Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

The Kitchen Garden  

                          September 2010



spudsOur maincrop potatoes have now been lifted and put into paper sacks in the shed for storage, as we are still eating our early potatoes, which did really well this year. Our onions are now hanging up in the shed and should last us all winter. The shallots have been pickled, as have many of the beetroot, and we are looking forward to trying them around mid October. Runner beans can continue to be picked and they freeze really well, but they will usually be finished around mid September, when the plants can be cleared and the canes put back into store until next year.

In the greenhouse the sweet pepper, cucumber and tomato plants are coming to the end of a productive season and now need to be put on the compost heap, but beware composting the tomatoes themselves, as the seed is virtually indestructible and they will germinate wherever you spread the finished compost! The Golden Berry plant (Cape Gooseberry) didn`t do too well this year as it may have got scorched in the July sunshine when we were away, but they are always interesting to grow and the small fruits, which taste rather like pineapple, are a treat in fruit salad or with plain yoghurt.


Cox applesHarvesting and preserving fruit are the main agenda this month. Our first crop of Victoria plums are a triumph, and we are bottling and making jam with all that we cannot eat fresh. Continue to pick late raspberries, blackberries, loganberries etc. which all freeze very easily; spread them out on trays and pop into the freezer for a few hours so that they freeze individually, then put them into bags and refreeze. It is then possible to use as few or as many as you wish over winter without waste .

BlackberriesWhen they have finished fruiting, blackberries and loganberries etc. should have this year`s fruiting canes cut to the ground and the new canes, which will fruit next summer, tied in. We grow the “Oregon Thornless” blackberry, which has lovely sweet fruits which are painless to pick, and the spent canes can be shredded and composted quite safely.
We will be planting new strawberry runners into their final positions before the end of October so that the plants settle in before winter. If you haven`t much space then the plants will thrive in almost any type of container, as long as they are well fed and have adequate drainage. Any plants over three years old should be replaced to maintain vigour and to maximize yield..



Want to comment on this article or ask other laterlife visitors a question?

Then click on the link below to visit the comment section of the Later Lifestyle Network, click on the 'Discussion Tab' (you can't see this until you are logged in) and Create a new topic or add your views to an existing one

Don't forget you need to login before you can make a comment.



Amazon book - Gardens of the National Trust. When the National Trust decided to take on the care of gardens, the aim was that these would be the very best of their kind in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Trust now has the finest collection of gardens ever assembled under one ownership..

Volunteering with the National Trust

Volunteers are active in all parts of the National Trust, from the new central office in Swindon to the summits of Snowdonia and Divis Mountain near Belfast.

View their latest opportunities, or find out more about the kind of roles and different places you can volunteer:

Still with the National Trust, some of the most visited National Trust properties are now holding regular farmers' and food markets.  Click here for details  and dates.



RHS gardens


Their four flagship gardens not only provide year-round interest and offer a wide range of courses, talks and demonstrations, they also demonstrate the best gardening practices, new techniques and exciting new plants to try in your garden.

Or go to their website for a diary of all other events at:-

Do you take advantage of the DEFRA website for information? I find it a valuable source of information, for up to date legislation, countryside matters and useful information such as plant pests and diseases, which saves me ploughing through all my gardening books, with the knowledge that their information is bang up to date...


Thompson & Morgan LogoThompson & Morgan 


Visit where full information is available on their product varieties and orders can be taken on-line.  Have a look to see what is new, and special seasonal offers


Some places to visit... 



The Eden Project


The living theatre of plants and people
The Eden Project is a gateway into the world of plants and people. A meeting place for all to discover how we depend on plants and how we can help to manage and conserve them for our mutual survival.


Kew Gardens two locations:-

Tel: 020 8332 5655 (24 hr)
Fax: 020 8332 5197

Royal Botanic Gardens

Tel: 01444 894066 (24 hr)
Fax: 01444 894069

Royal Botanic Gardens
Wakehurst Place
Nr Haywards Heath
West Sussex
RH17 6TN


The National Botanic Gardens of Scotland comprise:

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Scotland's Premier Garden

Benmore Botanic Garden, Argyll
Argyll's Magnificent Mountainside Garden

Dawyck Botanic Garden, Borders
Wonderful Woodland Garden

Logan Botanic Garden, Galloway
Scotland's Most Exotic Garden

The National Botanic Garden of WalesThe National Botanic Garden of Wales

The star attraction here is the 91 metre long domed glasshouse, that houses landscapes normally found in the Mediterranean. This would be a super place to visit on a chilly day...




Some websites of interest to gardeners:-


Carry on Gardening - The easier gardening web site from ThriveGardening is an important part of many people's lives. You don't have to give up gardening because of accident or illness, the onset of disability or the problems associated with growing older. The information on their website is designed to provide you with the information to Carry on Gardening.

Carry on Gardening was initiated by the horticultural charity Thrive and is funded by the National Lottery Charities Board.  It brings together information on easy ways of gardening gathered over 23 years by Thrive and research carried out since the early 1970s by Mary Marlborough Centre, Oxford, on tools and equipment for disabled and older people. 



Useful reading:-


"The Yellow Book" contains information of all Gardens of England and Wales open for charity, and can be bought priced £5 from National Gardens Scheme

National Trust Gardens Handbook is £6.99 and the new edition is out in May  Telephone 01394 389 950 or see their website

back to laterlife interest

Site map and site search



Advertise on

LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti