Wednesday, November 14

Autumn at YWT Potteric Carr

Monday, November 12

Getting there

For a variety of reasons we only managed one visit to the allotment last week and that was back on Monday.

We did, however manage to dig the remaining two beds that we wanted to prepare. I dug over and recovered the bed that had housed the outdoor tomatoes.
Whilst, Martyn dug over, and recovered the bed where we had grown squash and sweet peas.
To the uninformed eye it maybe doesn't look much different to how it looked a few weeks ago but we know that under the weed control fabric the beds are newly dug and ready for next spring.

This side of the plot now has only one more bed to prepare which at the moment is still home to the last remnants of annual flowers. If the weather holds out this will be sorted shortly. Other than that this side of the plot is now also looking tidy.
Some of the remaining job on our list are less weather dependent and they will give us some outdoor tasks with which to occupy ourselves for the rest of autumn and maybe into winter.

We've also a garden project underway but more of that later.

In anticipation of some weather, when I really don't want to venture far into the garden, especially when I am in the middle of cooking and it is dark outside, we have moved one of our pots of parsley to just outside our back door.
The spinach sown in our raised bed is growing well, although I'm not sure how much more growing it will do until, if it survives, next spring.
The idea was to have some spinach leaves readily available to toss into fried rice or stir fries at times when we are not visiting the allotment as regularly. The 'weeds' in between the spinach are in fact self sown salad leaves from the crop previously planted in the bed.

We use quite a bit of fresh coriander in curries etc and so I have sown some indoors under our grow lights. I am hoping this will provide some fresh leaves over winter as I have used up my stash of frozen leaves. The idea is to sow more once this first lot has grown on a bit.
I'm not sure how successful this will prove to be, however, what's to lose?

Martyn has sown a couple of troughs of salad leaves and these have been set under the grow lights too.
We didn't actually harvest anything new last week and so I can't really join in Harvest Monday over at Dave's Happy Acres Blog but don't let that stop you popping over to see what others have harvested.

Instead I'll leave you with the option of viewing the video we took on our last plot visit on Monday.

Wednesday, November 7

October in pictures

Monday, November 5

A touch of frost

Last week we continued digging over some beds on the plot. We are quite pleased with what we have managed to achieve this autumn and hope that it will mean that come spring we are more ready to make a start on the new growing year than we were last year.
The rougher beds will remain uncovered over winter in the hope that the rain and frosts will break down the lumps of earth.
Other beds have been recovered with weed control fabric and wood chippings. Not only will this help cut down a bit of work come spring but should also help warm the soil.
This week's efforts have concentrated on one side of the plot which, other than one neglected bed is looking quite neat and tidy. The remaining large square bed that is overgrown is earmarked for a makeover. We just need the weather to stay kind enough to allow us to complete this and the beds on the other side of the plot that are still in need of some preparation work.
We managed to get more dry debris burnt.
We had a very early frost last week. Usually we are frost free until about the second week in November. This year Jack Frost decided to pay us an early visit. The kiwi is usually one of the first plants to give away the fact that he had sneaked in during the night.
The dahlias also withered at the touch of his icy fingers and so it was time to lift the tubers to prepare them for winter storage. The soil was still quite dry which made this task easier.
It was time to give our carrot and parsnip bed some protection. These like the leeks are left in the ground overwinter. A straw overcoat means that should the ground freeze we will have a better chance of digging up some roots without needing a crowbar.
We are harvesting according to need at the moment but we couldn't wait any longer to find our whether the parsnips had produced any decent roots or whether all the effort spent watering had been a huge waste of time and effort.
29 October
As you can see from the above photo the first root we lifted had indeed formed a usable root. I suppose technically it was the second root as a small plant right at the end of the row was tiny. We were hoping that this wasn't just a fluke. Fortunately a couple more parsnips were pulled later in the week so it's a case of so far so good.
2 November
 We also dug more carrots and cut one of our Kilaton autumn cabbages. 
The cabbage was the size of a football and solid, so should keep us going for a while

I also cut a few leaves from our Giant spinach to add to a fried rice dish.
4 November.
For the first time in ages I don't have a single flower to cut so thank's a lot Jack Frost. If you break those clumps of soil into a fine tilth, I may just manage to forgive you.

If you are interested we have posted a few videos taken of last week's plot activity on our vlog here.

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

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

Wednesday, October 31

Clumber Park

Monday, October 29

We dug, dug, dug

Last week we spent as much time at the allotment as we could. We wanted to complete as much tidying and digging as possible before the weather turned wet.

One of the priorities was to burn a large pile of dried prunings. If persistent rain came before this was done, burning wet material would take far longer and be far more smoky.

Not only did we manage to quickly burn the huge pile of debris, Martyn also managed to dig over the bed where the prunings had been stacked. It was one of the beds that couldn't be dug over last year due to the ground becoming rock hard before we got around to it.
We dug over quite a few other beds last week.
Martyn, worked on one bed that had been neglected for a few years. The clods of soil wouldn't break down so we hope that the winter weather will help with this. It's likely that we will grow potatoes here next year.

The beds that I dug over were smaller and not as hard going, which is only fair as I am a lot smaller(and weedier) than, Martyn. The bed above housed peas and once dug over was recovered with weed control fabric and wood chippings. I did have to barrow six loads of chippings from our communal pile and so wasn't slacking.

This part of the plot has mainly fruit trees and our 'perennial' flower border. This leaves only the four beds above for cropping. The two beds on the right are sown with green manure and the bed in the background on the left had already been dug which means this area is ready for its winter rest.
I also dug over also this year's broad bean bed shown on the right above. The bed on the left was a joint effort, I got out the weeds and, Martyn dug it over.

Many beds in the area covered by plot 30 were very neglected last year. It was the last part of the plot on the list for digging over and by the time we got round to it the ground was unworkable. At first it was too soggy and wet and then quickly became like concrete. We've managed to get most of the area sorted out this year.
Just out of shot, behind me when I took the above photo is the only part that needs attention.
It's another part of the plot that has been neglected over the years. Hopefully weather permitting, this will be the year that it is rescued.

There are still quite a few beds that need digging over and it will depend on how kind the weather is as to how many we manage to complete. Compared to last year, however, when illness prevented us from getting to the allotment during September and October we are happy with what we have achieved so far.

We didn't really harvest very much last week. This is mainly as we are at the stage where we harvest as we need.
22 October
I dug some leeks on Monday and also, whilst generally tidying the autumn raspberry bed, I noticed a few berries good enough to pick.
26 October
Friday I dug more leeks, this time for my sister, and also picked more autumn raspberries. The statice had produced more flowers so I picked these for drying.

The temperature fell quite a bit at the weekend and there was even snow in some higher parts of Yorkshire so it looks as though it won't be much longer before we can discover whether our parsnips are all top growth or whether they have  rewarded us for all the work watering and produced some good roots - can't wait!

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres