Monday, 21 October 2013

Tidying up for winter

Its a dreary, grey day on the plot today.
A good day to get covered in mud while coiling up the hosepipes.
A good day to get covered in mud turning the compost heaps.

I did both of these things.

While turning the compost there was an increase in wasp activity.  It seems I spoke too soon when I said the wasps had gone.
I noticed that some of the outgoing wasps were carrying something white, and when one of them, a small wasp carrying a blob almost as big as it was, actually dropped it, I got a chance to see what it was.
It was a pupa, presumably a wasp pupa. I took a picture, but I don't seem to be able to do close-ups, so all I got was a white blob.

I wonder why they were moving their young? Wikipedia tells me that all except the queens die off when it gets cold, so what would be the point in moving the pupae? Perhaps the pupa was dead and they were tidying up.

I moved most of the compost to the next bay, but I left the bit around the nest undisturbed. Just a big softie, me.

The apple tree is starting to let go of its apples at last, there are some quite big ones on this year

And they are tasting quite sweet.

I think the beans might be coming down pretty soon, they are starting to go over now.
There is still a lot of pods on, but not many beans in the pods.  Yes, definitely borlotti beans in the growing list for next year.

I had a proper look at the red cabbages (Huzzaro) for the first time for ages and they have nearly all rotted away and just came loose when I moved them, only two left attached to the ground.

 It doesn't look like the dreaded club root though, the roots look okay, if a little stunted.  The heads seem to have developed so far, but then stopped before they filled out, perhaps when the dry spell ended and the rainy season began.  They are in the wet end of the plot but I thought they would be okay after the dry summer.  Wrong.

Ah well, I'm sure I can survive with only two red cabbages.

Did some end of year tidying... coiling the hosepipes, collecting scattered canes, string, netting from various parts of the plot, and stacking them in the hut, cutting back the old wood on the blackberries, and tying in the new.

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