Wednesday, 29 October 2008

A perfect autumn day..........

Sunday was to be a day down on the plot but inevitably was a complete wash out. Uggg! How easy it would have been to mope about mourning the loss of British summertime but instead I got busy making more chutney with the last of the tomatoes and thought I’d have a go at baking brownies too, though not in the same pan! It was a very productive day and filled the house with lots of lovely smells- it even got the dearly beloved out of bed….though to be fair, that was probably due to me banging and crashing around in the kitchen rather than the temptation of delicious and seductive aromas!

I digress – back the to the perfect Autumn day…..which was cold, clear and bright with the sheerest of breezes - a real pleasure to be out and making the most of the sunshine. Today’s task was to rescue the dozen hyssop plants from certain death which have been festering away in pots for…….well a lot longer than they should have (bad grower!) I only hope they perk up a bit now the roots have room to breathe. I’ve treated them to a thick layer of mulch, and to keep those weeds at bay for a little longer I picked up a nifty trick from GW*.

What to do with all the free newspapers that drop through he door? Well - there is always the blue recycling bin that the council collect once a fortnight but if you can make use of them in the garden then even better. So under the thick layer of SMC** there is a layer of 4 or 5 sheets of newspaper neatly tucked round the struggling hyssop plants.

Mulching achieves many great things – it suppresses weeds, retains moisture, insulates the ground keeping the heat in, looks decorative and most importantly can save work on maintenance. An organic mulch can also help to enrich the soil as it breaks down, and if applied on an annual basis will improve soil structure no end. Lush! It may seem a little time consuming but if it saves labour during the busy growing season then I say it’s worthwhile!

Next to be mulched are the strawbs which I lovingly weeded on my hands and knees today. Maybe I can enlist the help of my hubster………….?

*Gardener’s World **spent mushroom compost

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