THERE’S MORE

During my daily visit I managed to pick some more tomatoes, some cucumbers and put more lids and suchlike under the growing pumpkins and squashes. Needless to say I had to keep up with the weeds – if everything grew as well as the weeds….

I’m delighted with the cucumbers, they are very tasty and it looks the plant will keep on producing. The long shiny peppers will turn red eventually, they are the long sweet variety. Another first for me in the greenhouse. I must be doing something right….

PAMPERING…

..and talking to my plants certainly works. If a certain member of the royal family can do it, so can I.

There are two schools of thought as far as looking after tomatoes is concerned – take the leaves off or don’t. I go with the first one and it seems to work.

To be honest, I was feeding them with a mix of seaweed extract, comfrey tea and the liquid from my wormery. On top of than I topped the soil in the grow pots with Farmyard manure and soil improver from B&Q. Something must have worked!

The squashes are climbing well up and along the structures I’ve constructed for them, they have also been fed with the seaweed extract and some Fish, blood and bone.

And of course, all of them get encouragement from me!!

ONE RAINY DAY…..

…and everything looks much greener. I didn’t mind the rain today at all, the ground was so dry and hard it will take e few rainy days to penetrate a bit further down.

These courgette plants are doing very well, they’re just a small sample of the different varieties I have got there. The round one can grow to alarming sizes – last year one of them managed to get to 7 kg! It climbs so I’ll be able to see them well as they get bigger. I saved some seeds from my last year’s giant so these could do just as well.

There are not only courgettes climbing up the structures but also some climbing beans, alas, the blue ones lose their colour after cooking .

IT WILL BE A GREAT HARVEST….

…if these few courgettes, french beans and peas are anything to go by.

I’ve got a number of courgette plants and after last night’s rain they suddenly sprung to life and here we are!

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I grew some garden peas last year and made one big mistake – I didn’t protect them. Of course I didn’t have any as the pigeons were enjoying them too much. This year I sowed all my peas in one of my net cages and the result is here for all to see. They were just too nice to cook them so we just ate them straight out of the pod. I’ve got an idea for next year – I shall grow them again in a cage but this time I shall sow them close to sweetcorn plants and these can be their support. There’s an old method of growing things – ‘three sisters – usually runner beans planted close to sweetcorn and all that underplanted with squashes. Well, the way my squashes grow I wouldn’t be able to walk there so It’ll be just ‘two sisters’.

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And finally, I also harvested my first french beans. I like the climbing ones – much easier to pick!

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AN UNLOVED PLOT

It was a neglected plot, right next to mine. I hated the idea of all that lovely soil not producing anything so a decision was made. I took on a half – there is a greenhouse on the first half and somebody else has got that. I didn’t want a greenhouse on the allotment – too much hassle with watering, ventilation etc.

First I moved a mountain of piled up wood and don’t know what  else, sorted out good pieces that could be used again and then started digging.

Cold or no cold – digging is a perfect remedy. It only took a few days and the job is done. I even managed to construct a little enclosure for a compost heap (for weeds and such like), moved the water-butt and a composter bin and now all is just lovely and ready to be planted.

Because I know the previous occupant grew potatoes I shall put some pumpkins, squashes and bush courgettes there this year.

You can’t have enough ground, there are always plants to grow…..

END OF NOVEMBER

The digging was finished yesterday afternoon. It was only the last strip of land where the bonfire was and I was able to dig the ashes in.

As I had some of Paul’s sticks left it would have been a shame not to use them. So I did.

As some of my squashes climbed quite well I’ve got a plan for my new variety to grow here. This will be a squash called Pennsylvania dutch crookneck. I found the seeds in a new (for me) seed company, Plant world seeds.

It was a beautiful frosty afternoon and I was quite glad that I didn’t have to do anything there today, it was just a short visit to take photos.

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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?

SOMETHING UNUSUAL

I always try to grow something new and unusual every year. If it doesn’t work or we don’t like the taste – that one will bite the dust and I’ll try something else next year. This year was the turn of a new pumpkin – zucca da marmellata. I was amazed how well the plant grew and I also made it climb, it managed very well. This one will come back next year; I’d like to save my own seeds too.

Another ‘first’ is the sweetcorn. I had a go in the past but it either didn’t grow well at all or the squirrels ate it. This time I put a net all around it, also over it so nothing could get there. And it was worth it!

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So altogether ‘ a good day in the office’.

ENGLISH WEATHER

I’m rather pleased with myself that I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to start my courgettes, squashes and beans in the greenhouse. Hailstones a few days ago, arctic wind now, the gardens and allotments don’t know what hit them!

Another good idea was to keep my kaffir lime in the greenhouse after the winter, it has got flowers and I live in hope that we might have some fruit. Even if I don’t get any fruit the leaves are very useful.