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This week in your garden you could be....

This time of year is a great time to do a thorough job of tidying up vegetation (and other garden debris) so that there is less opportunity for those pesky slugs and snails to hunker down and make themselves comfortable for winter.  
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...doing a very thorough clean up. 

 Carolyn's flowers

This time of year is a great time to do a thorough job of tidying up vegetation (and other garden debris) so that there is less opportunity for those pesky slugs and snails to hunker down and make themselves comfortable for winter.  Snails and slugs like to hide under boards, rocks, old plant pots - any damp, dark places.  Tall grass and  vegetation is a haven for slugs and snails - cut it back!  Remove any dead leaves or fallen branches and anything that can decay and provide food for snails and slugs. 

....storing your summer produce. 

 You may have onions and pumpkins ready for harvesting now.  


Your pumpkins are ready to harvest when the vine dies back.  When harvesting, trim your pumpkin off the vine with a sharp knife, leaving 2-3 inches of stem.  Leaving a length of stem like this will allow the stalk to dry off slowly and naturally and protect rot from getting into the pumpkin.  Wipe off all dirt and moisture and store in a cool, dry place. 

Onions are ready to harvest when the tops have fallen over and are drying.  You will need to leave the harvested onions in a warm, dry, well-ventilated spot to thoroughly dry before storage, which will take about a week or so.  They are ready for storage when the roots and stalks are completely dry.  The outer layers of the onion skin will also be "paper" dry.  Check particularly that the neck of the onion is totally dry as this is where rot will typically start.  Put any onions that are not in perfect condition aside for immediate use.  Onions store best in a cool, dry place.  Plait and hang them, store them in mesh or paper bags or wooden crates. 

You can even store them by hanging them in a cool dry place in some old pantyhose!  Drop an onion in, tie a knot, add another onion and so on.  If you want to use the pantyhose again (for storing onions, NOT for a night out on the town!), then you can simply cut a slit in the side of the pocket to remove the onion when you need it.    Avoid storing onions near other produce as many fruits and vegetables will absorb the onion's flavour.  You can expect your onions to last up to eight months in storage.

If you have excess tomatoes and cucumbers, get into the kitchen and make some preserves.  Blanch and freeze extra beans.  Or get the dehydrator out of storage. 

Hang excess herbs to dry, and you can enjoy their fragrance and flavour when they are no longer available in your garden.


This week in your garden you could also be...

...having giant vegetable or weird/wonderful vegetable competitions with your friends and neighbours.

Send us photos of your season's successes!

...spending a sunny afternoon doing some tool maintenance.


Treat your garden tools like you would treat your old friends...spend some time with them, use them kindly, and look after them!  If you would like to give your tools some real TLC, the wooden handles can be sanded and oiled about once a year. Wipe the handle clean, then use fine sand paper to smooth the surface. Wipe down and oil, let the oil soak in and wipe again. (You can use linseed oil or even safflower or some other simple kitchen oil.)  Fiberglass and synthetic handles just need to be washed and dried.

Once a year you can clean metal surfaces with simple soap and water. Dry thoroughly then clean with steel wool or a wire brush to remove rust. Apply a light coating of oil, wipe away the excess and you're done. 

Keep your pruning and cutting tools sharp throughout the season by sharpening them regularly.  After use, always wipe down and lightly oil your tools before storing in a nice dry area.


...and a final thought... could be just sitting out in the garden, enjoying the view!


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kirsten says ...
And can we plant any broccoli and brussels sprouts seedlings that have been attacked - so now leafless - by those not so enjoyable white butterflies?! I hate white butterflies!!!
Kings Seeds says ...
Kirsten, those little seedlings really need their leaves....they won't make it without them, unfortunately. You'll need some more seedlings if you want broccoli and brussels sprouts later. Curses on the white butterflies!

Oh dear!

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