It is this time of summer again when thoughts turn to harvest, saving seeds, drying herbs, sowing winter vegetables, and pruning some of the soft fruits. It is also time to make a note of what to, and what not to do next year, and where to grow what. Every season I learn more and so the garden is ever changing as I try to make it all better and more productive for us and also for the rest of nature, so incorporating plants, flowers, and berries for the birds, the bees and for any other creatures in the ecosystem that this urban garden is.
So the last few days I collected different leaves, among them dandelion (leaf and roots), mint, lemon balm, hawthorn, and nettle. I am working towards having a good store to see us through the winter months, and as these plants contain lots of valuable minerals and vitamins I think that it will be a valuable addition to our soups and stews. Some I will also use as teas.
Last week I sowed some winter vegetables, kale, salad leaves, and beetroot mainly, they are coming up well and some I potted off in order to become stronger so they can go into the soil outside. I will make use of the cold frames this winter. The temperatures drop to around -0C or just below it during the night, and daytime temperatures mainly around +5C so it is an ideal climate to grow winter produce. Leeks do very well here in my garden and I have planted out dozen of them during the past few days.
This morning, being Saturday and time to take a stock of what I have been doing and looking for ideas and information, I went to the library and again got a great selection of books, among them, two that I want to mention, one is about Winter vegetable growing by Linda Gray, and the other one is a book to relax with at night, it’s another memoir of a gardener, (Just Vegetating by Linda Larcom), I have read some good memoirs lately and enjoyed. Great inspiration can be got in books, it is a never ending pleasure.
Mint, delightful scent!
Nettle, and lemon balm, great for teas, and or soups, broths etc… And more seedlings, I am looking forward to winter growth. Making meticulous plans right now, find it exciting and motivating. Taking the providing role very seriously, that is, providing or rather enabling mother nature to provide us with lots of lovely foods. So enjoyable, and good for the soul.
Garlic, and dandelion leaves, very fond of both. A huge crop of dandelion leaves this year, due to the rains.
Peas and broad beans, it was not a great harvest this summer and so I will need to change the type I am actually growing, though I think that this year’s bad summer had something to do with it too.