I took a few photos while the sun was out at the weekend which I might as well show you. Above you can see the beds covered in seaweed which has started to rot down. It starts off a mustard brown colour (but you’ve probably seen seaweed before) and starts to turn reddish brown around now, especially after a frost.
The little bit of green at the end of the middle bed is a tray of seedlings which I was supposed to plant last Spring and has been migrating around the garden all year. It may eventually make it to the compost heap which is about 10 steps away.
You can also see a clump of kale plants in the background, I have a couple more further back and between them they keep us in nutritious brassica greens until Spring.
Above you can see garlic shoots happily growing through their planting holes in a GroGrid mat. I am using mat ‘B’ here with a spacing of 18cm between plants and 30cm between rows which gives me decent size garlic. I added well rotted manure and some wood ash to the soil before putting the mat down so they won’t require any further feed.
Finally, here’s one of the beds in the polytunnel with plenty of salad happily growing away. You can see rocket at the back which is very frost hardy but the rest are just standard lettuce varieties (butterhead, little gem, lollo rosso etc…) which have been fine so far. If we have heavy frost forecast I will cover them with a layer of fleece but otherwise they get no special treatment and should survive the Winter.
As regards picking, I remove the large outer leaves and allow the centres to keep growing, this will keep them productive for much longer. By Spring the plants will look a bit battle worn and may exhibit some odd shapes but they will have held the fort until the garden bursts into life for another season.