So, the mornings have that slightly crisp feel and the smell of autumn coming in – not here yet, but soon, which makes it harvest and garden tidy up time. Over the years I have realised these are the jobs that give me the greatest satisfaction, perhaps because the garden spreads into the house and kitchen πŸ˜‰ perhaps because I can see that I do get to be zero waste sometimes πŸ˜‰

Lots of the stonecrop/succulent plants are at their best right now – Autumn Joy, the large bush forming stonecrop is becoming the main food source for Small Tortoiseshell butterflies, so leave those to flourish. But some of the flatter/houseleek style are looking tatty and slightly soggy. The flowers have passed and there are lots of sprawly stems, and if you look closely, lots of bright green new growth coming at the base.

STA45483Β  Snapping off the soft/going over stems for the compost inevitably drags up some roots, but no worries, they are the harvest for today!

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Strong and woody stems with darker green little sprouting florets are what you need to propagate lots more stonecrop. I don’t know the name of this particular kind, I got the maintenance man to give me what he’d cleared out of the gutters at the house in Sneinton :0 about Β£20worth!!!Β  I soak the roots in warm water in a flat tray for a day and then plant in old compost (ie not too nutritious, or the shoots will outgrow their strength and not last the winter)

When it’s clear which shoots will survive, I share with friends and look for gaps in the garden to fill. I really like stonecrop for its different texture, and for covering bare soil with green rosettes in February/March when we all need a lift πŸ˜‰ That’s the point at which to lift and split Autumn Joy if you have it, each plant can become 4, and you can trim off the dried stems and stack them near the compost – they are ladybird and beetle hotels at that point so don’t put them IN the compost till April/May. They are a great companion plant for late beans as the bees will flock to them and of course, pollinate the beans πŸ™‚

updates: I lifted my compost potatoes cos the guys in the other flats promised to come help plant leeks so I needed the 2 buckets of top compost, which means the potatoes are tiny new ones

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– ordinarily I wait till the foliage has died down at the end of September. Insult to injury, some sporting event waylaid them, so my leeks are languishing, grrr, but there is enough for potatoes and peas with cheesy scrambled egg for today’s lunch πŸ˜‰ (sorry vegans, I’m getting my lysine count up!)

STA45466STA45488Blackberries from the brambles in the garden with soyesse yoghurt for pudding though πŸ™‚

My ginger rhizome has the tiniest shoot, and the compost is lovely and crumbly, the peas are cropping and with more things to plant, life feels abundant πŸ™‚

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