Wednesday, September 26

An afternoon out - Pride of Yorkshire - Lions rescued by Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Monday, September 24

Our latest haul

There's no denying it now, autumn has arrived. The blueberries can testify to that as their leaves change to flame colours.

The berries are all picked and the nets are off and stored away.

As I mentioned in my last post we have also had some long awaited rainfall which arrived in abundance, accompanied by strong winds. Thankfully, our visit to the allotment on Sunday, revealed that no real damage had been done. The wind had blown lots of apples and one or two quinces off the trees along with a few twigs but we seemed to have got off lightly.
I was also concerned that the heavy rain may have battered the tiny annual flower seedlings, but they appear to have relished the rain, although I fear the slugs have had a nibble - just hope that they don't do their usual trick of mowing down the lot.
The brassicas, have, as would be expected, enjoyed the rain and put on quite a lot of new growth. 

What wasn't expected was to find that the garlic, planted less than a week earlier, had sprouted.
Nor were we expecting this ...
The vine growing on the side of the shed has produced edible fruit for the first time since it was planted. It's one plant that has thrived in the summer's heat. It's been loaded with fruit but will we get round to picking and eating all those bunches before they are spoiled. As far as I am aware you can't freeze grapes and we are not wine makers. The grapes taste lovely but have one disadvantage in that they are not seedless. We did, however pick a small bunch to take home.
For me, one major task last week was to harvest all the squash. As it turned out this was a fortunate move as the squash were safely tucked away in the summerhouse before the torrential downpours hit us.
Last Monday we brought home quite a haul from the allotment with squash dominating the collection. 
17 September
The main challenge was to get everything into the car for transporting.
With a bit of careful packing we managed to get everything safely back home. The squash have joined the onions and shallots in the summerhouse where they will live until needed.
We picked the first of our Egremont Russet apples and also decided to bring home the Invincible pears just in case they didn't prove to live up to their name when the forecast gales hit us. As it happened another wise move. The pears aren't fully ripe yet but will continue to ripen off the tree so we will just have to keep checking on them.

Martyn, dug another row of potatoes, this time the variety was Cara. Unlike their predecessors the tops were still green as they had nudged their way into our watering regime before the tops died down. The harvest was greater in weight, but watering seems to have a disadvantage in that the tubers had attracted the attention of what were no doubt hungry slugs. The damper soil would have proved to be a more hospitable environment.
So far we have been pleased with the carrots, There are some slightly green shoulders where the roots have pushed up into the light but that is not of major concern.
The mesh has now been removed from the carrot bed as it should now be safe from attack by carrot fly. We leave the roots in the ground over winter and dig them up as needed
23 September
There are still flowers to be picked for vases.
We are just managing to pick a few sweet peas from the quickly fading plants. The stems are now very short and I expect each picking to be the last. The dahlias on the other hand have longer stems than those of the earlier flowers.
I had intended to grow enough dried flowers to replenish a large bowl of pot pourri. Unfortunately, with so much time being spent watering the plot, this project has been neglected.  I did however, manage to gather some material from a patch of flowers and grasses grown for drying.
 Not as much as I need but there's always next year.

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

Friday, September 21

We have rain and a whole lot of it!

It seems that for months we have been bemoaning the fact that we have had very little rain. Well, I think the weather gods have become irritated with us and decided to teach us a lesson.

Yesterday the heavens opened and tipped out a month's worth of rain down on us. As was inevitable, after such a long dry period this created flooding. Thankfully we do not live in an area that is likely to flood, however at least one road that we used yesterday seemed more like a stream than a road.

Not content with treating us to torrential downpours, the weather gods decided to send gales with which to blow off the dust and cobwebs that had accumulated over the summer months.

We don't know yet what effect this change in weather will have had on the allotment but in the garden it was to rob the crab apple tree of most of it's fruit.

On the twelfth of the month the tree looked like this ...
Today this is the scene under the tree ...

At least some flowers have weathered the storm and are doing their best to keep the idea of late summer going.
The spinach that I sowed recently, in the raised bed at the top of the garden, has also germinated so I'm sure that appreciated a good soaking.

On an unrelated note:
Periodically I consider tweaking the name of my blog. I'm conscious of the fact that not all my posts reflect the title. Often I stray from the allotment and the garden as I did in my last post. At times I feel that to post on a particular subject would be to stray too far and so feel limited by the title. I'm not JUST a gardener. For instance would showing photos of the brown bears recently rescued from Japan by Yorkshire Wildlife Park be a step too far? I tend to post stuff like that on Facebook to avoid a conflict of interest.

