The Allotment Wife


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New Allotment Year 2020

Happy new year to you all! Yes, it has really taken me THIS LONG to get back onto the allotment – partly due to bad weather, partly due to inertia and partly due to 2 weeks of a pretty determined virus.

But I’m back now in the land of the living (hurrah!) and there’s a whole new allotment year to look forward to so it was really lovely to get out there today.

Here’s a view of how it looks at the moment:

Allotment view

As you can see, there’s not much going on, but we do need to sort those broken raised beds out at some point, and we also sorted out the weeds while we were there today.

The leeks we planted last year are still hanging on so we must harvest those soon before they give up entirely!

Leeks

We also brought along a bag of mulch and spread that across the rhubarb bed, which is already starting to sprout:

Rhubarb

I do so love a good mulch moment. In other sprouting news, the daffodil bed is coming along very nicely indeed:

Daffodils 1

And – just to show that daffodils are a whole lot tougher than you might think – we realised today that the daffodil bulbs I’d rejected as being too mouldy or too tiny and abandoned near the water butt for taking home are actually sprouting! So much so that they’ve rooted where they’re lying so I can’t move them to put them elsewhere, LOL! We therefore have a mini daffodil patch near the water butt – which obviously we would have planned for if we’d thought about it … um, not!…

Just goes to show, nature does what she darn well likes and takes no notice of our opinions!

Daffodils 2

Oh, and I also planted five new lily bulbs (Red Eye) in the second lily area – as we were out at the annual Potato Day in Whitchurch yesterday, and I just couldn’t resist them – alongside 8 new potato varieties to try, and some shallots. If you’ve not been to a Potato Day before, then I can thoroughly recommend it – you get lots of new potato (and other veg) varieties to have a go at, you’re helping to keep heritage varieties alive, and you get a whole load of good advice as well. What’s not to like!

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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Composting Season

Had a quick tidy up at the allotment today – and found that we have some daffodil shoots on their way but NOT in the bed where I planted them, LOL. Nature does its own thing once again!…

Daffodils.jpg

The leeks are still hanging on too – I don’t think they’ll get much larger but there’s no need to harvest them yet as we still have a couple of cabbages in hand:

Leeks

Last week, K cut down half of the autumn raspberries ready for next year’s new growth – we need to do the other half too at some point but there’s no rush:

Autumn raspberries

The main focus today has been composting – I added the last of the old cabbage leaves and then mixed it in with the fork as best I could – but I suspect K will do it better next week!

Compost 1

Compost 2

The harvest today is the last remaining cabbages which are really small now but we’ll use what we can of them:

Harvest

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Tulip Planting

We finally got round to planting the tulips at the allotment – though actually we’re not late at all, as they can’t be planted out till November at the earliest due to the possibility of tulip rot if you try to plant out any earlier.

Anyway, here they are about to be planted:

Tulip bulbs 1

And here they are with the netting weighed down with sticks on them in order to put off the pesky thieving squirrels. Here’s hoping it works!

Tulip bulbs 2

In order to free up the new tulip bed, I did take out the gladioli which we will store until next year:

Gladioli bulbs

At the same time, K pruned the currant bushes to give them a chance to get some air and light in them:

Currant bushes

So, a  mini-harvest this week of the remains of the beetroot and the last good cabbage. We’ve really enjoyed the cabbages this year and will definitely do them again!

Harvest

Have a great Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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After the Frost

There’s a lot of post-frost (and wind!) damage at the allotment this week – but no more than we expect for this time of year. The dahlias are definitely over:

Dahlias

And the yacon (on the left of the below shot) is done, though it doesn’t affect the harvest – in fact when the leaves are dead like this, you know the harvest is ready!

Yakon and beetroots

We have also taken down the runner beans which have been over for a couple of weeks at least:

Runner beans

Which means that the leeks below them have a chance of grabbing some more sunshine – should there be any!

Leeks

I also took a picture of the asparagus ‘trees’ as they look so pretty right now:

Asparagus

And there are still some cabbages to enjoy, hurrah!

Cabbages

No flowers in this week’s harvest – just onions and beetroots, but we’re pretty pleased with that anyway.

Harvest

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Daffodil Planting

So I’ve finally got round to planting the daffodils – as you can see I’m going for the scattergun approach this year!

Daffodil planting

And I’m happy to say that the chrysanthemums are finally in bloom:

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemum

I particularly love the orange one – I’ve got a real soft spot for orange flowers.

The yacon is also doing okay, though weirdly not as well as the two yacons we ended up planting at home which are the size of a small shrub now …

Yakon

Here is the harvest of a few flowers, a cabbage, a beetroot and a couple of spare potatoes I found when I was planting the daffodils – as you never EVER manage to find all the potatoes when you try to dig them up, LOL!

Harvest

Here is a view of the allotment as it is at the moment – it was amazingly warm this morning in spite of the rain, and I also really loved the autumn wind – so gloriously gusty!

Allotment

Here are the flowers (chrysanthemums and one dahlia) at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a lovely weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Allotment Break-in

I’m very sorry to have to tell you that our allotments suffered a break-in this week, with the perimeter fence broken in a couple of places, the main gate damaged, and thefts carried out at several sheds. Such an awful thing to happen. Our own shed was broken into, but nothing taken as we don’t have anything worth stealing.

Damaged shed

K mended the shed today – amazingly our now curved padlock still works as it’s actually much tougher than the shed itself!

In happier news, we still have an alstroemeria in bloom:

Alstroemeria

However, most of the rest of the flowers are now over, so I spent some time cutting back and composting while K was mending the shed. I did feel a lot better after the tidy up as it feels I’ve done something positive to prepare for next season after the communal break-in.

On similar lines, K has dug out the potato bed, rescuing the last of the potatoes – and it’s now ready for us to plant daffodils next time we’re there, hurrah!

Ready for daffodils

I’m also happy to say that our chrysanthemums are on the way though not quite there yet:

Chrysanthemums

Meanwhile we know it’s a very rainy autumn due to the sheer amount of mushrooms everywhere!

Mushrooms

Our cabbages are doing well:

Cabbages

And we’ve rediscovered the leeks which have been lurking under the runner beans for ages, quietly waiting to see the sun again …

Leeks

Sadly though, our Brussels sprouts are experiencing their second year of failure (sob!) – maybe next time we should plant them out in May rather than waiting for them to get bigger at home … Oh well.

Brussels sprouts

Here is the week’s harvest, which includes alstroemeria, a few pelargoniums, a handful of autumn raspberries (though I ditched them at home due to the amount of insects in them, yuk!) one cabbage, the potatoes, beetroot and a couple of stray runner beans:

Harvest

Here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Shallots and Asters

There are loads of shallots on the allotment at the moment – which is the first year we’ve grown them. The strange thing is they just sit on the top of the soil, seemingly attached to nothing at all, and you pick up the ones you like the look of. All very strange.

The cabbages are also doing well – the joy of them is that they last such a long time once you harvest them – with us, one lasts all week!

Cabbages

The lettuces are getting past their best though – K harvested one and by the time he picked off the slimy outer leaves, it was tiny!

Lettuces

Meanwhile, the autumn asters continue to shine and keep our vases going. They are just amazing – I think these blue ones are Little Harlow Carr, but I’m not sure.

Asters

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of asters, some sunflowers, a few sweet peas and pelargoniums, one alstroemeria, that little lettuce, one beetroot, runner beans, those shallots (just below the trug handle) and a bowl of gorgeous autumn raspberries – which are truly the gift that keeps on giving and which I shall add to this weekend’s apple crumble, yum!

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone – stay out of the rain!

Anne Brooke Books