Early Autumn on the allotment

Tuesday, October 13, 2020


This year I intended to keep up with regular allotment updates so that I could look back on the progress at the plot. Once again I've let it lapse over summer, with the last round up being late June  which is two and a half months ago (oops). Since then everything has changed and some things have grown and vanished already... Here's a walk round the plot (although these shots are now over a week old and out of date again!!)

C tries to keep things in groups for convenience. The brassicas are ideally divided into summer and winter but contrary to belief, some plants will be ready to harvest far ahead or behind schedule so it's not fool proof. We grow a lot of sprouts. So far the sprouts have tasted milder than expected. 

We've already taken several cabbages. Summer ones for coleslaw and then just as veg with dinner. I hate kale but C has grown it anyway. Good year for cabbages. 

Winter leeks and celeriac. The celeriac has put on a lot of size in the last two months from virtually nothing to a big plump stem. 

Purple sprouting brocoli just seen and now a heap of pig muck rotting away where the cauliflowers grew. We ate them all and they were marvellous. An excellent cauli year. Just at the back of the shot you can see the gherkin plants which have been climbing the fence. There have been so many gherkins we have harvested off here, mostly to pickle. Yum. 
Above, raised bed with parsnips in. They are large and lovely. Excellent parsnip year. Next to them some rather small swede. Bad year for swede. Beetroots have been small but tasty. 
Below, more cabbages. Looking good. C found a spray for brassicas which kept of most of the butterflies and caterpillars which usually wreak havoc on them. You do have to keep brassicas covered until fairly sizeable to avoid butterflies and birds. Birds peck them to oblivion.

Horse poop rotting away where onions once grew. Jerusalem artichoke behind which will probably be ignored for about the fifth year running. 
Below, you can see some of the tomatoes I strapped to the wire fence. They have all been and gone so soon and I am without even any green ones.

I was ripening squash skins in the sun but they've been indoors a couple of weeks after the frost threatened. I still have a few to harvest off the plants.
Below, more lousy swede, tiny carrots and pencil thin summer leekd. 

In the raised beds. All the carrots have been eaten. The spinach is indestructible and we've been eating it for months and months; I'm turning into Popeye. 

Casting your eyes over the fruit plot you can see that nothing much is happening. We have picked the few pears and few apples. 

The new rhubarb looks massive and I'm going to whip a bit before it's finished for the season.
The days are numbered for the courgettes and squashes. Fruit production has slowed almost to standstill and we need the bays back to fill with muck once more. The rotted contents of these will be taken out first.

The potatoes were lifted and stored a few weeks ago. Since then the winter onions, garlic and shallots have been planted and we intend to get raspberry canes for next to the muck bays. The last few years of raspberries have been meagre. So new plants in new location for 2021.
Below, the trellis of squashes, courgette and nasturtiums. 
Sweet dumpling squashes.

Beans! Not a fan of much beanage. The lima beans are nice. I eat green beans but the runner beans can get lost. We've trying to save our own seed as much as we can for next year so are drying out some on the plants.

The second crop of peas never materialised under the net. The sweetcorn has all been harvested. Half eaten, half frozen. Good stuff, best too early than too late. These bits are drying out apparently.
The strawberry plants which failed to fruit again were ripped out in disgust. A late sowing of pumpkin plants went in as C want's to make pie and carve one out. 
Asparagus will be cut back when it yellows. 
That's the lot for the time being. So much has happened over summer at the plot, it's been another great year of growing.

What were your growing highlights?

Take care,

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