Wednesday, September 23

Here it comes!

Monday, September 21

When twenty really means sixty

As there was an improvement in the weather, we decided to have a couple of days out last week. We are sticking to wide open-air spaces. We are members of the National Trust and so far they seem to have protocols in place to ensure visits are as safe as possible. It does mean that booking an arrival date and time is required but, as members, entry to NT locations is free of charge so if the weather turns out to be poor we can just stay at home.

Fortunately, Ruby loves riding in the car spending most of the time eagerly looking out of the window but she does settle down on longer journeys.
Monday's visit was to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens.
On Tuesday we paid another visit to Clumber Park. This time we explored the far side of the lake. Despite our numerous previous visits, it's a new part of the park for us.

We all had plenty of exercise and some of us were  very tired when we arrived home.
The week before last, we planted some over wintering onion sets and cloves of garlic. I bemoaned the fact that garlic doesn't do well for us but at least it is off to a good start and has already started to shoot.
The question is will decent bulbs form underground? Only time will give us an answer to that question but it seems a good start.

Earlier in the year, Martyn saw an advert for overwintering onion plantlets. We've always grown our onions from sets so we decided to give this way of starting onions a go and compare the results to those grown from sets. The plantlets arrived last week. We ordered twenty onions of a variety called Element.  The onions arrived in a clump. Immediately it was apparent that there were far more than twenty onions.
I carefully teased the plantlets apart counting them as I did so. I counted over sixty so we planted four rows each containing fifteen plants.
In order to give them a good start, the onions were planted on shallow trenches of multipurpose compost.
Having already carried out major harvests of apples, potatoes and sweet corn, all of which are now in storage for use until we have new supplies next year, our latest harvests have been more modest.
17 September - raspberries, tomatoes, cranberries
We planted some San Marzano tomatoes specially to cook with and make tomato sauce but unfortunately many of the plants, along with other varieties succumbed to blight. This year blight even affected tomatoes growing in the garden which is usually a blight free zone.
We have two cranberry plants in tubs outside our plot greenhouse. Strangely, one always seems to fruit better than the other. Berries were starting to fall off so I picked those that seemed ripe enough. It's a bit like picking apples as the berries that are ready want to easily drop into my hand.
With the weather due to change we spent the weekend, weeding and tidying any empty beds that, Martyn then cultivated.
It was very satisfying to get this work done as last year we didn't manage any winter preparations. The weather turned very wet transforming, in a matter of days, what had been soil too dry to dig into too wet to dig. It made for a rather frantic spring.
19 September - blackberries, raspberries, runner beans, flowers, an overlooked onion. some green tomatoes
Of course we made sure that we left some time for a little harvesting.
20 September - carrots, cabbage, courgettes, rhubarb chard, French beans, raspberries, flowers

The rhubarb chard, French beans, some of the courgettes and some carrots were used in a turkey stir fry
Some other dishes the vegetables that we picked last week were used in were:

This dish was based on this recipe

I based this dish on this recipe.

Some of the runner beans were also used in a chicken and green bean curry.

Finally - will this be the last vase of flowers we pick from the allotment this year?


As always stay safe and healthy

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

You don't have to have your own blog in order to join in conversations. It may seem that everyone who comments knows one another but bloggers always welcome new commenters, after all that is how we all started. 


PS: It's not just our gardens that suffer from blight. Martyn and I are currently suffering from an influx of blog blight. It seems that it is the season of the spammer. One in particular is persistently targeting our and what appears to be lots of other people's blogs. Most are sent to the spam or moderation folders as we moderate comments on posts over five days old. These spam comments are deleted and never see the light of day but unfortunately some do sneak through. I apologise for any that sneak through and end up being emailed to those who subscribe to comments, Please do not click on any links in spam comments which gives these nuisances satisfaction and encouragement. They can track where click throughs originate from and will target a blog even more if they think that this is causing more people to visit their site.



Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

Monday, September 14

Who's been nibbling my ears

It was fine most of last week, although we did have one day when we managed to get fairly wet picking raspberries, so we put in quite a few hours at the allotment. Most of the activity involved clearing and tidying which doesn't make for interesting photos.

Our local garden centre had some onion sets for planting in autumn and some garlic so we clicked and collected some. We still haven't steeled ourselves to actually going into a shop, orders are collected from outside. We bought the same varieties of onions as we did last year - Radar and Senshyu. The varieties did well for us last year. 

There was only one type of garlic available which was White Casablanca. We don't seem to have much success at growing garlic and I had decided not to bother growing it again  but you know how it is. We gardeners don't like to admit defeat. We always have the, "We'll just try one more time" mentality.

We decided to plant the sets in one of the beds that had housed potatoes this year. It had already been dig over so we laid some appropriately cut weed control fabric which we decided to hold down using boards. We have used wood chippings in the past but wondered whether they had caused a problem on one of our onion beds last year. The channels were sprinkled with 6X fertiliser and the sets pushed in.

