The Allotment Wife


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The autumnal allotment

We seem to have more autumn leaves across the allotment this year than ever before – here they are on the soft fruit area!

autumn-leaves-on-soft-fruit

All very beautiful and at least that saves mulching the fruit, LOL! Meanwhile the Brussels sprouts are doing okay. I didn’t bother putting any slug doom on them this week as they looked okay really.

brussels-sprouts

The lettuce is still doing us proud – though I’ve taken out the remains of the red lettuce now, this green variety looks unstoppable.

lettuce

However, the leeks seem to have hit some kind of glass ceiling and haven’t grown any bigger for ages, we don’t think. All very odd.

leeks

Anyway, I actually went round and did a spot of hoeing though there’s really not a lot to get rid of – apart from in the sprout cages, but I won’t bother weeding those until we actually get in to harvest the sprouts.

Talking of harvest, this week’s is lettuce and a couple of the (small but tasty) leeks:

harvest

AND – BIG drumroll at this point!!! – the yacon (Peruvian ground apple) which K has taken up now. It’s produced far more of a crop than last year (hurrah!) and also has some small tubers which we can use to grow plants for next year. So thrilled about this one, as you don’t even have to cook it and it tastes great. The longer you leave it (within reason) the sweeter it gets. A wildcard substitute for potato, yum!

yacon-harvest

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books

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Yacon Revisited

Another couple of visits to the allotment this week and all seems to be ticking along fairly nicely. K has now planted up the Brussels sprouts (type: Revenge! Which is a name that always makes me laugh but they’re great sprouts) in the netting and we’ve sprayed them liberally with slug doom.

Brussel sprouts Revenge

The beetroot is also doing great things and even producing a crop – though we’ll leave it a while as we don’t need it right now.

Beetroot

The mangetouts are also going well, and just look at those runner beans – I love the red flowers, which we definitely didn’t expect as we thought they were white!

Mangetouts

The potatoes are also looking good, and we found another yacon (Peruvian ground apple) at Wisley today, so have planted that up too. A shame that the one from last year didn’t seem to survive but we’ll try again with this one – or maybe they’re annuals? I’m not sure.

PotatoesYacon

Meanwhile, things are really pleasing on the flower front too. The cosmos are slowly getting larger and the dahlias are on their way:

CosmosDahlias

I’m also happy with the lilies, and the sweet peas are progressing so we’ve had to add a layer for them to climb up. This time, K has made an arch, which I think looks great.

Lilies

Sweetpeas 1Sweetpeas 2

We’ve also bought more cut flowers where we were at Wisley and planted them up – they are dianthus (I just LOVE that smell of cloves – it’s amazing!), penstemon and asters:

New cut flowers

Here are the two harvests from this week, which include lilies, sweet peas, sweet williams,  cosmos, asparagus, mangetouts and rhubarb.

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Here are the vases at home (which include the dianthus though they weren’t yet on the allotment when I cut them!):

Finally, I decided to make oasis flower arrangements with the rest of the sweet williams so here they are:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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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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Cleome claws and odd apples

We found a Yacon (or Peruvian ground apple) in the garden centre this week – it’s a type of squash which is apparently tasty and low in calories, so we’ve planted it and we’ll see how it goes. It’s certainly a statement plant, though what exactly it’s trying to say is anyone’s guess.

Peruvian ground apple or yacon

This week, we’ve also composted more green garden waste, which the compost bin is eating away nicely, and I’ve done my usual hoe round to keep the weeds down. Earlier in the week, K brought back some potatoes, the first of the runner beans (hurrah!) and the rest of the stunted carrots.

Potatoes, carrots and runner beans

He also picked the first of the blackcurrants, and has made ice-cream, which is utterly fantastic, I must say. It’s odd how we’d never buy blackcurrant ice-cream in the supermarket (because it tastes so bland …) but the home-made stuff is just brilliant.

Blackcurrants

Meanwhile the courgette is coming along nicely, though I didn’t bother picking any more rhubarb as it started to rain quite heavily.

Courgette

On the flower front, we have sweet peas and cornflowers doing well, plus a good harvest of cleome – which has thorns!! Who knew?!? – gaura, astilbe, scabious and coreopsis.

Sweet peasCornflowersHarvest

Here are the flowers at home in their final places. I didn’t bother with the dahlias this time as they only last one day, tops, so there’s no point picking them!

Vase 2 Vase 3 Vases 1

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke