West Swindon Autumn Shakedown

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As the weather gets ever closer to winter, the gardeners in West Swindon met at the Woollaton Close and Bosham Close planters to start laying the foundations for the new gardening year. Sad as it was to say goodbye to the squash plants, the flowers on them were male and never going to yield fruit. The corn ears came up, as did the last of the tomatoes, beans and sunflowers. Woollaton still has cabbage and broccoli stems left and the lettuce was still thriving in Bosham. The lemon balm was given a good trim and there are plenty of herbs still at both sites. Chamomile in Bosham is particularly plentiful. The spent plants were cut into small pieces and buried ready to rot down over winter.

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This bed in particular was very interesting!

The large bed in Woollaton was manured with 9 bags of well rotted, and – dare I say it – beautiful, manure, courtesy once more of Justin and his herbivorous wards. Sadly the bed was bigger than our manure haul, so more will be added over the coming month. The small bed has had four volunteer broad beans grow strongly so we have left them where they are for now and we will see how they fare over winter. The triangular bed has also been left with its brassicas still loitering and waiting to belong to someone’s dinner. There are plenty of broccoli stems and if you peel away the outer skin, they are still sweet and juicy. If you don’t fancy eating everything, you can use the outer leaves of the red cabbage as a litmus test with the kids!

As with the small bed in Woollaton, part of the Bosham bed is left for recycling bags. This space is being moved to the middle of the bed as this has less to offer in terms of growing food.

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De-seeding the sunflower

The thinner end of the bed was dug over for the first time in anyone’s memory. After clearing away the rubbish (there was a pair of ancient gardening gloves along with the obligatory bottle tops and crisp packets) and grassy growth, the soil was not too bad. Jamey and Kaspar collected over 30 worms – naming them all – before they were persuaded to let them free on the heap of compost.

Thank you to Justin, Gavin, Sam, Chris, Anita, Jamey, Kaspar and Monika¬†We will meet again next month to plant up our cleared spaces with onions, garlic, broad beans and any other over-wintering plants we can get our hands on. If you wish to join us, please feel free. If you have some seeds / plants you don’t want, please pass them on. If you want to pick – it’s green leafy veg all the way…..!!

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