Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Allotment update (it's autumn...ish)

A so it's September and the bulk of allotment based work is over for another year,yes there is still plenty to do over winter,but it's generally not as hectic as spring and summer.

It's been another good year for growing things,the weather has been better than last year,at least in this neck of the woods,we got started early,and it looks like we'll still be getting veg of some kind or other for a while yet if the weather holds.

We've done well in runner beans,so far we've harvested and frozen around 11kg and there's probably a few more to come.

In total we had 38.5kg of spuds,about twice what we had last year so that was good,fingers crossed for a good spud crop next year.

We've had other things,beetroot’s,kale,chard,corn and carrots and onions,although the onions didn't do too well and we still have some leeks and other stuff,like pak choi to come,but it's squashes that have done the best this year.

Lots of squashes as it happens -

This is what our kitchen currently looks like.

Yes we now have loads of squash type things lying about the kitchen waiting to be eaten,we have already eaten quite a few,and some (like the courgettes) have been turned into relish,which is good because there are still more growing.

We've got all sorts,patty pans,courgettes,pumpkins,winter squash,spaghetti squash,and it'll all get eaten eventually,we'll most likely make more relish,and the pumpkins will do for Halloween carving (not all of them mind) and then they'll be puréed and frozen,this will be the first year we've had to use the small chest freezer to store stuff as the one in the kitchen is now full (mostly with beans it has to be said) once we've finished we should have over 20kg (nearer 30kg) of pumpkin purée,good job we like soups and pumpkin pie.

I was sure I was going to get the last haul home in one go,my wheel barrow was a little full by the time I'd finished.

We're going to need a bigger barrow - 

Luckily we don't live too far away from the plot,it was a bit heavy.

Unpacked and ready for washing - 

Some good Halloween pumpkins in this lot.

Some of the pumpkins were still a bit green in this picture,I picked them mainly because the plants had started to die off,but since they've been on the kitchen window sill the skins have hardened up and they are more or less a nice orange colour,squashes will keep for some time once picked,just keep them in a cool dry place,we kept ours on the kitchen window sill last year as well,they were still good well into February,four or five months after being picked,pumpkins tend to go orange in the sun we've found,which is why we put the greener ones on the window sill.

Pak choi seem to be doing okay - 

Slugs don't seem that keen on them for some reason.

Corn should be ready to pick when we next visit - 

Coming along nicely.

I'm pleased with the corn,this year we've used only saved seeds and to be honest it seems to have done better than the shop bought seeds we've used in the past,I don't know if this is down to the weather or what,but we've got a much better yield,at least 40 cobs.

Stuff that needs doing before spring,well there's a few things we need to do,firstly moving the strawberry bed to the top of the plot,it's become a bit overgrown and needs dealing with.

Yes that really is a strawberry bed - 

There's some in there somewhere.

I've already started on raising the boundary between the two plot halves,but I have also got to sort out some wood for an asparagus bed which will then have the asparagus plants I've been growing at home put into it,although it won't be until the year after next before they can be harvested,the down side of growing asparagus from seed I guess.

I've also got to sort out some kind of edging for the path,then I can mulch it with the shredded garden waste I've got in bags at home,it's from our privet hedges and wood shavings from my wood working,it works well on the path,I just need to contain it a bit better,hence the edging.

Apart from harvesting the last few squashes and the other things,leeks,corn etc and keeping the weeds under control that's about it from the plot this year,I'm already starting to think about next year,luckily I've got plenty of wood related projects to keep me busy over winter.

Here's the plot last time we saw it -

Runner bean,the plant that keeps on giving...and giving.

Onwards to next year! and may all your growing exploits be fruitful.

Thanks for reading.