Monday, 9 November 2009

Autumn allotment

Its been a busy week or so and I’ve not had much time to sit with my laptop. My husband had a couple of days holiday at half term and then my parents came to stay for a few days so I seem to have been out of my routine for a while.

Back to normal this week though so chance to catch up both with blogging and housework!

When I have had some spare time during the past week I have spent it at the allotment. The warm weather all through October allowed the weeds to keep growing and I feel the need to give it a bit of a tidy up. I have lots of little grass paths dividing up the plot into smaller beds so that I don’t have to step on the soil and its a good time of the year to trim the edges and pull up any grass that has started invading the borders. Of course it all looks very neat and tidy afterwards which is very satisfying although at the moment only a small proportion of the plot looks tidy, the rest is on the “to do” list!

I have planted my over-wintering broad beans hoping for more success than last year when the barely germinated beans were pulled out of the soil, pheasants were the culprits then I think. According to the seed packet the beans will take 24 weeks from sowing to cropping. Perhaps that is part of the reason that I find gardening so relaxing and calming, it forces me to slow down. No matter what I do, it will still be about six months until I can eat my beans - certainly not fast food.

I do have something to harvest at the moment, leeks, parsnips and for as long as the deer leave it alone, swiss chard.All these I sowed earlier in the year but I also have some freebies, self sown salad plants which are a welcome side effect of not being too tidy earlier in the year. Rocket, lambs lettuce, land cress and even some red oakleaf lettuce all looking very healthy. I sometimes think the self sown plants do better than the ones I carefully sow which is my excuse for leaving the spinach beet to go to seed and grow wherever it likes!


Pomona said...

I agree with you about self-sown plants! We have leeks and celeriac growing still (they went in a bit late), and are harvesting celery, carrots and parsnips. And lots of squash in store, and salad in the polytunnel. I think you appreciate these things even more as winter approaches!

Heather L. said...

your allotment is amazing compared to mine. My fall beets made it up about 1 inch and then died :( I'm sure the bad soil was at fault. The late planted squash got taken by mildew.:( I finally got all the dead plants pulled up on Saturday -- I kept thinking how much my neighbors probably couldn't stand the sight of my dead vegetable garden. Ah well, it's all tucked away for the winter and maybe next year we'll do a little better as hopefully the soil will be just that much more richer.

willow said...

I have poly-tunnel envy, i would love to have a small polytunnel or greenhouse but we really don't have room. I do have some small salads growing in my little plastic patio greenhouse which are looking healthy at the moment.

Hi Heather,
You seemed to get a lot of produce from your plot for a first year.Sometimes its difficult to know why a crop failed, last year my courgettes were hopeless and yet this year I had loads, like you say just the wrong combination of soil and weather at the time. There is always next year.

ginny said...

i have a few leeks in too... but not much else... is there anything that i can plant now?
sorry not got back to you with a date to meet ... things have been a little busy... i will email you for a catch up soon
with love

willow said...

Hi Ginny,
Broad beans are just about the only thing I plant at this time of year, the over wintering ones give a slightly earlier crop and hopefully are early enough to avoid black fly which is a bonus.