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Autumn tidying in the garden

Posted: Wednesday 13 November 2013
by Pippa Greenwood

Why is it that I hate tidying up my home or office, but gain deep satisfaction from the seasonal scoop-up in the garden?


Why is it that I hate tidying up my home or office, but gain deep satisfaction from the seasonal scoop-up in the garden? I find there's something innately pleasurable about clearing the greenhouse border of the last straggly tomatoes, or  removing the floppy French bean wigwam (and ousting the pests that were lurking under it).

It's equally thrilling to bag up the remains of the (now blighted) tomatoes, thus preventing any lurking Phytophthora infestans from overwintering in the soil (don’t you just love how that Latin name makes the potato and tomato blight fungus sound all the more infestational?). Then there's the windfall apples to clear, which somehow escaped our noticed as we collected them for juicing (now with squidgy brown rot fungus just waiting to waft its spores upwards).

Most satisfying of all for me is clearing leaves and anything else that has flopped on the soil surface, and discovering both slugs and early-hibernating snails. These make a rich feast for the chickens, so they don’t go to waste.

As the weather is still unusually mild I've even been applying some nematodes to deal with the slugs. Having found a good few slugs in organic debris and flopped foliage, I know all too well they'll still be there in vast quantities below the soil surface (maybe even still laying a few eggs). I don't want my winter veg attacked, or the early crops next year to be shredded, so a combination of hand ‘harvesting’ and applying nematodes seems like the best use of my gardening time.





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oldchippy 15/11/2013 at 13:45

I cleared the leave's from the grass yesterday but today they are back,they are going to have wait as i had an operation on my hand this morning,i have filled 4 bags already with about 4 more to go,i quite like running round the house with vacuum cleaner.

flowering rose 15/11/2013 at 14:22

well take care,although running around with hoover sounds fun I bet you would rather be outside.

Roy Hill 22/11/2013 at 23:21

Phytophthora (translated - plant destroyers) are (technically) water moulds and not fungi. Sorry to nit-pick.