Chilli ‘Chenzo’ proved good enough to win a prize at the Great Dorset Chilli Festival plant competition last week, but sadly I didn’t walk away with a rosette. With no formal rules of entry I thought I could get away with entering a trio of plants growing in one pot. All other entries were single plants and judges said my trio couldn’t be judged against them. They were impressed with the fruiting power of my plants however, and said I would have won if they had been potted singly. As a consolation I did win two bottles of hot chilli sauce. This kept me happy enough – you can’t eat a rosette!
With my competitive edge sated for the season, it’s time to get back into the garden and focus on prepping for an autumn display.
This week I’m tidying existing planting areas – cutting back spent stems, pulling weeds and filling gaps with late season bloomers including dahlias, rudbeckia, helenium and asters.
This weekend I’ll be prepping empty border soil ready for planting out autumn bedding in a few weeks time.
Doing this now allows weeds to be sprayed or pulled, and for dormant weed seeds to germinate and be hoed off ahead of planting out. Soil conditioners, composts and fertilisers applied this weekend will also have time to settle down, and in the case of fertilisers, start to break down for uptake by the bedding plants a few weeks after they have gone in the ground.
If I get the time I’ll also be planting out leafy crops like red cabbage and curly kale to fill the veg patch over winter. But seeing as we finally have a spell of good weather, I might just try and catch a few hours in the garden hammock instead, laptop to hand, scanning the likes of the Unwins website, to select my autumn bedding varieties www.unwins.co.uk