The Allotment Wife


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November Garden Update

Hi Lovelies,

Long time, no see. Well, the leaves have completely fallen here. This means that with the exception of the plants in the hoophouse, the hardy annuals are completely covered beneath a nice layer. While some folks like to rake and rake, I don’t, so I just let them be. That’s the great thing about nature: it’s nature. I think sometimes we get a little too caught up in trying to control things. Unlike windstorms and flooding, this is something that the good ole’ mum does that’s helpful and awesome. Plus, she has a lot more experience at building great soil than I do.

I thought I would quickly share some photos of how things are progressing below, I hope you enjoy! I’ve began brainstorming ideas for both posts and videos in the future, and have managed to come up with quite a few that I think would be…

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Yacon Revisited and a Missing Beetroot

Enjoyed a very pleasant hour or so on the allotment this morning. K sorted out the compost so it’s all in the compost bins now rather than lying messily next to the rhubarb patch, and I did a quick hoe round to keep the weeds more or less under control.

Having looked it up on the web thingy last week, we retrieved the heart of the yacon (Peruvian Ground Apple) from the shed and planted it as instructed back in the ground, though we are still letting the tubers dry out.

Peruvian Ground Apple

Whilst there, I dug up the Crocosmias (Emily McKenzie) as they were wasted on the allotment as they don’t last in the vase when cut. Instead I have planted them at home with my other crocosmias at the front. Hopefully, they’ll be a vision in red and orange next year.

I also harvested some spinach and two beetroots, one red and one golden – here they are with the dug-up crocosmias:

Harvest

Sadly, when I got home I was confused as I was also sorting the garden out by doing mega-pruning before I lost the light, and I appear to have added the golden beetroot into the garden waste bin by mistake, yikes!! I am officially a Bad Gardener! Next time, I will sort out the harvest BEFORE tacking the garden, eh … Still, at lease we have the red beetroot left and the spinach!

Have a great weekend, all.

Anne Brooke Books


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Yacon city

Today we have harvested the yacon (Peruvian Ground Apple) as the frost we had overnight has destroyed the leaves. We weren’t expecting much as we only planted it over the summer, but actually it’s given a really good crop – so we have saved some of the smaller tubers for planting next year, and will definitely buy another adult plant if we see one.

Yacons

It’s related to the sunflower, and a cross between a potato and a melon – this is the best way I can describe it! You can either eat them raw if you peel them or cook them in their skins. The raw taste is quite nice – like a subtle honey and very refreshing. We’re also going to cook one with Sunday lunch today – and save the rest as they keep for a while apparently, like potatoes.

I didn’t bother weeding anything as the ground was too hard and anyway I’m hoping the frost will do its work, at least for now! We did mulch the dahlias though, with the compost we’ve made on the allotment, so hopefully that will see them through the winter.

The rest of the harvest was spinach, a beetroot, one chrysanthemum and two coreopsis flowers.

Harvest.jpg

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books

 


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Quick Fall Update

Hi Lovelies,

Well, I’ve been running around trying to get everything in the garden cleaned up while simultaneously taking care of what feels like 1000 other tasks, and I’m feeling quite exhausted! Just thought that I would quickly share a few things I’ve managed to get completed! Have a great day!

1115151604a The hoophouse is finally covered and the ranunculus and anemones are safely tucked inside. Hooray!

1115151536f Some of the anemones are a little behind in sprouting, but most of them are already looking quite robust.

1115151516d Still digging dahlia tubers.

1111151646l Salvaged these last sunflowers while I was crawling around in the mud and taking up weed barrier fabric.

1111151629

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Tulip planting

Spent a happy post-church couple of hours on the allotment this morning. K took down the runner beans and we saved them for seed for next year.

Runner beans for seedRunner bean seeds

Those we don’t use for seed, we’ll add to stews – it’s definitely the season to get the slo-cooker out, hurrah!

I also had a quick hoe round, and took out or pruned back the flowers, including the chrysanthemums, marigolds, cerinthe and coreopsis.

Pruned coreopsis Bare cerinthe area

So it’s all looking a bit bare, but there are signs of Spring as the daffodil shoots start to show themselves.

