leaving summer behind

We are cutting the last of our lettuce crop this week. By mid October the shorter day length and the colder weather starts to take its toll on the less hardy crops. Over the winter months the microbial activity in the soils comes to a near stand still as the soil temperature drops. For hardy crops like autumn and winter cabbage and kale they will stop growing but still tick over nicely through the winter months. But for crops like hispi cabbage and lettuce the shorter days and colder soils are bad news. The leaves will rapidly deteriorate and of course any frost will cost us the crop. It can be difficult to decide how late to try to push the crops in the hope that the weather holds. But despite the mild temperatures we are seeing quality problems start to develop. So rather than try to eek out every last lettuce, we have decided to call it a day until spring next year. In the mean time we will have to bring in lettuce from southern Europe from time to time to keep things varied.

Learning from this years sweetcorn

We set out this year to try to pick two to three cobs from each of our sweetcorn plants. In reality we have found that the second cob is not good enough for the boxes. It tends to not form as well and the corns don