Allotment Diary (October – Week 1)
I’m trying something new with my diary. Rather than just publish it on this website, I’m also going to record a new weekly video, called “The gardening week’. This diary, will be the show notes for the video. I’m also considering publishing the audio from the video as a podcast, again with this page as the show notes for the podcast.
I’m hoping this will allow me to talk about all of the little gardening tasks (plus the big ones) that make up the week, but never get captured in videos. Since I won’t be making as many videos that duplicate existing content, this will be a substitute for those.
I will still be making plenty of videos though, but my focus is switching from just showing you what I’m doing from week to week, to more comprehensive ‘how to’ videos that will be available on youtube, but also integrated into my book.
As always I will try and give you an idea of how gardening fits into my broader life in this diary and associated video too.
So let’s get started with Monday!
We finally have rain, after months of drought. Our reservoirs are running at about 30-40% capacity right now, down from their usual autumn level of 70%. Even worse, even with this rain they are still emptying, as the dry ground is rehydrating itself and will be for a while. We’ve had three emails from the water company now, imploring us to save water.
I’ve been full of cold for most of the week and we also have a fuel crisis in the local area, so my days have been spent at home in St Annes, rather than enjoying my usual hikes, but that’s meant lots of writing that I will come onto later.
I also spent time looking after my granddaughter, who had her first try in the bouncer, do you think she enjoyed it?
All of this rain is extremely welcome, but it’s also made for some stunning skies and lovely walking weather, provided you can dodge the showers. The outside beds are finally almost fully hydrated, for the first time since May!
Not much gardening news from Tuesday as I had to stay at home due to rain. My cold was worse, so I did a COVID test, which was negative.
I wrote quite a few new pages of my book this week too, specifically:
- Finally finished my guide to making compost
- Guide to growing garlic and green garlic
- New chapter on making coldframes, low tunnels etc
- Guide to growing spinach
You can find links to these in the change history for the book:
I did pop to the allotment to water in slug nematodes, I made a video on this which will be up soon.
I also potted on the tomatoes and moved them to the conservatory, where they get more light.
My usual rainy day routine is to relax in Caffe Nero in the morning for a couple of hours, this is where I often do the research for my book as well as work on my other hobbies. I then walk to the health club and have a jacuzzi, steam, sauna and swim. I then sit by the pool to do an hour of writing. So that’s what I did on Wednesday morning.
I then went to the allotment, where I had a very enjoyable couple of hours. I dug up the ginger and re-potted it, we will be harvesting the leaves and stems, but we are leaving the roots to mature for a bigger harvest next year. In place of the ginger I planted chard. There’s no point planting it outside now, but in the polytunnel it should provide a continuous harvest of baby leaves for salads.
I also harvested the last of the early celery, I will soon plant the winter celery plants, which are currently happy in their pots. I also planted my second bed of spring cabbage, the other one is in the back garden.
I noticed that all of the field beans from the last two weeks have now broken surface as have the onion sets that will be over-wintered. I gave them their first harvest on Friday
My friend Gerry at growseed.co.uk sent me a big batch of seeds to try out next year. I get specific varieties from lots of different seed companies, but all the basics that I grow come from Gerry.
It was another rainy day so I enjoyed my rainy day routine.
Gardening wise I cleared the last of the golden beetroot from the back garden and put that in the store and the last of the back garden carrots. In there place I planted two beds of lambs lettuce.
I applied nematodes to the front and back garden, I only apply nematodes twice a year, the next dose will be in March/April depending on the weather.
The forcast for the weekend is heavy rain, so Debbie and I decided to bring the harvest forward from Sunday. I went to Caffe Nero for a couple of hours, but skipped the swim.
It was a great decision, because it was a stunning day, perfect harvesting weather.
First harvests for this week and all previous weeks shown here:
Here’s what I sowed this week:
Harvests are picking up well now as we head into Autumn.
Here’s our harvests for the year so far, with the most recent at the top. We hit our target for last year and harvested over £12,000. We will never harvest as much again as we have less land now, our objective has changed now.
Here’s a list of the preserves for the year. Debbie is now busy making lots of preserves.
YouTube videos for the week can be found here: