November I: compost and over-wintering….

So, on the last day of autumn, one year of gardening finishes and the new one begins. In a no-dig garden, that new year begins with laying compost on bare ground.

The garden still has the following crops to harvest:

1) Cavalo Nero Kale, Leaf Chicory and Endive;

2) Autumn King Carrots and Parsnips;

3) Winter radish and Mulatka beetroot;

In addition, spinach, spring cabbage and chard are being over-wintered.

After a year of intensive composting, 5cm of compost/horse manure has been laid down to date on 24sqm of cleared ground in the main beds, plus 6sqm of asparagus and boundary beds, as well as surrounding the pear tree. Green manure was sown on 7.5sqm.

Around one cubic metre of compost remains to cover remaining 13.5sqm of main beds, 5sqm of raspberries and 1.5sqm of other beds in the fruit cage.

In addition, autumn has been the season of leaf collecting for two purposes:

1) Starting a new leaf mould generation process –  280 litres have been packed into eight 35l pots:

2) A major last cut of autumn grass has been mixed with leaves/twigs to fill a one cubic metre builders’ bag:

All that remains to do is:

1): build a new horse manure/straw pile;

2): Treat the garden with biodynamic horn manure;

and pre-Christmas work is complete.

Author: Rhys

Rhys trained as a research biologist, working for a decade in the cancer research charity sector, before completing an MBA and working in management consultancy, technology transfer and early technology investment spaces, mostly working with UK academics to turn their scientific discoveries into value for society. AS a younger man, he was fascinated with mountains, both climbing them and ski-ing down them. Whilst living in Scotland, he completed a round of (then) all 277 Munros, the independent mountains over 3000ft originally complied as a list by Munro. He also spent his holidays representing the Ski Club of GB, as a Representative and Party Leader between 1990 and 1997. During that time, he found to his bemusement that he was able to predict, without understanding fully why, to a remarkable degree of accuracy, when good snow conditions would occur in the Alps, gaining an unworthy reputation for predictive genius in 1990 when predicting the evolution of the 1989/90 winter in Wengen, Switzerland for his CEO boss. He used this skill for the next seven years to ensure that he enjoyed powder snow pretty much every time he went ski-ing. An MD student he was training in Oxford also impressed his wife by taking Rhys' advice about when to take her to Italy in the mid 1990s! In recent years, Rhys has turned his mind toward how to grow prize tomatoes, winning several prizes in local and London shows and has, in the past 3 years, moved toward taking over a 50 square metre urban vegetable patch, which he has turned into a no-dig area since autumn 2014.

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