Leaping into Leaves

Autumn, according to Winnie the Pooh, is “A time of hot chocolatey mornings, toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves.”

And who are we to argue with the great Tao of Pooh?

So all three have been enjoyed at The Secret Acre this autumn, while England endured its second Covid lockdown as you can see!

These autumn months always just seem to whiz by in a flash.

At first still harvesting, and then the long tail of apple pressing, before the weather suddenly turns, bringing a sharp reminder of all those garden clearance jobs needing doing, and that keep the autumn bonfires well stoked.

So before you know it, here we are just about enter the start of meteorological winter next week, even if astronomical winter is still a few more weeks away.

This year on the veg patch we tried two unusual (to us) late summer plantings for autumn greens, recommended by a friend.

In the very mild autumn we have had this year, both have flourished as you can see in our picture on the left. In the front is Amaranth, an ancient pseudo-grain (like quinoa) and distant relation to Swiss Chard & Spinach also allowing it to be cultivated as a leaf vegatable. Behind is Aztec Broccoli (Huauzontle), a Mexican plant that is like a supercharged purple sprouting broccoli.

The unusually warm autumn has also caused our regular over winter sowings of garlic, onions and broad beans to shoot up to at least twice their normal size. Whether this will be a problem once the frosts finally arrive remains to be seen.

In the meantime, the same mild temperatures have also meant that our attempt this year at planting green manure has been its most successful ever, with the green manure establishing strongly before winter arrives (see picture below).

Regular readers will know our previous attempts with green manures have been a bit hit and miss at best, usually put down to our too late sowing as the cold sets in.

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