CHARTERHOUSE ALLOTMENTS…

…are improving. Amazing what a sunny day and a few willing gardeners can achieve.

Today was that day. Reg, who is not at all well but just keeps going somehow, had a helper – his grandson Carl. Hat off to Carl, he worked really hard and then Simon very kindly rotavated the plot and I can’t believe my eyes.

I was helping Simon with planting his onion sets and he rotavated a part of my plot. It was dug over but became very hard and lumpy. It is not any more!

The atmosphere on our site is very good, people talk, exchange ideas and seeds etc – by the way, thanks Simon for the onion sets, we shall never suffer shortage of onions! Or potatoes. Or anything else.

Happy gardening and may the sun shine on us.

HAPPINESS IS….

…some choice purchases. Who says that voucher giving is not very exciting? I can prove the oposite.

I can start chitting the potatoes and work out how to put the sprayer together and I’m another step closer to the spring activities on the allotment.

 

DIGGING

It is the time of year again – putting the allotment to bed.

It is certainly worth doing the autumn dig slowly, without anything else other than a spade. This plot was unloved and in a terrible state a couple of years ago but as I finished the dig today I’m happy. There is only a small strip of land to dig – after I’ve burned the pile of old raspberry canes etc. I’ll dig the ashes in and the job will be done. Of course I’ve pulled out bindweed roots and some weeds, those will be there for some time yet but the soil is crumbly and full of worms. The potatoes did well so next year it’ll be the turn of pumpkins and courgettes there.

COLOURFUL HARVEST

It is all go on the allotment, just as well the weather is good and I can get the harvest in. It sounds like I’ve got a farm but, in truth, I might just as well have a farm the amount of veg I’m harvesting.So far I’ve got four full sacks of potatoes in the shed – but that’s not the end of potato harvest, there are some rows of Red rooster to get out of the ground.

Today was the turn of squashes…

..and parsnips. I know it is too soon to start pulling them out but as the tops looked huge I wanted to see if the root was anything like the tops. I was rather pleased. I had a slow start with them, they didn’t germinate well so I had to transplant the few that were all bunched together. That worked so well that I think I’ll do just that in the future. 002

Roast parsnip soup anyone?

HARVEST IN FULL SWING

Everything is calm now on the home front so it is back to the farm . I went there today with the plan that I’ll bring home some potatoes as the weather is nice and dry.

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The fuss certainly paid off  when planting them – sharp sand in the bottom of the little trench, some slug pellets and later during the growing season some potato fertiliser.

But not only did I bring home some tasty spuds, I got a box of raspberries, blackberries and tomatoes.

Last but not least – my fig tree in the back garden started giving me fantastic ripe figs. It has been producing loads for quite a number of years but I think this year will be the best.

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POTATOES FOR CHRISTMAS

I have tried this a few years agowhen I started gerdening on my allotment. That time I planted the potatoes in the ground and as the weather got colder I proteced them with straw and in the end put some garden fleece over the rows. It worked but it wasn’t ideal as the straw and also the fleece harboured creatures I didn’t want to have there.

This year I have decided to have another go but this time I planted my 20 tubers of Charlotte potatoes in pots. Same method as I did the very first earlies and I keep all the pots in the back garden – when the weather gets very cold I can move the pots inside my cold greenhouse. The thought of Christmas dinner with nice new potatoes……

HARVESTED IN ONE DAY

I think the important thing is to keep picking a bit each day – just as I did yesterday. There were some more courgettes to pick, then I dicovered my climbing beans started producing and, of course, the pride of it was the humble potatoes!

After that it was the turn of my swiss chard – I pick it as very young and use it instead of spinach.

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Kale is doing well – Cavollo di Toscana, so that was next on the list…

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…and last but not least was my faithful rhubarb. That grows in any weather

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SECOND HALF OF MAY

Well, the weather isn’t too great but everything in the garden – or rather on the plot – is growing fine.

It was rather chaotic in the greenhouse and in the veranda at the back of the house – an organised chaos I must add. The veranda was used for hardening off all the plants before I took them to the farm to plant out and this method worked! Everything on the farm survived the move and is growing well.

Cabbages in the net tunnels, tomatoes, lettuce, Chinese lettuce, climbing beans are all fine. And then there are the hardy types who survived the winter out there – onions, shallots, garlic, strawberries, rhubarb and last but not least the potatoes and raddishes who are trying their best.

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FIRST HARVEST

I planted a few potatoes in the greenhouse in the depths of winter and today

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I harvested the very first new potatoes. They were not in pots, just in the soil under the benches. It is an unheated greenhouse but it doesn’t really get very cold, even on the coldest day in the winter. It is lined with bubble plastic and that seems to work.

AND FINALLY…

…we can’t be without some good red potatoes and these are just about the best: Red Rooster.

As I have got quite a bit of land, I found space for four rows of these beauties. What’s even better, they are mine, from last year’s harvest.

What is there not to like!