Fruits of our labour .... a production garden update

Not much weeds here ... Lol
September light
September is a special time in the production garden. It's the pinnacle of the garden harvest, when the fruits of the summer labour are being actively gathered, before the winter arrives. So, after getting the back garden back in order, it was time to tackle the production garden. In my mind, I thought there was only a task or two, not too much to work at all. 
Well, they were famous last words ... and the evidence showed something completely different! After a couple of hours weeding and clearing I realised there was a lot more here to do than I initially thought ...

Loganberries tied up
Strawberries cut back
I had intended to tackle the strawberry area for a while. Since I planted it up a couple of  years ago, I realised the area was very susceptible to invasion of weeds from next door. Sometimes, as we plan our gardens, we realise our initial plans don't work out and we have to have a rethink to have a better outcome, and that's alright. My intention is to lift the plants in winter, pot them up, and grow them in a more protected environment in order to have a better crop, free (or almost free) of the birds, slugs and other nuisances that have hindered their recent cropping.  






Rhubarb ready for splitting
Outdoor grape 'Rhondo'
At the same time, I cut back this year's fruiting shoots of the loganberries and tied in the fresh canes from this year. These canes will provide next year's crop.  There is also an outdoor grape in the same area, so in order to separate the two, I tied the loganberry shoots to the right and most of the vine shoots to the left. As the nights are growing cold, I've fashioned a temporary cover over the vine, to give the grapes their best chance of ripening before the winter cold sets in. 

"Sometimes, as we plan our gardens, we realise our initial plans don't work out and we have to have a rethink to have a better outcome, and that's alright." 

While I was at it, I cleaned out the rhubarb area too. there was plenty of dead and old growth that needed cleaning out, leaving the plants looking clean. One particular plant really looks like it will benefit from splitting, which is a good opportunity to replant the healthier pieces and enrich the soil at the same time. 

Tomatoes and broccoli ... 
Ready for recycling ...
All of the weeds and old leaves went to the compost heap, recycling them for good soil enricher and compost for next year. It is important to ensure any thick flesh roots of weeds, or roots of scutch grass, are not composted, but disposed of in your recycle bin.
Onion harvest ...
From a harvesting point of view, every couple of days I collect the ripened tomatoes, check the broccoli plants for side shoots to be picked and the pull leaves from the various salad leaved plants. Waiting in the wings are the onions, some of which I've pulled already and are drying out. A good observation from a twitter friend was to leave them in the soil a little longer, until the green foliage begins to take on a brownish look. What I did note myself, is that there is over a month in difference time-wise between the 2014 harvest and the 2015 one. Perhaps this is down to the later planting of onion sets, due to a cold miserable spring
Then there are the half dozen or so sweetcorn plants, which are looking good. The squash plants, although planted late, do appear to have some good sized fruits developing and I've fixed some temporary cover - let's see what happens here. 

Container tomatoes growing
Home-grown peppers ...
In the glasshouse, I'm harvesting a couple of sweet peppers - not as many as I would like there to be. This is definitely one plant I'd like to be getting it right with, and will require some more advice and reading up on for 2016. I've already mentioned the tomatoe harvest - the beauty of growing about half a dozen varieties is that there is a great mix of fruits being harvested. This year I'm happy I grew the plants in containers, in well enriched compost (fish, blood and bone meal), with a liquid feed every second or so week. the important point here was to ensure the pots had plenty of water, in order to ensure the fruits were nice and juicy, without a tough skin. As it turned out, the fruits are lovely - nothing like eating a home-grown, sun warmed tomatoe - delicious. At this stage I've removed the bottom leaves, any diseased looking leaves and any young fruits, which realistically won't grow and ripen before the cold weather sets in. This will give the rest of the fruits the best chance to ripen to their tastiest best. 

Juicy 'Autumn Bliss' raspberries
Finally, outdoors, the autumn raspberries are now producing their lovely large ripe juicy fruits. As with a lot of my other produce, I'm looking for a small regular amount, enough to use on a daily basis without a large glut, and these fit the bill just nicely.  Almost every morning I'm picking about a dozen or so, which go very nicely with my morning cereal. 
Happy gardening.