However, once I had cursed myself, I set about planting the 5 Durham Early spring cabbage plants that I found flourishing in my growhouse at home. They were in individual 3" pots so had grown on well. It is very late for planting them out but it remains very warm for this time of year and I will probably protect them under a polythene tunnel when the weather gets colder. They were a bit leggy so I still followed my usual practice of digging a square hole 4" deep and a spade width across, then using a bulb planter to cut a round hole in the bottom of the bigger hole before scattering a teasing in a good spoonful of lime. The plants with their 3" rootball fitted very nicely into the bulb planter hole and soon they were set in with a layer of soil dragged into the larger hole to support the long stems so the holes were already partially filled in. A thin scattering of slug pellets and the job was complete.
Next I turned my attention to the raspberries. I had remembered to bring my secateurs so cutting down the autumn fruiting raspberries was easy. The summer fruiting ones were a different matter. I had great difficulty deciding which were the old stems and which were the new. One or two were obviously old stems and usually snapped off easily as they were already dead. I decided the ones that had side branches may well be older so removed them as I did the thin weak ones. Any shoots that came up away from the line of plants was unceremoniously pulled up, though the odd one needed digging out as it had such strong roots. It still remains to tie in the stems to the wire and then dig the pathway each side of the row after cutting down either side of the row with my spade. I already have a few bags of pine needles that I will use to mulch the pathway. The needles are too acid to use anywhere else on the plot.
Before finishing I had to deal with the mice! A third of my Broad Bean plants have been dug up and the bean seed eaten and I disturbed a couple in my (very untidy) shed. I also see them disappear rapidly whenever I uncover my compost bins. It must be the warm weather! I therefore put some poison bait in a plastic bottle and place it strategically on its side. Those in the open need fixing so they don't blow away. I use milk bottles with a handle so a cane stuck through the handle into the ground stops it going walk-about.
Finally I dismantled the framework for the climbing French Beans and sorted the canes out into 3 categories; one of new canes, a second of old canes and a third of canes that have broken so are too short to use next time.
The only produce I took home was a couple of the celery plants as the frost has not yet destroyed them. I think they will be too woody but it is worth checking as they have grown quite big this year.