The front yard cleared
The front yard cleared

As we head into May and the temperatures start to quickly decline, I was reminded that the window of opportunity for my usual autumn overhaul will soon be closed. A day to complete my usual overhaul of the garden was essential. Weeding always seems to me to be the housework of the garden – really doesn’t take that long, but it’s amazingly easy to find ways of putting it off. And this year was no exception – the garden was almost looking like I was growing only weeds! Once I had gotten around to clearing all the now dead summer plants and removing all the weeds (and filling two compost bins in the process), I was left once again with the semi-empty template on which I could start to plan and plant out the winter garden.

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With each season and year that passes the better I get to know my plot. I know which areas get the best sun, or struggle to get any sun, where the snails will surely hunt first, or what is first viewed upon entering the yard, or from each window. Because of this it was already clear in my head where each seedling needed to go to get the garden to work this year – all that was left was to make it happen. After turning over the soil a little and adding some compost – the seedlings went in easily and extremely quickly. I’ll find out in the coming months whether a bit more time and structure to my planting would have paid off…

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The back patch however did take a bit longer to plan out in my mind, as I’ve never planted winter veggies there before. Needless to say the raised veggie patch we’ve planned is still not in, so the space is still mine to roam free with. I’ve spent many mornings staring at the patch with a cup of coffee drawing different ideas in my head. As usual the part of my brain that seems to yell “plant everything!!” always seems to win.

I’ve planted a row of broad beans at the back, which I can tie against the cucumber trellis still up from summer. In front of this I’ve put a mixed row of cauliflower and broccoli seedlings, finished with a mix of wombok and kale seedlings at the front. If I can get things to survive away from the snails long enough, I think I’ll be the best maximiser of the space and sun.
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I added some sugar snap, snow and sweat peas into pots with stakes to help them climb and topped everything with pea straw. Then I’d done it – both front and back autumn overhauls completed in a day! Absolutely buggered, all that was left was to head inside to find some wine…

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