Posted By: Paul 08/12/2009 09:32:00
A chilly start for most of us today with the overnight temperatures dropping quickly.
Here in Dorset we are still waiting for the first frost to get here but in parts of Yorkshire and further north there have been several frosts already. This weeks main job in the garden and on the allotment will be digging, digging and a bit more digging. I have a few turnips to lift and one or two rows of Potatoes which I should have dug up last week but the wet weather has put a stop to any digging, so I will have to wait until the grounds dry's out a little. In the meantime I am looking around for any 'dry day' jobs which need doing. Cleaning the greenhouse is a good indoor job and if done correctly should take quite a long time, (Depending on the size of the greenhouse that is). My greenhouse is a very small one and I use it mostly for propagation of seedlings rather than growing plants, and again this year I will be building a large hotbed inside the greenhouse so I can get an early start on next years planting. As well as lots of the usual vegetables I will also grow some summer bedding plants as the garden is looking decidedly bland this year and could do with some colour. Also the sweet peas were a great success so I will be growing a whole load more of them to cover a large section of fence.
If I have enough time this autumn I am going to look into using artificial lighting to grow some salad plants out of season. It's a technique I have wanted to try for a while but I really don't like the thought of wasting energy just to grow a few plants so I have been waiting for a reasonably priced 12 volt system which can power an array or LED's. I can then use a large 12 volt leisure battery which is charged for a small wind turbine and a solar panel. Another technique I would like to try for next year is hydroponics. Most of the salad crops you buy in supermarkets are now grown using hydroponics as the yields can be greatly increased compared to the same yields of traditionally growth mediums. Again the energy usage is an issue with hydroponics as the water needs to be circulated around the roots for the best results. I will write up some articles on these subjects as I learn more.
Finally, I need to finish off the plans for the veg plots next year. Now I have a lot more space to play with I can start producing some reasonable quantities of vegetables, and maybe even become fully self sufficient.