Daffodil shoot

Anyway, here are the tulips bulbs, and their eventual destination in the old runner bean bed.

Tulip bulbsTulip patch

As you can see, there are loads, but we stuffed them in anyway, and also netted them to put the squirrels off. I lost a few tulip bulbs last year to the pesky squirrels and want to try to avoid that this year at least.

In another news, the Brussels sprouts and spinach are coming along nicely. I meant to harvest some spinach today for lunch, but I forgot. Still we used the beetroot leaves instead which were very nice indeed. I’ll have to remember to harvest the spinach next week before the leaves get too big and chewy. The young leaves are just so much nicer.

Brussels sproutsSpinach

K has also a week or so ago lengthened the rhubarb patch and put two more plants in so here it is in the new form:

Rhubarb patch

The Peruvian Ground Apple is also growing apace, which is confusing as it should be going yellow by now – which is apparently the sign for when it’s ready to harvest. All very odd but I imagine it’s the warm autumn we’re having. We will just have to wait and see …

Peruvian Ground Apple

Finally, here is today’s harvest, which includes beetroot, chrysanthemums and the runner beans for seed.

Harvest

And here are the chrysanthemums in their vase at home. Sadly, this is the last of them and I’ve cut the rest down. They are sprouting leaves again at the base, which is strange as I thought they were annuals, so I might get another slight bloom before the frosts set in – you never know. And even if I don’t, we’ve had fresh flowers from the allotment from February to November, which is pretty good going, I think.

Chrysanthemum vase

Have a good and peaceful week, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Hardy Annual Seedling Update

Hi Lovelies,

Today I thought I would share some photos of the hardy annuals that are currently in the garden. Whenever I grow something new, one of the first things that I do when I see sprouts in my garden beds is “google” whether or not the plant that’s growing is in fact what I planted or if it’s a random lawn weed. I’d be lying if I said that I had a stellar record when it comes to pulling weeds, but I still like to know the difference!  These seeds were all planted on September 20th. Feel free to comment below! Much love!

1110151610f Scabiosa looking mighty fine!

1110151610e Shirley poppies, as you can see – I also do a terrible job at thinning!

1110151610c These are nigella (love-in-a-mist). They look a lot like larkspur at this point, but you’ll notice more of a difference once they get bigger.

1110151610a Agrostemma (corncockle) with…

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Bread and good company

quercuscommunity

Where does all the time go?

It only seems like yesterday that I was writing about Saturday’s events on Monday and now it’s Thursday.

That means that not only has the week gone, but it’s left me without much time to finish my week’s work. That seems to be constant at the moment – like elementary subtraction I always seem to be borrowing one. In this case it isn’t from the next column but from the next day.

Monday was a blur, partly caused by a flare-up of arthritis and partly by lack of sleep from the day before. It wasn’t a very productive day either, which always seems to be the way when you have too many jobs to fit the available time. Tuesday, I went to a funeral while Julia hosted a day in the country for 20 kids in foster care (and pinged one on the electric…

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Soggy allotment

Good news – my cold is better and my shoulder is pain-free enough to allow me a visit to the allotment today, hurrah! I managed to hoe gently and with the other hand as much as possible to clear out the weeds before winter – while K cut down the sunflowers and asparagus.

Asparagus and sunflowers

They’d been battered by the wind and rain, so were definitely due to go. Here is the allotment in the rain – we got so wet we had to change when we got back home!

Allotment in rain

Last week, while I was still ill, K planted some new autumn raspberries (red ones) and here they are in their new position:

New Autumn raspberries

And autumn is definitely having an effect on the blackcurrants which are now leaf-free virtually (all the better for hoeing, of course …).

Blackcurrants in autumn

Despite the season and the weather, our harvest consisted of a lot of chrysanthemums, some dahlias, one or two coreopsis and one geum (Mrs Bradshaw). On the vegetable front, K harvested runner beans for seed, and some sprouts for tomorrow’s lunch.

Harvest

Here are the flowers in their vases at home – great to have cut flowers in November, I must say!

Vases 1 Vases 2

Have a great weekend.

Anne Brooke Books