Thursday, September 25

Late September on the plot

At this point in the year we seem to spend most of our time clearing spent crops away and preparing beds for a winter rest. The plot looks relatively bare although looking more closely there is still plenty going on.


The carrots are still under the enviromesh and will be harvested throughout winter as we need them as will the parsnip planted at the end of the same bed. To  give them a little more protection these will be given a duvet of straw.

The long bed next door but one to the carrots in the photo below had been made ready for autumn onions and garlic.
Today it was planted up. Martyn mentioned in this post that we had problems sourcing the onion sets and garlic locally. 
The ammi is already flowering and shares a bed with wallflowers and sweet rocket which hopefully will put on a show next spring. More ammi and sweet rocket are planted in another bed but this time they are joined by sweet Williams.
Just in front of the plum trees are the All Gold raspberries which at the moment are cropping well.

In the photo below the clump of what looks like dock is horseradish which we really must pluck up courage to use. 
The bed in the photo below, that is now planted with sweetcorn and beetroot, which we are cropping at the moment, will later become our new strawberry bed. We still have to decide which varieties of strawberries to plant.

The leeks that are planted in the bed in the foreground will, like the carrots and parsnips, remain in the ground over winter to be harvested as required.




We have three brassica beds planted up, one of the brassica beds is home to Brussels sprouts, red and green cabbage. Although we think this bed is free of club root we have planted Crispus - a club root resistant variety of sprout which seems to do well for us. The sprouts are just beginning to form. 

We keep the netting on to protect against the marauding wood pigeons but unfortunately it doesn't help keep the clouds of whitefly away. Don't you just hate whitefly?


Planted in other brassica beds are Savoy cabbage, cauliflower, calabrese and winter cabbage. The problem with keeping them netted is that it is difficult to keep the edges of the bed trimmed. Maybe we can come up with some method to overcome this next year.
To the left, in the photo below, are the summer raspberries. The new canes have been tied to wires. We hope they will crop well next year. The runner bean frames will soon be removed as the beans are just about over. 
Between the beans are the Inca berries which as yet have fairly empty 'lanterns' so I guess we can chalk that up as a failure.
In the photo below, to the left are Joan J - autumn raspberries which are providing us with fresh berries at the moment and to the left are the Crown Prince squash. The squash leaves are dying back and the squash are just about ready to harvest and store.
The apple hedge and young apple trees are also still being harvested. Some of the fruit beds are edged with alpine strawberries. We started picking fruit from these at the beginning of June and they are still providing fruit. Production is slowing down but usually continues until the first frosts which has been as late as the beginning of November.
Trained along the side of the shed is a grapevine which was doing really well until August turned cool. Now the grapes have stopped swelling so I'm not expecting anything edible from them.
It's just the opposite story as far as the quince is concerned. The tree is fairly small. If you click and enlarge the photo two above, the quince is 'sort of' at the end of the shed. A month or so ago, although the tree was loaded, the fruits were quite small and didn't appear to be growing. 
Suddenly things took off and now the fruit are now the size expected. Last year nearly all the fruits developed bitter pit making them unusable; we are hoping this isn't repeated this year as we are looking forward to a good harvest.


24 comments:

  1. Too bad about the grapes. They look so good.

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    1. They do Daphne. I guess you win some and you lose some.

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  2. I always love to see your plot pics, Sue. It's your bed of leeks that I always admire most (thinking of them in soups over winter).

    I can only imagine the work it must be to keep, look as good and be as productive as it does. I guess it helps when you both work there (I'm sole gardener here). Out of interest - how do you spread the work load?

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    1. Martyn and I tried to give an answer to the work load and decided that we couldn't really give a definitive answer. We tend to decide on the hoof what needs doing and who will do what, Generally though Martyn is the machine man although I do mow at times. I tend to prune the fruit but them again ,Martyn does bits of that too. Maybe we need to keep a diary of who does what although maybe that isn't a god idea.

      You are right that it is easier both being involved in one respect it's more motivational as well as sharing the work.

