Category Archives: Allotment

Autumn

Thinking of going no dig but not quite daring as yet.

Onions and garlic being the first beneficiaries or victims of the new approach.

Still feeling a bit hampered by the knee operation just over a week ago.

But the sun is shining and is lovely and warm.

Starting to make wines. Already got blackberry and grape wine (from own grapes) on the go and start sloe wine today.

New Beginnings

It has been a while! I lost the plot. Due to move down south. Here the new plot, overgrown after being away on holiday. It’s not that new either, have it since April of last year.

Autumn

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An autumn feeling starts to creep in, its getting colder.
It has been a fabulous summer and the plot keeps producing, with the runner beans being the super stars and having to be harvested almost daily. The struggling plants having been bought at greatly reduced prices. The tomatoes are ripening as well and are very tasty. Noire de charbonay, big, dark, fleshy and slightly flowery tasting (not so sure about the name, the seeds given to me by friends) are ripening as early as the varies cherry tomatoes. Since the organic chicken manure ran out, these are getting fed with sheep poo tea, supposedly low in nitrogen, but high in potassium and phosphate. Twice in-between a worm compost derived fertiliser was used.
The worms in the kitchen are apparently well also. The compost has a nice earthy smell only when the lid is lifted and no smell otherwise. No fruit fly problem so far either. Not everyone in our household agrees with this assessment.

Worms

Apparently gravestones are leaning due to the activity of worms.

DSC_0166_2Thankfully this did not happen to these ancient stones at the head of Loch Striven. A farm, sheep and pheasants, these more heard then seen and having to be chased out of the thistles for that, are now continuing more than 3000years of habitation.

More and more appreciate the depth of understanding, imagination and vision of the worm journey  painting I bought now quite a few years ago. This new connection is due to the wormery I acquired recently. I consider them pets, not all in our household are quite as fond and convinced of the potential. Thankfully no escapees so far and still tolerated in the kitchen.

Composting in general is often on my mind. Thistles and horsetails. Thanks to Mansewood allotments and their noticeboard (so good to visit open days!), soon I will try to drown these weeds and then compost them in a new heap. The presently used will have to be sterilised or otherwise treated as too many seeds and roots are present.

Teaming

 

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Seeminglyly always too rarely attended the plot gives great pleasure. The big sunflower is a restaurant for bumble bees sometimes attended by several, covered all over with pollen. The abundant wildlife is the icing on the vegetable, berry and salad cake. The frogs left the pond and are now seen while weeding or harvesting and the birds are never far away. The colours of the butterflies and other pollinators are only seen in passing, thankfully the visited flowers last considerably longer.
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Plenty

Hardly any rain since the last entry and a sommer as beautiful as any I experienced in Scotland. The sun and warmth together with the hose pipe are doing wonders for the plot. After courgettes, peas, mangetout, kohlrabi and chines cabbage, the beans, asparagus peas, broccoli and potatoes as well as garlic and some onions are also ready now.Getting too much to eat and storing is starting to become a problem, especially with a temperamental freezer. However apart from the work, I don’t remember beans in glasses fondly.DSC_0015

The rain which has finally returned filled all available barrels enabling watering the greenhouses without a hose and the outside getting watered hy the heavens. Today the sungold tomatoes showed some colour now that the strawberries are coming to the end.

The size of the cabbages showing the lack of bed preparation. Last year the sieved communal compost and some manure worked in the autumn before planting made seemingly all the difference. However overall I have a greater variety and more of produce and sadly weeds too.DSC_0007_2

Unfortunately  only basic maintenance ie. harvesting and watering and some sowing and planting was possible recently and will continue for another week. By then the technical difficulties with my wordpress usage will hopefully be ironed out as well and posts getting more regular again.

 

Half Time

Digging done!DSC_0008_2

Managed to get in the Red and January King cabbages before the rain set in this morning.Now all available beds are planted apart from prepared patch for spring purple sprouting broccoli and for the kale and brussels sprouts going to be put in far too late, more as a hopeful experiment. Will give up on (again) poorly growing wild rocket and put in celery instead. This is big enough in pots to go out.

Hope the welcome rain will stop after a few days.
It’s time to start planning for winter salads. Believe they must be fully grown and covered as there is hardly any growth due to the short dark days, which will struggle to get the (unheated) greenhouses above 7 degrees celsius even if it’s sunny. This is not helped by the shade the majority of my plot is in between November and February due to the houses south across the road. However last winter there was no severe if any frost inside.
Today we will cook the second helping of courgettes. A kohlrabi is also ready. Although I love our fresh mixed salad bowls containing many different leaves and flowers, warm homegrown vegetables are the novelty now as salad will be in the winter.