I did a long stint at the plot today, from 10.30 to 13.45. After the frost there was a lot of satisfying pulling up to do. I uncovered half of the back bed to dump all the plants there. Compost renovations are in the foreseeable future so there was no point in putting it all into a bin only to take it out again.
I pulled up all the zinnias, the huge cosmos and the marigolds. All the nasturtiums were pulled up, from all around the plot. The ones by the trellis were very wet and soaked my gloves. There are an awful lot of green seeds all over the ground, so we’ll see how many grow.
Clearing up around the apple tree, there still seems to be a sign of life in the stump of my michaelmas daisy, but it didn’t do anything at all this year. Maybe the sign of life is just weed growth.
Now that areas are clear, there’s a lot of light weeding / digging over to be done. It’s not quite in a state for me to mulch it yet. I’ve pulled up plants from all over, including the physalis at the front, which had turned into a big plant. There are lots of fruit on the ground. Maybe the mice will like them. There’s a bizarre amount of nigella around the place. I think it’s going to be a mixture of pulling it up and just throwing compost on top of it to try and suffocate it.
I’ve had a ridiculously resilient aquilegia growing in a seed tray since it came up in the summer. One or two other seedlings came up and didn’t survive neglect, but this one has kept going. I popped down to the plot yesterday and found the tray upside down on the ground and compost all over the place, but that cell was still ok and the plant fine. So today I finally planted it out into the ledge on the right hand side.
I cut down the main body of the dahlias and then dug up the tubers. I wasn’t sure what to expect and did the two in the zinnia bed first. They’re the clumps on the left above. On the right is one plant from the main dahlia bed. I dug up all the tubers, cleaned off what soil I could and brought them home to dry off. I’m probably going to have to use a hacksaw to cut down the stems more. I don’t have a crown of thin stems, but rather a thick stem.
I’ve left the salvia for the moment. It’s survived the frost and I’m wondering if it’s trying to be a perennial. It was bought as a bedding plant, so my guess is that it’s just being tough.
By the end of my shift I had a pretty huge pile of rubbish. We’ll flip it across to the other end when we start emptying the current compost bins. No doubt animals and the wind will have knocked it about before then anyway.
Also on the pile is the cut down physostegia and the pieces of veronica that I took off the top. That one you don’t cut down all the way for autumn, so I just lopped a good few inches off it. I also cut down the everlasting peas, though bizarrely they’re busy growing new green shoots too. Well, I’ve done what I’m meant to!
I picked an apple yesterday and today. Another from today went straight onto the compost pile.