Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ten past five and it's dark. The clocks changed last night so winter's really on it's way but this morning our little bunch of allotment gardeners were basking in the warmth of another lovely Sunday. Tee shirt weather.

I collected these squashes last time we were up there. I forgot to take the camera again today so you'll just have to imagine photos of us clearing away the runner bean canes, harvesting the last of the sweetcorn and placing the badger proof cage over some brassicas. I don't think the brassicas are in any danger from badgers, whitefly are more of a problem, but it had to go somewhere, so that's where it went.

That's probably it till next weekend though. The days can be wonderful but oh dear, the nights are so long.
Happy gardening

Monday, October 3, 2011

Successes and also rans

An amazing weekend of record-breaking temperatures and lots and LOTS of clearing up after a very mixed summer.

I've decided I'll just make a list of what went well and what didn't do so well this year and number one on the list has got to be this poor old blog. I don't know what's happened really, inertia maybe. I keep forgetting to take the camera with me and I seem to be spending quality blogging time on facebook these days!

So....a strange growing season weatherwise, but good results from:
climbing french beans - Blue Lake
onions - Red Baron and Stuttgarter
garlic - from previous season
potatoes - Charlottes
broad beans - Meteor and Bunyard's Exhibition
lettuce - Lollo Rosso and Little Gem
runner beans - Scarlet Emporer
apples - the big tree (unknown) and James Grieve
raspberries - Autumn Bliss
strawberries - unknown (I got them all muddled up when I moved them)
spring onions
rocket - self seeded (all over the place)
Squash - Crown Prince and Pattie Pan
spinach beet
oops, forgot the leeks. Bit small but loads of them and they went on for ages.

Also rans:
giant pumpkin (only one)
carrots - they may be ok but they'll be very small
lettuce - Webbs
pak choi
butternut squash
courgettes - really, really rubbish this year
tomatoes - gardener's delight and moneymaker (hit by blight just before they ripened)

The windowsill yield was small but tasty, a few peppers (black and white, weird colours for peppers) three cucumbers from one plant and some very long, thin aubergines. Oh, and a couple more tomato plants, very leggy but not very productive.

Still in the ground at time of going to press:
a selection of brassicas, sprouts, purple broccoli, Greyhound cabbage, Romanescu broccoli
parsnips - Tender and True
this year's leeks (planted out today)

So...overall it looks like the successes won. Sometimes you need to write things down to see the whole picture and it's not as gloomy as I'd thought. I'm glad. The distinct periods of cold and wet and hot and dry certainly took their toll, but not on all of our produce. Some even benefited.

And it's been great being there, up on the hill in all weathers, digging, weeding, chopping the grass and picking the crops. I've enjoyed it. It gives me great contentment

Happy gardening. ( I bet I left something off my list)