I arrived in Breightmet shortly after eight this morning, did my usual loading up with water at the UCAN centre before walking down to the Hub to begin my days work. The first job of the morning cropping produce from the raised beds.
some of the produce was a little dog eared and tatty due to the cooler nights that we have been having so today I cropped more than I usually would. I also decided to top and tail much of the stuff on site so as not to mess up the kitchen at the centre with damp and muddy soil.
After topping and tailing the crops I loaded the stuff into two large carrier bags and took them up to the UCAN centre where the veg will be distributed to folk living on the estate. I also cropped most of the rat tail radish pods which will be dried out over the winter and used for our growing projects in 2016.
Keeping the beds clean over winter
My next job, which is proving to be a tricky one is trying to keep cats out of the raised beds, in the summer we used Lion manure pellets which seemed to do the trick, but now that site is damper and wetter, the Lion pellets are only affective for a week or so, so my new strategy in feline management is to plant more winter crops in all of the beds and to scatter cabbage leaves and beetroot and Swede tops on top of the bare soil, being a cat owner I am aware that they like loose bare soil when they go for a poo, so as much as possible I have tried to change this. So with any luck, the scattered leaves will deter the cats whilst providing forage for worms later in the winter.
With much of the winter gardening work on the Hub site coming to an end I decided to take one of the large raised beds round the corner to the Red Lane Community allotment site to fill it full of compost ready for some overwintering garlic to go into tomorrow.