Autumn Growing – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

I’m trying to remember last autumn, and how that was in the veg garden. I think it was also fairly mild, and wet, but somehow this autumn seems even more so. Perhaps there’s just a lot of negative energy in the world at the moment that makes it seem worse than it is, but to be in mid-November without seeing frost, and without needing to put on a scarf or hat to go out into the veg plot seems off. I’ve definitely been noticing a few things in the garden that strike me as unusual, although some are to my advantage….

Winter Lettuces Growing Fast

I’ve got winter lettuces planted in the greenhouse and outside this year. My thinking had been that the ones in the greenhouse would be ready sooner than those planted outside at the same time. Not so. The ones growing outside are just as big and I’m harvesting two or three times a week – they are clearly enjoying the warmth in the soil.

Spring Spinach Flowering

Normally when I’ve planted spinach in spring, it hasn’t flowered until the following spring. This year, the plants are all beginning to flower already. However, the spinach and chard that I planted in September, is already quite a good size, so the two separate plantings are overlapping well which means lots of greens for me to enjoy.

Slug & Snail Damage

The mild, wet weather has meant more slug and snail damage than usual – they are having a field day in the veg patch. I’ve let them go wild with this cabbage, but am furiously protecting my brussels sprouts, with beer traps, and hoping that I’ll be able to enjoy slug-free sprouts at Christmas (although they are maturing so quickly, I think they may go over before then!)

So Many Weeds!

Even in the beds that have been recently mulched, there are just so many weeds in my veg patch this year. Most surrounding weedy areas kept flowering quite late (some are still going) and I think their seeds have just had a really nice time with the warmer temperatures – luckily, with the ground so wet, they are very easy to pull up so that’s going to be a job for me to crack on with this weekend.

Who Ate My Spring Onions?

There’s always a mystery, and this autumn it is once again my missing spring onions. This little bed should be full of them, but there are only a couple left. The same thing happened last year, and I put it down to voles. I’m still not sure though, but I had expected the spring onions to grow very quickly (one or two survivors have grown fast and I can harvest them in the next week or so if they don’t get eaten.)

An Early Crop?

I’ve been lucky this year, with plenty still going strong for harvesting now – leeks, kale, sprouts, swede, cabbage, chard and celeriac are all things I can be harvesting now alongside some of the autumn plants that I planted in September (lettuces, tatsoi, spinach.) I wonder if in late winter/early spring, my veg plot will be more depleted than usual as everything planted in autumn is coming through a little sooner than usual – I will report back!