Last week saw the first frost of the autumn and with it the last crop of runner beans.
Today I planted some garlic. The first time that I have managed to plant garlic in the autumn. facing the veg patch and going from left to right, I have planted Illico, Jolimont , Purple Wight and Solent White. I look forward to seeing how they get on. Already the onions that I planted a few weeks ago seem to have sprouted so I hope to have an earlish crop of them next summer. The cabbages and urple sproutings that I have planted seem to be doing better than I have ever managed, must be because they get so much more attention now they are in the back garden and not on the allotment.
We have now spent the first few months in our new house and as I brought some plants with me, we have had some veg to pick from the garden. We have got more runner beans than we can eat and so have been giving them away and also have 2kg in the freezer. Next week I am going to be making chutney with the excess veg from the garden.
I have pulled up the tomatoes and dwarf french beans and the space has been filled with purple and white sprouting and cabbages that will hopefuly be ready some time around Christmas.
For some reason the sweetcorn did not do so well this year and i have not had many ripe tomatoes, mainly due to the late planting and the fact that none o them were under glass. I had two different cucumber plants. One got eaten by slugs soon after it was planted but the other survived the onslaught and has produced many large and tasty cucumbers.
The same happened with the two pumpkin plants, one got eaten and the other survived and has one large pumpkin on it. I have given two loads of leaves and stalks to a girl from Malawi who says they are a prized vegtable. She peels the spikey bits off the stalks, chops them up with the leaves and cooks them up with onions, tomatoes and groundnut flour. Next year we are going to try the recipe and may be she won’t get so many leaves!
The patch that I planted all the squashes in definatly needs a lot of soil improvement over the next few years as my butternut squashes are not much bigger than my fist!
I called in at the allotment on my way to work this afternoon only to find that most of my plants looked either dead or very sorry for themselves. From the state of the leaves I believe that there may have been a bit of frost recently that I didn’t notice in my back garden. The result is that all the tops of the potatoe plants are withered, the beans (runner and dwarf french) and squashes have either died completely or look half dead and I wil lbe surprised if they pick up. The only things to survive were the onions, garlic, shallots, carrots, parsnips and beetroot. Fortunatly the raspberries don’t appear to have suffered either.
I also had a good look at the asparagus bed and found that six plants have survived my lack of care last year and although i can’t harvest anything this yar ( it is only the first real year of growth) if I look after them well this year I may get an harvest next year. I also plan to fill in the gaps where the plants died so that eventually I have a full bed and can feed the whole family asparagus.
things in the back garden are doing much better with baby apples and blueberries in the fruit bed and the squashes, tomatoes and other things that are in pots looking very healthy. I am however, a bit reluctant to plant anything else out in tha allotment at the moment incase the frost makes another appearance and wipes out more plants.
The banana plant that I thought that I had killed over winter has put up three new shoots around the dead central plant. and is doing very well. Here are a couple of photos of the plant that I took a week ago.
The new seeds that I bought have also started to sprout and they are in pots on the window ledge. Incidently the bird of paradise seeds that I bought in 2006 have left me with one remaining plant that lives in our living room.
The last few days have seen some fantastic weather, which has helped the weeds grow very well on the allotment. However, in the back garden and shed the plants are coming on very well. Since the chillis have been under lights they have come on very well and will be moved into the greenhouse as soon as I have one.
Today on the allotment the wife weeded around the raspberries, all of which seem to have survived the planting, I dug a beg and planted some dwarf french beans (speedy ) amd some runners (scarlet emperor ) that I started off in pots in the shed. The carrots and beetroots have sproted and even some of the asparagus that I planted last year ( and didn’t look after) has survived and sprouted (we have got 6 spears of far) but we must resist the temptation to pick any as the plants need a couple of years to get established before they are harvested.