Cases of manure contamination are still cropping up
see here so it's still important to take care when acquiring supplies. This is especially important in areas where Forefront weedkiller is available.

Support fellow allotment holders in Edinburgh by signing this petition asking their council to think again about proposals to massively increase allotment rents

Harrod Horticultural are offering 10% off raised beds - quote code RB10 at checkout click here

Thursday, October 30

It's not over 'til the keen frost stings

Winter may be creeping inexorably closer but the plot hasn't been tucked up to sleep just yet.

There is still lots to do - mainly tidying up and getting the beds into a fit state for winter. Happily our use - some may say overuse -of weed control fabric not much weeding is required.

Beds are being cleared of any crop debris, fabric removed and soil dug over. The fabric is then moved to the appropriate bed for next years crops. The fabric is cut to suit particular crops and so rotates as appropriate.
The fabric is covered with a mulch. Hopefully the covered soil will receive some protection from the battering rain and will warm up a little faster in spring. Not all the beds will be covered. Beds with rougher soil will benefit from a bit of weathering and beds destined for first early potatoes will also stay uncovered. As Martyn wrote in his blog post, although planting potatoes through the fabric was a success it did make it difficult to lift individual roots of first earlies so these will be grown conventionally.

Fruit beds have been tidied. Top left is the redcurrants area, as this is covered with weed control fabric only a little weeding was necessary. I also cut out any branches that were broken or trailing on the ground or making it difficult for me to move around the plants. The tops of the bushed were trimmed back so that they didn't push against the netting that covers the top of the 'cage'.

The blueberry bed - top right - just needed a general tidy.

Although we will be planting up a new strawberry bed this year, the old bed will be left this year and so had a general tidy up.

We like to weed selectively. The pear bed below may look as though it needs weeding but the weeds are actually candytuft seedlings which I am leaving to grow and hopefully produce a carpet of colour early nest year. I've been collecting and sprinkling other annual seeds in this bed to try and encourage other annuals to colonise this bed.

Other 'weeds' such as self sown foxgloves have been transplanted into more appropriate locations.

A few flowers are hanging on in the annual flower bed, mainly cosmos. In other beds the biennials - wallflowers, sweet Williams and sweet rocket- are growing well along with ammi that I think I sowed at the wrong time.
A few single dahlias are still flowering but I forgot to take a photo of them.

Crops are still managing to grow. Autumn planted onions and garlic are off to a good start.

Other crops will be ready to harvest shortly or will be stored in the ground until we need them.

Once the keen frosts put in an appearance all this will change. Tender flowers will wither and the alpine strawberries will stop providing fruit. Hardier plants will enter a sleepy period where they will survive - hopefully - but not grow.

The ground will harden and digging will stop and we will hide away in the warmth finding other things to enjoy until milder conditions return.

Wednesday, October 29

Reminds me that I need my hair cutting

Tuesday, October 28

First hellebore

Spotted this week - our first hellebore to flower.

I'd better get cracking trimming off old leaves.

This was the first plant to flower last year too.
16 November 2013

Monday, October 27

We thought it was all over - It is now!

This week has been the end for some crops whilst others just tick over nicely providing us with fresh vegetables rather to eat than large amounts to freeze.
The raspberry canes are just about hanging in there but the fruit is much smaller both in size and quantity. 

The pears are from Invincible which tried to live up to its name by sending out a second late flowering after the first set of immature fruits were aborted. This has resulted in a few mini fruits which may or may not be edible. We have yet to try one.
20 October
The cauliflowers are in full flow and so some has to be frozen. Being under netting means that we don't bother trying to bend over the leaves to protect the curds and as a result some have developed a slight pink tinge but this doesn't affect our enjoyment.
23 October
So it had to happen. Each week we have thought that we had picked the last of the sweet peas. Well now they are over in more ways than one. The support structure blew over in recent strong winds but I did manage a final small posy and I didn't need Martyn to cut the flowers at the top of the plant. Half were left standing but wouldn't you know it? That was the half with hardly any flowers.

Lastly for this week we had a few would be volunteer potatoes. The ones below were unearthed when Martyn dug over the bed where they had been growing. They were from the bed that was most affected by blight but these tubers were still in good condition - except of course for the one that was accidentally chipped in half.
24 October
A complete list of our October harvests here.

Once again I am linking to Harvest Monday over at Daphne's Dandelions.

Friday, October 24

Time Out

If you read Martyn's earlier post you will know that kast week we had time out from gardening to make one of our frequent visits to our local RSPB reserve - Fairburn Ings.

Any thought that autumn was now well and truly upon us could no longer be denied.
Autumn has well and truly taken a grip.

Many of the birds were taking full advantage of the food on offer hopefully building up their reserves to survive whatever winter may have in store.
As we stretched our legs other stretched their wings.

Others preferred to chill out ever hopeful for a ready meal.

As usual we arrived home with a huge number if photos to sort through. If you are interested our best are uploaded into our online portfolio here.

You may also be interested in a photo slideshow that I put together showing a Bewick swan bathing, I had so many photos that I didn't know how to use them so as the weather was awful I had a little play. The slideshow is on YouTube here,

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments author S Garrett

Wednesday, October 22

Not a post for arachnophobes