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  3. It's looking marvellous Sue. Whitefly have been a real problem here this year, I've lost over half my brassicas the infestation has been that bad. I grew curly kale for the first time and it was looking great until the whitefly hit and is now virtually inedible. I was thinking next year of covering the cage with insect netting (environmesh?) but maybe that would exclude too much light. What do you think?

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    1. I don;t see why there would be a problem with enviromesh. Jessica. It is designed to let light and water through, When I stick my head under to weed carrots it doesn't seem to cut out light.Our carrots are covered with it from seed sowing to pulling.

      The only problem is that it seems everything would benefit from covering.

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  4. Its all looking so good,you really do have a lot going on still. It must be a full time job now!

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    1. At the moment it's just a clearing, grass cutting and picking job, Jo The weed control has cut down work considerably

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  5. Your post illustrates very well the "Win some: Lose some" aspect of gardening! Have you seen any of the reports on TV about farmers "losing out" because their crops of Oilseed Rape have been decimated by Flea Beetles since they are no longer allowed to spray with the neo-nicotinoids so lethal to bees?

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    1. That's the problem with huge expanses of the same crop. Fields all around us are covered with this stuff and being a brassica we have seem an increase in brassica pests since this was planted. Also it is straying our of the fields and will compete with native wild plants. Passing fields of it takes my breath away, I gate the stuff. I wonder whether the farmers think killing bees is a price worth paying? Maybe they should to back to smaller fields of mixed crops with hedgerows and grassy patches to restore balance and encourage natural predation of bugs.

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  6. You've still got plenty going on down there. I love cavolo nero but I've stopped growing it because I can't do with all the whitefly it attracts, it really puts me off eating it. I'm going to give it another go again next year and see how it does on the new plot.

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    1. Maybe try enviromesh, Jo. It's not just the whitefly but the sooty mould that accompanies it!

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  7. You have many fruit and veggies to pick Sue. I can't stay carrot in soil all winter because of the ground freezes and carrot will inedible. Today I decided to pick all carrots and lay it in sand in wooden box. Do you store carrot in with way?

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    1. Some people store carrots and other roots that way Nadezda but all ours are left in the ground. It works for us.

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  8. It's all looking good still Sue. We have some sort of small caterpillars eating their way through our leeks. I've got Cambridge Favourite and Honeoye strawberries, they always seem to do quite well. That's a serious amount of horseradish! CJ xx

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    1. Is it allium leaf miner ir leek moth, CJ? Both seem to be becoming a problem that are inching their way northwards. Yet another crop that is often grown under mesh now.

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  9. Looks like you've been busy as usual! Have you tried drying your grapes? I wondered if you could then make use of them as sultanas or whatever. I wanted to make a drying rack this summer but didn't get chance.
    Nice quinces too, an allot neighbour has offered me some of his so might make a jelly.

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    1. I haven't tried drying,anything, Lou. It isn't something that we have ever got into. We use our quinces in crumbles and pies,

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  10. Your fruit patches look so great! I love to see your fruit trees with a bountiful fruits are hanging on the branches. You have done great effort for your garden, especially on your brassica patch. Yeah, white flies always make so many troubles on my plants. Right now, they are making a serious problem on my tomato and pepper patches,

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    1. Whitefly seem to llke everything don't they, Endah?

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  11. How ordered everything looks, I'm always amazed at how well you keep it. The grapes look fantastic!
    We have had huge problems with white and blackfly this year, every year is unique isn't it, and each year one pest or other comes to the fore. Something seems to be eating my toms....I suspect mice!xxx

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    1. Every year seems ti be a good year for whitefly these days, Dina

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  12. Exciting to be able to choose new strawberry plants. I'm thinking about trying training 'rambling cascade' up one of my frames. As to brassicas, I am still trying to dream up a way of netting them so that it looks neat, is easy to harvest and weed, and let's me keep the surrounding grass neat. In the mean time, I am foreswearing all except purple sprouting broccoli...

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    1. At least on an allotment the brassica area doesn't need ti be as neat. It is a balancing act between protection and ease of access.

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