When we transplanted the shooting sets they seems to suffer a setback and took a while to recover. This way they may be slower to get started but they seem to settle into the environment on the plot better.

The garlic was planted in the same bed, although the cloves were set deeper into the soil.
Martyn, potted up some lettuce plants - Winter Density, Brighton, Navara and Valian. These will grow on in the garden greenhouse and hopefully give us some late salad ingredients.
7 September -apples, pears. runner beans, climbing French beans, raspberries, courgettes, blackberries, onions
The onions above had been laid out to dry at the allotment but with the almost constant threat of drizzly rain we decided to bring them home and finish drying them in our now empty cold frames. Once dried off the onions will be stored in the summerhouse during winter along with the apples.
We didn't think that our Invincible pear tree had set much fruit this year and so were pleasantly surprised by the number of pears hiding in the foliage.

Some of the French beans, courgettes and carrots were used in one of last weeks veggie meals - Vegetable Paella. I added a few red kidney beams to the recipe.

Last week we had two major harvests. 
8 September - potatoes, dahlias. courgettes, raspberries, kohlrabi, carrots

The first was to dig the remaining potatoes. The first bed to be cleared housed two of our maincrop varieties, Nadine and Rudolph.
We also had a large bed of mixed varieties which was made up of leftover seed potatoes. Depending on the size of the seeds we usually have a varying number of tubers that we can't fit into the beds of specific varieties and these share a bed. These are usually the last potatoes to be planted and consequently lifted. Unlike last year our potatoes have produced a good harvest this year.
10 September - potatoes, raspberries
The All Gold raspberries just keep on ripening meaning we have fresh raspberries to pick on every plot visit

11 September -sweet corn, tomatoes, carrots, raspberries, coUrgettes, runner beans

Our other main harvest was of our second lot of sweet corn. This time the variety was Swift. We had planted 30 plants from which we harvested 53 cobs. Some of the cobs were very small and some hadn't pollinated well despite the windy conditions. Maybe the wind was too strong and blew the pollen away from the waiting female flowers. The main problem , however was that a large number of cobs had been attacked by some unknown creature. I'm guessing a rat was the culprit. One of our plot neighbours had all of his sweet corn ruined in the same way. The first bed of sweet corn in a completely different part of our plot was untouched. I guess the creature first ate all our neighbours' crop and then moved on to the the next nearest supply. 
Despite all the problems we ended up with the same amount of bagged kernels as the Earlibird variety harvested earlier.

Sunday was a lovely bright and sunny day, we intended to pay just a short visit to the allotment to pick any remaining apples and pears. In the event we stayed for most of the afternoon as there was more to harvest than we had anticipated.
13 September - carrots, runner beans, peas, pears, apples. courgettes, raspberries, tomatoes

We picked two varieties of apples - Egremont Russet and Queen Cox. Our Delsanne pear tree has hardly yielded any fruits since we first planted it, but this year it has managed to produce a few. The shape of the pears mean that they look more like apples and as the skin is just like that of Egremont Russet we will have to be careful not to mix them up.
Ruby loves fruit so we have to keep a close eye on her when fruit is around. She has just discovered that she likes raspberries and tried to help herself as she passed the raspberry bed. We can't blame her for the sweet corn damage though.

So far we seem to be avoiding a courgette glut. We had an initial burst of fruits which we needed to give away but now the plants are producing at a steady manageable rate with courgettes being used in many dishes.
French beans, onions, tomatoes and some courgettes went into a midweek Vegetable Curry. The website that the recipe came from has disappeared so I can't post a link but aubergine and mushrooms were added to our vegetables.

We have several basil plants growing in the garden greenhouse which I trimmed so that I could freeze some leaves for use over winter.
The tomato plants growing in the garden greenhouse were stripped and made into a basic tomato sauce  which will be used later in pastas, curries, casseroles etc.

NB: The links above are to videos that we have posted on our vlog

As always stay safe and healthy

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres


You don't have to have your own blog in order to join in conversations. It may seem that everyone who comments knows one another but bloggers always welcome new commenters, after all that is how we all started. 

PS: It's not just our gardens that suffer from blight. Martyn and I are currently suffering from an influx of blog blight. It seems that it is the season of the spammer. One in particular is persistently targeting our and what appears to be lots of other people's blogs. Most are sent to the spam or moderation folders as we moderate comments on posts over five days old. These spam comments are deleted and never see the light of day but unfortunately some do sneak through. I apologise for any that sneak through and end up being emailed to those who subscribe to comments, Please do not click on any links in spam comments which gives these nuisances satisfaction and encouragement. They can track where click throughs originate from and will target a blog even more if they think that this is causing more people to visit their site.




Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett