The Allotment Wife


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Frost City at the Allotment

Two bad frosts this week and the allotment is feeling the brunt of them. Here are the poor dahlias:

I wasn’t too worried about the ones here at the allotment but I was a bit cross with myself for not checking the overnight forecast before the first frost and therefore losing ALL my dahlias at home, sob! And I have loads of them. I will try to remember for next year – I hope! So no more flower harvests from the allotment, I think …

Anyway, the yakons (aka Peruvian Ground Apples) have also suffered and so we’ve cut them back and harvested a couple of them. It doesn’t affect the crop which is underground – and which is great if peeled and chopped finely to go with salad. You can cook it too but it’s not as good as when eaten cold. It’s a kind of mix between apple and cucumber (LOL!) and if you leave them unpeeled in the garage for a couple of weeks, they are far sweeter and nicer.

Whilst doing a major prune, we also took out the gladioli and have stored them in the shed ready for next year:

Here is the harvest – of yakons, beetroot and also sprouts, yay!

Have a good weekend, everyone, and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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First small sprout harvest!

Goodness me, we have harvested a couple of small sprouts today, hurrah (see later pic)! So the autumn season is most definitely here. Even with just three sprouts, it’s more than we harvested last year when it all went horribly wrong, LOL! Anyway, we are hoping for more sprouts later on.

Only us two on the allotment this morning, when we went anyway – everyone else must be keeping dry, and I can’t say I blame them. Here is the perennial bed in the rain and the wind:

I cropped more of the pink asters than I really needed as they were flopping over the dahlias, and I want to keep the dahlias going as long as I possibly can. Talking of which, the sunflowers are still doing well:

And, on the vegetable front, the French climbing beans are definitely the gift that keeps on giving! Plus more flowers on the plants as well.

And the yakons are still very happy:

It’s so rainy and has been for a good few days that for the first time that I can remember our water butt is actually overflowing! We’d best think about putting another one in before the year is over …

Here is the harvest, which includes the sprouts, the French climbing beans, sunflowers, rudbeckias, dahlias, one gladiolus and the asters.

Here are the vases at home:

Have a good Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Sunflower City and How Not to Store Daffodils

A tad windy on the allotment today and I’ve got a bit of a sniffle so wrapped up as warm as possible. It seems as if the sunflowers haven’t yet got the memo that summer is over though as they’re still doing their thing! Some of them suffered wind damage during the week but are still blooming, which is amazing.

The dahlias are also very happy and pest free at the moment which is great news.

The asters are also either going strong (the blue ones) or just starting to bloom (the pink ones) and are just a really useful autumn flower, all in all.

I think I’m going to move the short pink asters back home when they’ve finished blooming though as they’re really no use as cut flowers – only the tall ones will do.

I’ve not done so well with one of the daffodil buckets though! Foolishly I’ve been storing them in a bucket with NO drainage holes (always a rookie mistake …) so they’re now hugely wet and muddy, groan. I’ve rolled them out of the bucket and hope they might dry off during the week so I can have a go planting them next week.

At least the yakons are doing marvellously – and once again queen of all they survey in terms of height!

Here is this week’s harvest: French beans, mangetouts, beetroots, sunflowers, rudbeckias, gladioli, asters and dahlias:

And here are the vases at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Stately Sunflowers and Yakons Galore

The sunflowers on the allotment are getting ridiculously tall – soon I’ll have to get a ladder to see them at this rate!

We also have the first dahlias out now (which is curious as I thought I’d taken them all out and planted them at home!) and an actual rudbeckia, yay!

We’re also very happy with the Brussels sprouts:

And the French beans are really going for it too:

However, it’s the yakons that are forging ahead – they have honestly never been this huge! Must be the sort of weather they like for some reason, but we’re certainly not complaining.

Anyway, here is the harvest, which consists of French beans, gladioli, sunflowers, the rudbeckia and one lone sweet pea. We also have some of the autumn raspberries and a decent crop of foraged blackberries as well – which will go very well with the apple crumble I’m making.

Here is the vase at home:

Have a great week, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Consultant


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Back on the allotment!

I’m finally back on the allotment today after a couple of weekends when I was too busy to go and so my lovely husband kept an eye on it instead.

Even though it’s definitely autumnal, the French beans and mangetouts have decided they can get another crop in before the frosts, hurrah!

Beans

Mangetouts

I’m also REALLY happy with the Brussels sprouts which look and smell amazing – so hoping we can actually get a crop this year, as we’ve not had any luck with them over the last two years. Surely this year, things will be okay – I hope so!

Brussels sprouts

The yakons are also really happy:

Yakons

As are the beetroot next to them – though they’re tiny in comparison with the yakons, LOL!

Beetroot

However, we are disappointed with the autumn raspberries which aren’t giving as good a crop as last year. Is it the weather we’ve had? Or just that they’re old plants? Hard to tell really, but we’ll have to have a think about what we do with them next year …

Autumn raspberries

The sunflowers are still going strong though:

Sunflowers

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of potatoes, beetroot, beans, mangetouts, gladioli, the autumn raspberries, the sunflowers, one(!) sweet pea and two carnations:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Have a great Bank Holiday Monday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant


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An Autumnal Nip in the Air …

Sorry to have to mention it, people, but there is definitely an autumnal nip in the air at the allotment today and there were even some fallen leaves to crunch through in our Wellies, so that was fun, if worrying!

