14. NOVEMBER

It was back to my usual activity on the allotment. The back garden is all sorted out, I have even found out that my favourite pond refurbishment people stock the spare part for the UV filter – we’ll have a day out on Wednesday and combine getting the new part with a lunch in the garden centre’s restaurant.I prefer to go there and get it from them, they’ll explain it for me. 

The weather is still good, I was able to have a good work-out on the allotment and finished one more piece of land, It was quite overgrown but I’m happy with the result.I have even remembered take the before photo

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The soil was very crumbly after all the rain and it was quite an easy job. Because the weather is so mild everything is still growing and flowering. I had some marigolds around the apple trees and they are in full flower. They are staying.

In another place I have got a clump of red campion – that is in flower too, I didn’t know it can flower so late in the year.

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One way I can tell if we’ve had frost is by my nasturtium flowers – they would wilt even after the slightest frost but there is no damage yet.

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There is a mysterious plant growing in one of the net cages. I have no idea what it might be but the fruit is very similar to that of a tomatillo. The fruit is green and very hard and packed with seeds. I had it a few years ago so I presume the seeds survived in the soil somehow.

Usually tomatillo plants have yellow flowers but mine are blue, lovely large flowers. One day I might find out exactly what they are. Needless to say, I didn’t eat the fruit.

TOMATOES

I have a number of net structures and the latest one, a beautiful, hand made cage was given to me last winter. I put it on my half plot and because there were cabbages in that area last year, I decided to plant my tomatoes there this year. I’m growing only the outdoor kind and the plum type – San Marzano, Roma etc. The plan is to make my own chopped tomatoes or even passata for the winter.

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There are 41 tomato plants in here and three tomatillo plants. All seems well.

Next job for today was planting my climbing beans. I don’t just grow runner beans – only a few of those – but a lot of climbing french beans and Borlotto beans – those I will dry and shell them, they are delicious in soups and stews.

There is one more variety to go out – Spagna Bianco. They are just fantastic, huge white butter beans and they last the whole winter. I still have some in a jar and I used a number of them for this year’s growing.

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And last but not least I have to mention my fruit trees. They’re flowering well, one is a crab apple and the other one an eating apple, we could have a good harvest.

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PIGEONS

For once my strawberry beds were neat and organised, I was able to walk between them. I thought that I would protect my future plentiful crop just by putting up string with some old CDs fluttering in the wind.

It was a good idea but the pigeons didn’t buy it. As I came to the allotment today I saw one fat pigeon fly away from the strawberries.

The straw I bought yesterday was already on the first three beds so I just got all my spare netting and covered the beds.

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The next job was to plant my yacon plants. As I’ve never grown it before I followed the instructions to the letter, waited until the plants were the right size in the pots and then planted them out in the perfect place – inside the net cage with the tomatoes and tomatilloes, just in case the public enemy no.1 aka the pidgeons decide to have a go.