So do I restrict the themes of my posts to reflect the title of my blog or do I tweak the name of my blog to encompass a wider range of subjects. A wider range of subject may not appeal to those who visit expecting gardening related posts. Will regular visitors drop off or will they be content to pick and choose those posts of interest? Let me know even if you don't usually comment.

So far ideas for a new title are uninspiring. Things like," On & Off Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments" or "Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments & Other Places" 

No doubt in the end, like last year, I'll just stick with what I have which incidentally is also uninspiring!

Wednesday, September 19

The Mere near Scarborough

Monday, September 17

I'm hanging on to summer

September seems to have fallen into a pattern with much of the things that I wrote on last week's Monday blog post still being true for this week.

Again the number of plot visits have lessened for more or less the same reasons. Until we have some decent rain, rather that the drizzly stuff that actually amounts to nothing more than a temporary dampening the ground, there is a limit to what we can do on the allotment without resorting to a pickaxe.

Again we have had a couple of days out and the photos that I took reinforce the feeling that autumn is but a whisper away. I know it is meteorological autumn but I am holding on to the idea that it is still summer for a few more days.
I mentioned last week that I sowed some annual flower seeds in an attempt to have some early allotment flowers. These have all germinated so it is a case of hoping they don't become slug fodder and go on to survive whatever winter throws at them. It may be difficult to make out the tiny seedlings in the photo below but, believe me, they are there. Maybe if you click on the photo to view a bigger image they will appear.
Also on the subject of flowers, a tray of small lavender plants have been hanging on for months in our garden greenhouse waiting for the conditions to improve, so they could be planted out. They just couldn't wait any longer, so I planted a few on the plot to fill gaps in the lavender bed.
The rest were used to create a lavender border in the front garden bed. Again I am hoping winter will be kind to them.
Also in the garden, in the raised bed in the coldframe area, I have sowed two lots of spinach. The varieties are Giant Winter and Amazon which is a smaller leaved variety. I was going to sow on the plot but thought that it would be more useful to have some plants at home where leaves could be freshly plucked to use in the kitchen.

We have, however, planted some winter onion sets, Senshyu and Radar and some Casablanca garlic in a bed on the plot. This had previously been home to some of our potatoes and so was workable enough to dig over and plant up.
We usually plant red onions too, but these rarely do well for us, so we have given them up as a lost cause.

So turning my attention to last week's harvest. Again, with freezers bursting, we are now picking as we need; that is other than for apples some of which are still being stewed and frozen. Hopefully we will also need to find room for some quince in a couple of week's time.

I picked our first aubergine from the plants living in the garden greenhouse. I'd like to say it was the first of many but it isn't!
We are still picking tomatoes but this is unlikely to continue for much longer. Although for a while now most fruits are free from blossom end rot we still have one or two affected by this disease. Various theories are offered up as to the cause of this affliction but all these suggest that how the plant is cultivated is to blame. If that is so, I don't understand why, on the same plant, only some fruits are affected and others are perfect. Sometimes perfect tomatoes even share a truss with a tomato that is affected. Can anyone explain it to me?
I thought that I had picked all the blueberries but I managed to gather a few more last week. We've been picking blueberries on just about every plot visit since 28 June.

The cranberries are now taking over the berry harvesting slot. Picking is a bit tricky as you can't always rely on the colour to confirm ripeness. I've found that it's a bit like harvesting mini apples in that ripe berries leave the plant without much resistance. It makes picking rather time consuming. On the plus side, birds don't seem to like them.
Another lot of potatoes have been lifted. This time they are Rooster. Unfortunately in spite of the dry soil, slugs seem to have found their way to many of the tubers.
There are still a few blackberries to add to our stewed apples but soon I'll have to prune out the old canes and tie in the new canes. Fortunately the canes are thornless and so the task will be painless
You may be wondering why the apple above has been treated to its own portrait. This is a special apple from our small Tickled Pink tree. You may remember that this variety has red flesh as well as red skin. It's very tasty too. Unfortunately the lack of rain has meant that our small apple trees have struggled to produce decent sized fruit. The one above is, (I should say was), a prize specimen, hence the portrait.

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

Unrelated musing: Just a little question. Have you noticed that fairly recently Blogger has started to indent the first word of a new paragraph? This seems to be a fallback to handwritten times when this was the correct format for the written word.  It was my understanding that this type of indentation along with 'sloping addresses' on envelopes was no longer used. This was to adapt to word processing using a computer. My question is, then has Blogger resurrected this convention. If I wanted to use an indent I could do this myself but it is annoying having to backspace at the start of every paragraph.

Wednesday, September 12

Flamborough - a day away from gardening