Wednesday, November 28

A different perspective

Wednesday, November 21

Ready for spring

Monday, November 19

Digging completed

We managed a couple of visits to the allotment last week and each time manged to clear and dig a bed.

Our first target was the bed which held the remains of the sweet peas and some of our annual flowers. The sweet pea frame was dismantled and the debris cleared. 

The bed was then dug and recovered with weed control fabric and wood chippings.
 This completed the digging on one side of the plot.
The next target was the annual bed on the other side of the plot. With no frame to take apart this bed was cleared quickly but the digging was heavier going and we decided to leave the bed open to the winter.
We are now at the stage where all the beds have been dug over. It's some time since we actually achieved this happy state of affairs.
Even when covered in weed control fabric, some weeds manage to seed into the bits of soil that end up on top of the fabric when planting and so I cleared any that had managed to grow on the strawberry bed. The plants didn't perform well last year and so are probably destined for the chop. We intend to buy new stock but we tend to leave older plants in place - just in case - until new plants are established elsewhere.

At this time of year fungus often appears in various places on the allotment. The wood chip mulch around out autumn sown annuals has an impressive cluster of what I am advised by Mark, the fungi guru from Mark's Veg Plot, could be  Tubaria furfuracea - Scurfy Twiglet. Not a very attractive name is it?  Unfortunately it isn't edible, although to be honest I'd be far too timid to eat any fungi that I food growing in the wild.

Martyn, cleared the old tomato plants from the plot greenhouse and generally tidied up in there. He even managed to harvest a few remaining tomatoes. Freshly picked tomatoes in November is a first for us.
We picked a few vegetables to replenish our cache at home. I've been waiting for parsnip harvesting time as I have a recipe for Cheese Veggie Cornish Pasties that I want to try. I know that officially they shouldn't be called Cornish Pasties but I'm not selling them so should be allowed to get away with calling them that.
The seeds under the grow light are doing well. We have coriander, salad leaves and spring onions. I'm not sure how these will work out but anything they produce will be considered to be a bonus.

With no flowers to gather from the plot, we had to content ourselves with our two orchids to provide us with colour indoors.
That was until we visited a garden centre last week. After pushing our way through all their festive paraphernalia we actually found some plants and came home with these.
Just call me Ebenezer if you will but isn't that better than all that tinsel and glitter?

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

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