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Of squashes and swede


…Or the end of Summer and looking forward to the Winter.

This week I have finally noticed the nights are really drawing in now! I’m lucky enough to work flexible hours, so I start early and finish by 4pm. It takes me about an hour to get home and then I usually go to the gym and then have the rest of the time to myself. Earlier this week I went to the gym for an hour and after showering I finally got to the plot at about 6:30pm, and it was getting dark (probably the rain clouds didn’t help). I could see well enough to do the things I wanted to do but I now realise that I won’t for much longer. And because it’s dark it does mean that I won’t be able to take much in the way of pictures. At least not till the weekend.

I went to pull up some carrots and a few leeks for dinner but when I got there I found I had additional jobs to do as well. The sweetcorn that had blown down in the wind still had ears of corn of it, and field mice had merrilly started o chomp on the ones I had opened to see if they were ready or not. So I decided to pull up the remaining sweetcorn and take the ears of corn home.

While doing that I discovered that one of the pumpkin plants was suffering slightly so I decided to salvage a pumpkin. One of the two pumpkins rescued and stored in the garage.

I also decided to pick the last remaining apples from the tree and juice them. I’m already storing a box full, but mrs MK had mentioned a friend that has juiced her apples and has frozen it. So I’ll give that a go.

I did notice that there are quite a few weeds starting to appear on the plot. I’m in two minds as to whether I have them up or to leave them and let them die over Winter.

So now it’s getting dark I’ll have to start using the wind up torch I have in the boot, it was bought just to use getting to and from the allotment, and works a treat.

The winter veg (the swedes, leeks, turnips, cabbages, kale, parsnips) are all doing well, they are looking happy and will be providing us with lots of lovely fresh veg over the winter. The only drawback to me is the amount of time that they are in the ground for. Mind you, they are really low maintenance and provide us with lots of fresh food over the Winter months.

The carrots are being used up fairly quickly but there are still a lot of them (but none of them seem to have gone past the small stage – that’s either me not thinning them out or the cooler Summer restricting growth or maybe a lack of water). Also I have discovered that the carrot fly resistant variety isn’t that resistant. So next year I’ll try fleece covering them.

I did pull up some spring and summer cabbages that were going over, and dig up some beetroot that were seeding. The rest of the beetroot has been pulled up and made into chutney or is going to go to a friend. So that’s the end of the beetroot.

The second pumpkin is now up and in the garage. That’s the one I have promised to a friend for Hallowe’en. I did pick the six butternut squash as the plants seem to be dying back.

I have left the broad beans to their own devices to see if they do produce anything.

The marigolds and tagetes have been dug up and put on the compost, so the plot looks especially bare now. I have done a lot of digging and weeding and taken a lot of the weeds up, so now at least the plot looks a lot better and the only things in are edible (by and large). Well I felt like I needed the exercise.

Whilst harvesting I have noticed that one of my leeks looks like it’s been attacked by a hair crimper. Very odd.

Happily for me, the raspberries are still cropping nicely, with me getting about a punnet of raspberries every 3 days or so. It is always a good lift to the spirit to be picking fruit in the middle of October.

The greenhouse has been swept and is now nicely empty. Ready for next year. I am tempted to take up the black plastic on the floor and remove the shelves and lay a solid floor, all to be done in the spring. Next year I want to grow some plants (flowers) around the greenhouse. Flowers aren’t my forte, and if it were up to me I would just have lupins everywhere! They probably aren’t the best plant to have in an allotment though, as they are poisonous. I think I’ll probably go for more marigolds and nasturtiums though.

The terracotta pots that I am growing things in have all been lifted up and put in the shed.

The harvest is a good thing but if my tree grew these apples then I would be a lot happier! …

And following on from the last blog, we did go to the start of the conker championships, which was quite good. The winner was a local lad as well.

This will be my last post for a few weeks as we’re off to the Caribbean for a well warranted break.

Lastly I have some sad news for all of us on the site. My neighbour, Jack, passed away earlier in the week. I know I will miss him and his dry wit. My thoughts are with his family.

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You've been very busy Mk...clearing up & sorting out.Sorry to hear about Jack...that's sad.

Hope you can enjoy your lovely to fly off to warmer climes just as it's getting chilly here.

18 Oct, 2009


Wow, muddy knees, you are a busy person. Your plot looks great and the veggies are impressive. Just one question, why the gym? With all the gardening energy you are expending you surely don't need it for fitness!

18 Oct, 2009


You have been busy enjoy your holiday,

18 Oct, 2009


You have got a nice allotment there a big one too, like I use to have hope your broad beans come though. I found them one of the easiest veg to grow along side peas.

I think my daughters must have been at your leeks as they are alway useing the crimpers or straighteners lol

18 Oct, 2009


Nice butternuts! I'm with Bulbaholic: you seem to work enough in the garden, unless you need to lift weights to get your swedes harvested! Have a great trip to the islands, mon! Maybe you'll get bitten by the flower bug there.

20 Oct, 2009

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