It is always a sign of a good summer when the gourds start to climb the hedge next to the compost heaps. We had the hottest day of the year today and the hottest day in September for 105 years, sure a few people died back then without fans and AC. I was a little shocked by how dry things are looking up in the garden so I have put the sprinkler on tonight, and Matt will get it going at first light.
At this time of the year when it is getting darker early and the nights are much cooler you start to think about winter and getting through it, most winters I fly off looking for sun in February but this year I think I am waiting for our book to come out in March till I go away. Because of this I need to make sure the cupboards are well stocked. On Sunday I started the chutney production. I made both tomato and beetroot, the beetroot I will start eating soon, the tomato needs a year. I still need to make a lot more.
We have grown a good crop of celeriac this year. We need to get some water on them soon but they are doing very well and look better for the meadow next to them cut, I have a better idea what is going on with them and the long grass was stopping the water getting to them. I just went out and lifted two for the meal tonight, I do love the smell that you get from the leaves. They will be mashed with potato and eaten with a salad and fish. The leaves work very well in stock, great flavour.
Well the ‘Gardeners delight’ tomatoes have now come down to blight. Blight does move through a crop very fast. If I can I will get them out and on a fire tomorrow, it is the only thing to do with the plants now. I am very happy to see that the ‘Crimson crush’ has not got it yet so it does do what the seed supplier says it will do, resist blight. I just need them to go on long enough for me to be able to make chutney, I look forward to the smell of the chutney cooking.
It was very worrying to see the crop of potatoes with blight but we cut them back and just left them in the ground, it you get them cut down early enough it will not go down into the root system. Today we started to use the P ‘Picasso’, it is one of the best bakers. We have our week-long symposium on and one of the lunches that the groups really do enjoy as do I is the baked potatoes.
We have cleaned up the artichokes now after a hot dry summer, they really did not look good. I also want them to put on some growth and be strong before we cover them for the winter so that they have the stores to get them through the winter, we need a hard winter this year so I will protect them well in the hope we will get one. I think we have at least two months before the start of the frosts if not longer. The plants are going to need some good water for them to put on the growth, we had an afternoon of light rain which is a start but a lot more is needed.
Today is the first day of meteorological autumn here in the U.K and we are starting to have longer, colder nights. This of course is not a bad thing, it is a little bit of a rest time in the garden before the winter work starts. I maybe early with it but I am in the mood for autumn after a great summer. There is still two months till the garden closes for the season so the show must go on. The tomatoes on the window sills are doing well and I have started to cook them down to freeze for the winter.