Today, we have an unexpected visitor to our plot – and I think he might just be reading our village Facebook page as well. What an intelligent gnome he is, LOL!

Gnome

Our second sowing of peas is doing very well – and we might even be able to squeeze in a third if we’re quick before the frosts come!

Peas

We’re also pleased with how the sprouts are doing – tiny buds are forming on the stems so that’s positive …

Sprouts

The yakons are also loving the rain!

Yakons

The flowers are going over now, but the sunflowers look great:

Sunflowers

Today’s harvest is potatoes, the first of the beetroots, runner beans, the lovely French climbing beans, gladioli and the sunflowers:

Harvest

Here is the vase at home:

Vase

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant


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First runner beans and late leeks

We have the first of the runner bean harvest today, so that’s great news.

Runner beans

And we have also planted some late leeks to fill up a bed – it’s so strange that you have to plant them in holes that you then don’t fill in with earth. Just water them and you’re done. No idea why but it works for leeks!

Leeks

The late planting of mangetouts is now tall enough for us to put up a structure for them to grow on.

Mangetouts

Meanwhile the beetroot is growing well …

Beetroot

… as is the yakon next to it:

Yakon

We’re also really pleased with the Brussels sprouts as they seem to be growing away happily too, which is certainly different from the failures of the last two years!

Brussels sprouts

The sunflowers actually have buds forming which is very exciting!

Sunflowers

And, astonishingly, the birds have left us enough blackcurrants for another crumble – which is unheard of. The birds must be super-lazy this year. Here is the harvest, consisting of the blackcurrants, mangetouts, runner beans, gladioli, carnations, echinacea, rudbeckia, alstroemeria and sweet peas:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant


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Soft Fruit City

The soft fruit is now really starting to come into its own and we need to get picking. This year for the very first time we have gooseberries, and the blackcurrants are just loaded down!

Soft fruit inc gooseberries

Blackcurrants 1

Blackcurrants 2

The fun thing is having to take one side of the netting up and crawl underneath to get at them …

Plus we also have our first – very small! – pea harvest:

Peas

Whilst there, we planted out the yakon, which is the last of our veggies to go in – and we still have space so will have to think what else to plant.

Yakon

The gladioli are coming along nicely:

Gladioli

And the rudbeckia I planted last week have a flower!

Rudbeckia

So today’s harvest is small but perfectly formed. We have carnations, sweet peas, one rudbeckia, the soft fruit in the bowl, and a handful of peas:

Harvest

Here is the vase at home:

Vase

Happy weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant (yes – a new thing!)


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Blighted potatoes and lilies galore

Sad potato news from the allotment this week – we have blight, oh the horror. Still, we have managed to salvage some of the crop so at least that’s something. Oh well.

Blighted potatoes

Our sweetcorn is also still being nibbled (is it mice?) so we have strengthened the netting around them and also raised it as plants get bigger.

Sweet corn

The French beans are starting to go up the sticks and I tied some of them in just to give them a helping hint – last year, some of them simply grew along the ground but it’s much easy if they go up rather than sideways!

French beans

The mangetouts have gone insane and we harvested a totally enormous crop. At home, K looked up mangetouts recipes – and one of these is frying mangetouts with spring onions very briefly and then adding mint – we already have all the ingredients (though the spring onions are bought) so will definitely have to try that one.

Mangetouts

Prepared mangetouts

We also found space for a couple of yakons (Peruvian ground apple) by removing some of the sweet williams which aren’t really doing so well. The other couple of yakons we have will be planted at home.

Yakons

K also mulched the rhubarb this week – I really do love a mulched bed. We used compost from the allotment so there won’t be many nutrients in it but it will do for now.

Mulched rhubarb

Turning to flower news, the cosmos and pelargoniums are doing well.

Cosmos and pelargoniums

And there are now a couple of flower spray buds on the gladioli, hurrah!

Gladioli

However the lilies are simply the stars of this week’s show and look totally amazing – they’re just so tall and such a glorious colour!

Lilies

Plus we have the first of the sweet peas in bloom, which is grand.

Sweet peas

I also took a view of the allotment as it is right now, as I think it looks pretty good.

View

So, today’s harvest is lilies, the first of the dahlias (hurrah!), verbascum, carnations (still going strong …), cosmos, pelargoniums, sweet williams, sweet peas, and the mangetouts and rescued potatoes.

Harvest

Here are the amazing lilies at home:

Lily vase 1

Lily vase 2

And here are the vases all together:

Vases

Have a great Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Quiet Allotment

Nothing much happening at the plot today – even the chrysanthemums are all but over so I think I’ll cut them back next week.

Chrysanthemums

Mind you, there are signs of life amongst the daffodils:

Daffodils

And there are buds on the currant bushes, which is great.

Currants

So we didn’t do much there today – just some hoeing and also weeding between the raised beds. And K cut back those determined sweet williams once more.

Here are some winter plot scenes:

And here is the tiny harvest of yakons and some beetroot:

Harvest

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books