Prolonging crops

Posted: Tuesday 26 November 2013
by Pippa Greenwood

The sudden drop, nay free fall, in temperature happened suddenly here...

The sudden drop, nay free fall, in temperature happened suddenly here. Luckily, my son remembered to bring the chilli peppers and 'Mini Red' sweet peppers into the greenhouse when he was putting the chickens to bed. If he hadn't done so, they'd have really suffered in the cold. 

A few weeks on, it's great to be able to continue harvesting from both plants. If you haven't tried 'Mini Red' sweet peppers do give them a go. The fruits are small - a little bigger than those slightly fiery ones you can buy at the deli counter stuffed with ricotta cheese. They're totally sweet - and heavy croppers, so even at this late stage in the year they still have a good crop of fruits on them, and look pretty too.

My winter lettuce are also fine, having been kept under mesh and fleece. However, the last of the summer crop was still in a tray outside at the start of the cold snap. I'm lifting the wrapping from the winter fleece regularly and removing any discoloured or damaged leaves (and, of course, any slugs or snails taking advantage of the warmth). These small measures make all the difference when it comes to prolonging the cropping period. 

My ridge-planted garlic will need covering too. This time though, I'll use soil, which protect them from heavy rainfall. It's like putting fleets of small children to bed and tucking them in…but luckily none of my kids have ever had an infestation of slugs.

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