I’ve cheated the system a little bit. The last time I was skipping through brown crinkled leaves while there was a nip in the air was ages ago. We somehow managed to miss out an entire winter by swapping hemispheres.

Well it looks like it’s caught up to us…

It was 6C the other morning. 6C in Africa, is what -10C is to Europe!

I can’t put off the autumn prep in the garden much longer.

We’ve pulled up the tatty strawberry plants, and dug in lots of compost. I’m even going to throw in some river sand to help break up the clay soil we have in abundance up here in the hills.

Autumn garden preparation

I’m planning on letting these beds lie fallow over the winter. I love using that word. I can still remember the day we learnt about it way back in Std. 2 and ever since then I’ve tried to find ways of working it into a sentence. It makes me feel like I’m seriously in there with the gardening/agriculture crowd.

Another word I love is “spelunking”. But I don’t know that many cave explorers…

Anyway… Back to gardening.

The tomatoes are on their last legs…

Autumn garden preparation

The lettuces are long gone.

Autumn garden preparation

The green beans however are going guns blazing!

Autumn garden preparation

In fact, I’m going to plant a second crop this May as they’re great at introducing  much-needed nitrogen into the soil for next years crops.

The spinach is still hanging in there.

Autumn garden preparation

The leeks never happened…

Autumn garden preparation

The pumpkins are ready to P.A.R.T.Y!

Autumn garden preparation

However I was a little disappointed with the cabbages and cauliflower.

Autumn garden preparation

But we sat down and had a chat, and it turned out that they were being bullied by the bugs. They were also feeling a little bit left out, being stuck in the shade a bit more during the day than the rest of the garden. So I promised that I’d move them to a more prominent spot next year.

Autumn garden preparation

It’s good to talk to your veg. It creates bonds.

Autumn garden preparation

It makes them feel that they can grow as individuals…

Oh look some spinach has snuck it’s way into this corner.

Autumn garden preparation

And a stray tomato bush that seems to be thriving.

Autumn garden preparation

Proof in permaculture perhaps?

Autumn garden preparation

The broccoli is just blazing! We’re already onto our second harvest for the season! Give me a B! Give me an R! Give me an O! What do you get? BROccoli!

Autumn garden preparation

The Adam figs have exploded and are like purple velvet jewels all over the tree! If you’re thinking of planting a fig tree, plant an Adam Fig, they’re gorgeous.

Autumn garden preparation

The citrus orchard is also rocking!

Autumn garden preparation

Limes are just popping up everywhere you look. I wonder if there’s a Winter equivalent of mojito’s?

Autumn garden preparation

Here we have a grapefruit tree that also thinks it’s a lime tree…

Autumn garden preparation

We don’t ask questions…

Autumn garden preparation

The basil has started to go to seed. Once the pods start to dry I pick them off the stems and keep the seeds for next year to plant out. Hopefully. I’ll give you a call if I have nothing to make pesto with.

The days are still sunny, and we haven’t had the first frosts yet. So it’s time to get cracking!

My African garden to do list:

– Dig up beds that will be unused during winter, adding in a good dose of compost.

– Deadhead all flowering shrubs (lavender, perennials, daisies, roses etc).

– Trim back hedges, tree branches and bushes and prune fruit trees.

– Thin out clumps of bushes that multiply and transplant to pots or other parts of the garden.

– Use the abundance of fallen leaves for mulches and for adding to the compost heap.

– Plant out sweet peas and broad beans.

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