Today's aim was to take down the sweetpeas & the last pea frame. I also thought about taking the summer bedding from the front of the plot, replacing it with the winter flowering pansies bought yesterday & replanting the tulip & daffodil bulbs at the same time.
However, looking at the front of the plot, it seems a shame to whip the flowers out while some of them are still going strong. The calendula are well past their best, but the antirrhinum & nasturtium as still looking good along with a mystery plant with purple foliage & blue lantern flowers.
I took the last pea frame down & then fixed the bed end in properly - since shortening the bed the other week, I hadn't got round to screwing the end plank in.
As I was putting the last screws in, Paul (at the front by the gate) came across & said, "Can I pick your brains?"
"Well, of course," I replied taking a couple of screws out my mouth and putting down the cordless, "how can I help?"
"It's this winter digging - do you do it in autumn, or wait till the new year?"
"Given then you'll be digging the plot over in early spring anyway, I stick a huge layer of manure on the top in the autumn, & then turn it in about February."
It was only after he'd gone that I realised that I hadn't asked him about where his roots were going to be next year, & not to manure that area - otherwise he'll have forked parsnips & carrots, so that wasn't the best of advice, really, was it?
Next past the plot was Jane from the bottom, and I asked her how her & Pete were getting on. "Well, we've nearly cleared the plot - it's felt so much like hard work!" she grinned.
"It's tough to take on a plot in late summer with not a lot to show for it until well into Spring the next year, isn't it?" I sympathised, "but Homebase are selling trays of brassica seedlings for £1.99, so you could at least get something in the ground."
No sooner had she gone than Julie (2nd best plot) walked down, and said "Can I pick your brains?" Well, I'm feeling like a gardening guru now - if Julie's asking me for advice! "I've got barlotti beans with the pods quite big & going red - when can I pick them? I need the space for the spring cabbages."
I told her about shelling out the immature beans & freezing them if she didn't want to leave the pods to fully mature & the beans to dry, & she said, "well, I didn't know that!" & "would you like a few spare spring cabbage?" & as now had a gap where the pea frame was, I most certainly did, thank you very much.
Julie also asked if I'd like to cut some dahlias too, so once the spring cabbage were planted out and the bed snugly netted over, I went and cut these vibrant blooms & headed home.