The little white chicken is dead but Tango the blind Labrador is keeping morale up

It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that the little white chicken, or as I called it “the spy”, is dead. Cruella (my wife) was at our English house with the idiot son, so all the blame has fallen on me. Despite my assuring her it was not my fault, she has lapsed into only speaking chickenese and muttering darkly with her remaining “girls”. I sleep with the wardrobe pushed up against my bedroom door.

In mitigation, this is how it happened. The little white chicken began to look ill, wouldn’t eat, and barely came out of the coop. With the help of YouTube, chicken websites and other reliable sources I diagnosed that she was egg-bound. One of the remedies offered was to bath her in Epsom Salts. At great expense I ordered Epsom Salts and duly bathed her, towel dried her and then blow dried her. By the time I finished she looked like a fluffy cotton bud had exploded. But it was to no avail, as she died anyway. But as the photos below show at least she died clean. She lies at rest in the Wild Wood. Cruella goes to her grave every night and howls in chickenese whilst I cower down by the compost bins. Click on each photo for a larger view.

However, there is some good news before we get on with the gardening. I have taught Tango the blind Labrador to do “rollovers” to cheer up the other chickens. The photos below show Tango performing to a rapt audience of bemused Click on each photo for a larger view.

11th October 2022. Things I have been doing lately:

Potting up seedlings. If you have osteospermums in your garden or any Margarita type Daisy, then they are magnificent self seeders and now is the time to dig up the seedlings and pot them on. I also cut back some mature osteospermum and leave them in the beds to over winter, but mostly I rely on fresh seedlings each year.

The process is simple. Look under and around any Osteospermums and you will see a profuse amount of little seedlings. Gently ease these out in clumps using your trowel to lever them out of the soil. Then holding them by the leaf, never the stem, pot them up into pre prepared seed trays in a free draining compost with added Perlite for drainage. The first photo below shows the little seedlings waiting to be plucked to new life. The second shows the pre-prepared seed trays, the third shows my trowel action. The next shows a seedling with healthy roots being transplanted. The final photo shows the trays of happy seedlings. It just shows how simple it is to get new free plants from your garden. Click on each photo for a larger view.

Clearing and mulching beds. By now you should have cleared all of your summer plants out of your beds and borders and it is now time to give them a good mulch before putting in your winter bulbs and plants. After clearing the beds of plants, give them a thorough hoeing to clear out any residual weeds. Following this thoroughly water before adding your mulch as this will ensure that the mulch will lock in moisture. Do not plant anything in the beds for at least two weeks to allow any remaining weeds to show themselves before a final hoe and planting.

The first two photos show the final clear up. The third shows the necessary watering before the mulch. The next shows the finished bed waiting for its new plants. The final photo shows a bed that I mulched a couple of weeks ago, and you can see the weeds making a re-appearance. Click on each photo for a larger view.

Time to take your last cuttings of the year. October is the last month you can take cuttings in Spain. Any later cuttings will not have time to make some root before the cold weather. Prepare everything before taking any cuttings, as it is important you get your new cuttings into the soil as soon as possible to stop any drying out. The first photo below shows everything you need before starting. This includes:

  • Pre-prepared pots
  • A sharp knife to take cuttings (never use secateurs as these can crush stems)
  • Rooting hormone liquid or powder (not absolutely necessary, but can help)
  • A dibber to make holes for your cuttings

The final photo shows my tray of winter cuttings that I am preparing for a friend who has a particularly dry garden. Click on each photo for a larger view.

Some last jobs. There are always last jobs to be done in a garden at this time of year. I would recommend trimming Jasmine back to the wall or supporting trellis. Left to it’s own devices Jasmine will flop forward and inhibit the growth underneath making it go brown. By trimming it back you will encourage good healthy new growth all over the plant. Another final job is to give your lawn its final feed of the year. This needs to be done when your grass still has some growth or you are wasting your time and money. The first photo below shows my trimmed back Jasmine. The second shows the grass food I use (others are available). Click on each photo for a larger view.

Author: spanishgarden

I live in both Spain and the UK and am a very keen gardener. I garden every day and enjoy sharing all the secrets that God allows us to discover in our gardens.

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