All tucked up

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Teeny-tiny leeks

There’s not much going on in the garden at the moment… some leeks that I planted out very late are growing and the weeds never seem to sleep, but generally it’s all quiet. At this time of the year it’s easy to leave the vegetable patch to get on with things and allow it to develop its own layer of vegetation that will need dealing with in the spring. This year, however, I have decided that I want to avoid as much weeding as possible prior to planting, so I have started to mulch.

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All secure for the winter

Despite some blustery weather yesterday, I got outside with a length of MyPex that had been hanging around the shed for a couple of years and covered one of the raised beds. Until a couple of weeks ago there had still been nasturtiums flowering in this area, but the first frost killed them off and it was all looking rather sad. I dug the edges in to secure it, but because I know how easy it is for a sheet of mulch to get blown about, I also weighed it down with planks and pots, stones and a couple of spare log rolls. The MyPex excludes the light, but allows water to penetrate, so the vegetation that was left underneath should rot down nicely over the winter and provide lovely organic matter for the plants that I put in when spring comes around.

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I’m regarding this as green manure

Unfortunately I only had enough MyPex for one bed, but I do have some black polythene mulch that I am going to use to cover a second bed. The wind got up whilst I was working yesterday and so I decided not to battle to get this done, especially since there are some rogue brambles to deal with first. For the time being the weeds can grow as a green manure… they will turn into great compost once the mulch is finally down The main drawback of this approach is that mulch provides a great habitat for slugs and snails. I will deal with this by feeding them to the chickens when the mulch is lifted in the spring – you can plant through it, but then in our wet climate, you lose all your plants to molluscs!

Today there has been a mixture of sun and very heavy showers, so no gardening. We were lucky to have a rainbow though, which made me smile and grab my camera:

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Even on a grey day there can be brightness

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7 Comments

  1. Wish I could apply the same principle in winter, but we don’t get enough cold for dormancy. Everything just keeps on growing, perhaps a fraction slower but it’s almost imperceptible…

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  2. Reading this really has me missing my garden.

    I’m glad you got ahead of the game and mulched one of your beds. And how handy to have ready made chicken food when it’s all done. Opossums visit our yard at night and they purportedly like snails, but they never consume enough. I should leave them a note saying “Please, help yourself to more!”

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    • Oh, I didn’t know that about opossums. Hedgehogs are supposed to eat snails and slugs too, but we’d need a whole army of them to get through all the slugs in our garden! I’m sure you won’t miss seeing your garden shrivel up in the drought… and there will be a different sort of joy in your new set-up.

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  3. A well caught rainbow. No matter I know there isn’t really a pot of gold at the end it never stops me having a spade handy.They seem to bring on a smile and instill a lightness to my thoughts.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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  4. Why is it the weeds never seem to sleep? They are always the last thing left in the garden, and the first to show up in the spring.

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