The first hard frosts have hit my garden in the past week, so I’m keeping an eye on plants to see how they cope.
On the patio
The first to be killed off by the cold was my banana and coleus patio container – I was thinking about overwintering it, but I had no space to store it away. The banana only cost £8 and lasted from late spring until the very end of November, so I’m happy to pay for another one next year.
On the veg patch
I was worried when I saw my overwintering brassicas drooping under a coating of frost, but they soon picked up again once they were hit by the winter sun. I won’t worry about fleecing these. The whole point of planting them in the autumn was to use empty ground with little need for attention until harvest in spring. I’m more concerned about the slug and snail damage on my red cabbages though. I’ve sprinkled Eraza slug pellets around them, but I don’t know if this will halt the damage to the developing hearts – picking off the slugs by hand is difficult in this part of the plant too – all I seem to be doing is pushing them further down between leaves when I try to grab them between my fingers.
In the border
A warm autumn has meant I have a batch of self-seeded cerinthe plants that have reached bigger proportions than their parents did back in the summer. Like the brassicas, these drooped once the frost hit, but soon picked up again after the thaw. I’ll keep a close eye on these and perhaps consider fleecing them if later frosts appear to cause damage.
First the frost, then the wind!
The first frosts have been followed by strong winds and rain! I went out to feed my chickens this morning to find a section of the run roof had been blown off during the night. The cold frame on my patio had been moved a good 15ft by the wind and I had to gather plastic pots, buckets and an empty bin from various locations around the garden.