Blast from the Past: Autumn is doing what Autumn does

… But it is doing it without me!  My super secret project is still  keeping me indoors bashing out words on my  keyboard and I looking out my window at another clear blue sky day and sighing.  It is perfect gardening weather….  sigh.   My poor garden is definitely entering the neglected phase.  But I tell myself only 10 more days and then I can garden to my hearts content.

Jalapeno peppers
My poor pepper plants plead for pampering

But I worry – will it be enough time to save my  poor peppers.   They didn’t do well this season and so I want to dig them up and pop them in some pots and keep them in the green house over the winter, so they can get a head start next season.  Each morning I pull back the curtains with trepidation – has there been a frost?  It got a bit close this morning and was quite chilly.  Mr Jack Frost – if you are going to visit us soon can we please schedule it for some time in May.  I have an opening in my diary for….  hmm  maybe the 29th or 30th?

So in the meantime I thought I’d share with you a blast from the past that tells you what I should be doing now.   I guess on the bright side – at least it isn’t raining.

Autumn is doing what autumn does.

It’s been raining; a cross between drizzly and fat heavy drops with bursts of sunshine in between.  But it’s not cold, not really.  Besides the house is being warmed by the processing of golden quince orbs into jars of deep red clear jelly and jars of left over pulpy jam!  So delicious!  I just checked out the local online supermarket and they didn’t have any quince jam or jelly so I reckon that puts it in the “luxury” jam category, unlike the run of the mill strawberry jam that seems to be the most common jam on offer.  The luxury jams were going for about $5 a jar, so my ten jars have just saved the family about $50!  (Not including the sugar, electricity or labour – but who’s counting.)  Luxury jam wouldn’t have been in the budget anyway.  That’s what I love about gardening, grow the posh stuff!   We truly have a champagne lifestyle on a fizzy water budget!

Quince Jelly
Quince Jelly

It also helps to grow the budget stuff too, like spuds and carrots, but even they are getting costly in the shops.  But they just taste so much better fresh.  The humble carrot is elevated to something well beyond the average status it normally gets!  It’s not a starchy, dry, slightly soft orange vegetable – it’s sweet and juicy and so crisp!

The promise of orange goodness
The promise of orange goodness

I dug up a row of spuds the other day – 20 days early, but I was being cheeky and tried to squeeze in an extra crop before the end of the season, only to have it succumb to blight – grrr!  But I dug some up anyway and they were perfect.  Another 20 days would have made them slightly bigger, but they are already a decent size.  That’s saved the family from having to hand over wads of cash for potatoes of uncertain provenance.

Good honest spuds
Good honest spuds

It’s not exactly a posh vegetable, but broad beans have become a regular inhabitant in my winter garden, because it is so lush and green during the cold season, where there isn’t much going on except the old slow poke brassicas.  There isn’t much advantage planting them in the autumn over planting them in the spring except that they crop a couple of weeks earlier.  But I don’t actually like them enough to relish the two week head start, it’s more about having something growing in the garden that I have to tend to when there is nothing else to do.  They need constant staking and protection from those windy winter storms and don’t start me on the aphids that just love the tender tips!

My imperfect row of broad beans
My imperfect row of broad beans

The broad bean row is beginning to flourish with seven green seedlings spreading their leaves out to soak up the warm rays of autumnal sun.  However I planted eleven.  I’ve waited patiently for eighteen days.  I’m beginning to think the last four aren’t going to come out of the ground.  Seven plants would be enough (there are still some in the freezer from the spring!)  But their lack of growth offends my sense of order.  There are gaps in my row.  There is nothing else for it – I shall have to go out right now and sow four more seeds!

Come again soon – there is never a dull moment in an autumn garden – well… there may be one or two boring bits when it’s raining!

Sarah the Gardener   : o)

Oh my Quince…  I can see the tree off in the distance from my office.  Please hang in there for another 10 days and I’ll make jelly from you…

This is the real:  Come again soon – the garden needs work, which means there will be a lot to share with you.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)


4 thoughts on “Blast from the Past: Autumn is doing what Autumn does

  1. My (chilli) pepper plants actually survived a touch of frost last autumn. They even produced some lovely fruit afterwards, though I did have to ripen it indoors. But then when I brought the plants in to overwinter the dreaded aphids got them, so a bit of a sad end really.

    Fingers crossed Jack Frost keeps away for the time you need.

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