Kitchen Garden 080915This week In Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden we will be turning on the heater in the greenhouse. We have had some cold nights forecast and our pepper and aubergines are currently bearing lots of ripening fruits. A cold night could set them back and jeopardise the harvest. Our heater is on a thermostat that we will set at 15 degrees. This will keep our crops comfortable for the remainder of the growing season.

We will also be pruning our tayberry and summer raspberry plants. Our tayberry has produced a really good crop of fruits this year, but is now badly in need of attention. It is a strong grower and needing taming to keep it in check. This is a job that needs a really good pair of gloves, as tayberry plants can bite! They have very sharp prickles that can hurt, so it’s a good idea to be protected. Both raspberries and tayberries need to have the old stems that bore this year’s fruit pruned back to the ground. The new growth can then be tied into the supports as these will carry next seasons crop. We will finish the job by giving them a good feed of poultry manure and a thick mulch of home made compost.

As the weather changes and Autumn creeps in, plants around the Kitchen Garden are preparing for Winter and leaves are beginning to turn brown. We will be regularly clearing fallen debris from the ground to stop pests and diseases form using them as cosy overwintering habitats. It also keeps the garden looking at its best as well.

Kitchen Garden_1 080915It’s been a busy season in the staff garden as well. Here’s what they have been getting up to:

It’s certainly been a year for experimentation at the Staff Garden with some successes and a few failures.  This month they have been busy harvesting potatoes, spinach, broad beans, tomatoes and squashes.

Their tomato plants are abundant with tomatoes! All waiting to turn red – they have been busy feeding them up with a liquid tomato feed which has made a real difference to the quality and size.

The squashes although looked amazing – displayed a kind of mouldy mildew and although they harvested about 5 squashes, at one stage it looked like they were going to get loads. A squash frame was used to support them and mulched the base ensuring only to water them from the base... but unfortunately the plants were attacked by mildew.

This week they have sown Chinese Cabbage, Pak Choi and Choy Sum and planted out cabbages – making sure they are well netted to prevent any pests getting in!