Saturday, 17 October 2015

planting onions and garlic

The winter onions and the garlic are planted...

The layout is onion seedlings in the foreground, onion sets in the middle and 20 cloves of garlic beyond the plank at the far end.

I saved the three biggest garlic bulbs from the last crop, and picked the biggest cloves from them...

They were nice fat ones this year.  I could have sown more but we don't need very much garlic.

I took down the sunflowers, it was like felling trees!  I cut the heads off and left them for the birds to peck and the stems went in the bonfire pile under cover. I noticed that the sickly looking ones I was concerned about earlier, had much poorer root development than the ones at the other end. This must be why they started to die back much sooner than the others, but I don't know why that happened. I will have to monitor that area a bit more closely.

I checked the sweetcorn and there are about ten lovely fat cobs, but so far, any that I have opened look fully pollinated, but pale, pale yellow with small kernels.  They just haven't ripened, and I think it is probably too cold now. I will leave them as long as I can bear it.

Some apples were ripe on my tree and some proper sized ones this year instead of the tinsy ones I usually get. I took half a bucket full home and lots more to come if I want them.

Observant readers might have noticed that I didn't stop writing my diary after all....

plotplan 18.10.15

Friday, 16 October 2015

pondering on a pond

I dug a hole, but on reading (belatedly) the instructions that came with the liner, I discovered that the place I have chosen for the pond is completely unsuitable. It is too wet, oddly enough, and would flood underneath the liner.  I had thought of this a while back, but managed to ignore my misgivings because I didn't want to know.
So the liner is still in its packet while I re-think.

I'm still getting some produce although it is petering out now, these are probably the last tomatoes and courgettes for this year.  I've been leaving the runner beans to get big and it always surprises me how very pink they are out of their pods. These have gone into the freezer for cooking later.  I could dry them for soup, but I found that last year they were a bit too big for soup and stayed tough even through lots of cooking.  I was hoping to have some smaller french beans to dehydrate, but, alas, it is not to be this year.

A year end treat, Ribston Pippins, from the favourite tree of my friend and mentor MGG who is now sadly no longer with us.  He is missed.

I needn't have worried, the red cabbages are developing nice solid hearts after all, and I have Brussells sprouts!

I transplanted the winter onions that have grown from seed (Paris early white) to their permanent home.

 There are only about 20 plants so I bought some sets in the market (Senshu) to fill the rest of the bed. I didn't have time to put them out today so they will keep till I do have time.

I sprinkled the bed with Blood, fish and bone and some rock dust.  I didn't apply very much fertilizer as I have read that the plants shouldn't make too much fleshy growth which might suffer in a frost.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

pond 2

I dug a bit of a hole...

Its only about 6 inches deep so far.  I have made a sort of shelf along the side of the raised bed, which will act as a path.
I will figure out how to manage the liner fabric as I go along.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The place where the pond was to be is looking a bit forlorn, so I have ordered some pond liner fabric to make a pond more in scale with the chosen site. I will still need to do some digging, but hopefully not as much as with the fibre-glass liner.

I only planted out half of the 108 perennial bargain plug plants, the rest have gone into modules, which I am hoping to overwinter in the plant scheme greenhouse.  If they survive, then they can go on sale for the Allotments Association.

Today's pickings...the last of the first batch of corn, some funsized, some proper sized.

The second sowing is almost ripe, but I don't know if they will ripen now it is colder. Saying that, the courgettes are still popping up.

As expected the crown prince didn't succeed to the throne, this is the only survivor.

Sunday, 4 October 2015


Weather getting cooler, a max of 15C today.

Transplanted the rest of the brassicas:- 5 each of

  •  Aalsmeer, cauliflower
  • Broccoli, claret 
  • Spring hero, cabbage
  • Frostie, cabbage

108 perennial plug plants transplanted:-
            18 each of Digitalis, Lobelia, Perovskia, Nepeta, Agastache, Gaillardia.

Friday, 2 October 2015

I changed my mind about the pond, it is just too much work.  I decided that
a) I didn't want a pond that badly
b) I have better things to do with my energy than chuck really wet, heavy, compacted soil about
c) the pond liner was too big for the space I had planned
d) it was going to take ages to get it into the ground and get it level.
d) major re-organisation would be required to find a better fit in another part of the plot.

Luckily a nearby plot-holder was keen to replace his leaky pond and took it off my hands with a happy smile.  Best of luck to him.

Still picking...blackberries, little sour apples, runner beans, dwarf french beans tomatoes and sweet peas...

Also sweetcorn (not pictured)