Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Winter Preparation

It’s been a while since I found time to blog - it’s been busy, busy at the allotment. After having some chillier mornings and covering the beds that need it with fleece, we had that very hot spell (well, what else can you expect?). It won’t be long, though, according to the weather predictions, before the covers are needed.

We’ve been eating well from our crops. The raab (great in stir fries) has now finished, and the pak choi is almost over. We’re trying to ripen the last of the tomatoes, still cropping various types of lettuce, and having delicious beetroot and turnip, as well as using curly and black kale, and Swiss chard as cut-and-come-again. Not bad, considering it’s only 10 weeks since we started digging and planting.

We’ve had lovely butternut squash, too, that I grew in a pot on the patio at home. These were great roasted with onion, potato and turnip, and also made delicious soup cooked with chopped ham, fresh ginger and cumin.

The shallots, garlic and onion sets I’d ordered for the allotment have just arrived, so I must get those in soon, once I’ve cleared enough space for them, keeping in mind my planned crop rotation for each bed. The plans are pinned to the back of my shed at the allotment, as a reminder, as well as my wife’s spreadsheet which shows what has to be planted, when, spacing, whether it needs winter-protection, and when it should be harvested.

My first sign of disease has begun to show on the late broad beans I sowed back in August. It looks like chocolate spot (I’m not the only plot-holder to find this, and we suspect it could have spread from common vetch, which I’ve seen nearby). So far it doesn’t look too bad, but I’ll keep my eye on it. I don’t think my plants are over-crowded, which can also make the condition worse, according to the RHS.

Well, enough of my hobby. I must get on with some “real” work...

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