Autumn roundup

Blog Action Day 2001 – #BAD11

2011 10 16_allotment_0008

My allotment

It’s been a mixed growing year on the allotment, in the garden and the greenhouse.

As I’m sure every gardener complains, the weather has not been co-operative this year. Spring was a mixed bag. It arrived early and promised a bumper year of fruit and veg. But, warm March turned to soggy, cool May. Summer in these parts never kicked off.

Tomatoes and cucumbers got a jump start, but as summer went dull, cold and windy my plants were reluctant to fruit. I can count the number of cukes on one hand: that from two wind swept specimens. (Just a quick word to the neighbours’ cats: can I grow my veg in your litter trays please?)

That early springs was a good news for the onions and garlic though garlic Sprint suffered from a mysterious mould that wiped out a third of the crop. Sandwiches are still getting a good kick from strong and sweet Red Baron.

Slugs and worms once again got to the potatoes before I could lift them – rain in June and July. Yet, there’s still two bags of salvaged tubers sitting in the shed.

As seems to have happened every year since moving to Devon, the summer brought the odd game that blew for a week or so. That did for the peas and September winds clobbered the runners just they were heavy with beans. But, overall I picked about 20 lbs of runner beans and 8 meals of broad beans. Not so successful with the peas which got hit by the full house – slugs, heavy rain, wind, weeds and rot.

So, to the winter.

2011 10 16_allotment_0004

Strawberries (and weeds)

I’ve moved strawberries – which went beserk in my home raised bed – up to the allotment. After a few weeks of bedding in, they’ve produced a couple of fruits. Not bad for some cast-offs and runner.

2011 10 16_allotment_0005


The strawbs are not the only cast-off. I’ve been donated some raspberry runners. About 2/3 have taken. I have no idea of the variety and raspberries are new to me, so it’s going to be yet another experiment.

2011 10 16_allotment_0003


2011 10 16_allotment_0002

Netted sprouts

Yet another experiment: a dozen brussel sprout plants. I’ve tried out netting them which seems to have had the effect of stunting their growth. There’s a lot of leaf damage, yet I’ve got a reasonable number of sprouts on each stem. The stuntedness might not be a disaster as it probably reduces the chance of the plants getting blown over. F1 Doric if you’re keeping score at home.

2011 10 16_allotment_0006


Further adventures in brassicas with my cabbage selection. I’m growing Myatts which should be ready about June or July. There’s a bit of slug damage, but all 10 plants look like they’ll form heads.

2011 10 16_allotment_0007

Four rows of garlic

At the back of the allotment I’ve got four rows of garlic. I’ve gone for Thermidrome which has been a success the past few years. Instead of Sprint, I’ve got Vallelado on the go. Another experiment.

Finally, at ground control I’ve just sown 16 broad bean seeds – Bunyards Exhibition. They’ve got a temporary home in the greenhouse hopefully away from mice and other critters.

Busy days.

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