Allotment Diary (September 2020 – week 4)
I’m writing this diary in Caffe Nero on Sunday morning, warming up after a frosty visit to the allotments, yes you heard that right, frost in September, when our normal first frost date is 10th November! We definitely seem to be having later and earlier frosts now, even as the daytime temperatures climb.
This week was our wedding anniversary, so we drove to our favourite viewpoint and enjoyed a picnic watching the waves and fishermen and had a long walk along the seafront. We have a beach 5 minutes walk from the house, but the sea rarely makes it into the shore there and crashing waves are reserved for storms.
I’ve been working hard on the allotment this week, pulling as many of the summer planting as I dare and replanting for winter. Debbie and I are also raiding Jennie’s plot for plants and materials that we are transferring to our plots and Jennie’s garden. We are still leaving the plot in great condition, but it makes no sense to give away things that we can make good use of ourselves. In what must be a recent record I spent 18.5 hours on the allotments this week, but my morning walks, cafe time and afternoon naps are sacred, so I’m still feeling very on top of things and relaxed.
Debbie usually makes the evening meal because I only know about 20 recipes, including breads and puddings! This week she’s been trying to see how many different home grown veggies she can squeeze onto my plate, this photo shows her best attempt.
Starting top left we have kalettes, sprouts, green garlic, perennial kale, onion, red pepper, kalette leaves, carrots, Tuscan kale, baby courgette, onion, broad beans, turnip, baby trumbocino, golden beetroot, French beans, red beetroot and potato (I don’ like potato). Add to that my daily salad of red and green lettuce, salad rocket, radish, tomato, cucamelon, purselane, cucumber, Williams pears and grapes and we get an extra 9. Finally for snacks fresh and dried apple and fresh and dried Concorde pears, gives me another 2. That’s a respectable total of 29 fruits and veggies a day. That said if I took my diet for a whole week it wouldn’t be much more than this amount of variety.
Debbie has been busy harvesting the squash and they are now in the greenhouse for a couple of weeks curing. There’s another shelving unit out of photo, so this is a respectable harvest that will keep us going until next year’s courgettes arrive.
These squash came from the big bed on Jennie’s plot which we won’t have next year, so I’ve been working hard to make a new long bed on my plot them. The whole 10 m of this bed will be squash in June, so hopefully we will get 20 fruits. I’ve put in about 1 cubic metre of compost this week, with a bit still to go in when the brassicas come out. I’ve planting it to field beans, inter-planted with a range of onions and garlic (for harvesting green). We harvest the field beans continuously, never letting them get more than about 6″ tall, so there’s no chance of them overwhelming the onions.
So that’s about it, it’s been a busy week, but a really enjoyable one. Below you will find a list of what I’ve been sowing, planting and my videos for the month.
Here’s this weeks sowing log.
As already mentioned I’m well on with the planting now, this is what I’ve planted this week.
We also had an excellent harvest, spread over several days. It’s hard to photograph these harvests, but here’s an attempt at about half of it. I’ve not managed to get any photos of the apples, pears and tomatoes, but there’s been a lot of those too.
One of my viewers commented recently that although I publish all of the varieties that I grow, I don’t make it easy to find the seed supplier. Well I do my best to please. I now have a public view onto my database that lists every seed packet I’ve used in the last few years, as well as those I have in stock. You can find it here and embedded below.
It’s worth noting that these embedded views are very powerful, you can search, sort, filter and export from them.
Here’s our harvests for the year so far, with the most recent at the top.
Here’s a list of the preserves for the year.
I always like to keep a track of or first harvest dates and you can find a summary of those here:
Youtube videos for the month can be found here: