Allotment Diary (October – Week 4)
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 publishing the audio from the video as a podcast, again with this page as the show notes for the podcast.
I’m now working my way through the allotment filling in all of the gaps that I can find. On Monday I cleared the last two courgette plants, reconditioned the containers and planted spring onions and garlic. This is one of my favourite interplants: the spring onions being harvested in April, just as the garlic starts to need the space. The garlic is harvested in May, just before my main-crop courgettes need the space (I have early courgettes in the polytunnel).
I also mulched the asparagus bed, so it’s now ready for spring onions to be planted in April, another one of my favourite interplants, the spring onions taking up the spare space between the asparagus while it’s being actively harvested. The onions will be picked just as the asparagus is allowed to grow on in June.
Just like Monday the day was very rainy, so I spent my morning cafe hopping and in the health club. Working mainly on the chapter of my book that concerns adapting to climate change.
I managed to get an hour on the allotment in the afternoon, I was clearing up and found some scrap wood so I decided to make a set of new supports for the cold-frames and low tunnels. The existing supports are great for spring and early autumn, but lift the frames a little too high in winter.
I also planted my first 3 large tubs of carrots, which will geminate in November, hardly grow until March, but then romp away for a late April, early May harvest. I will sow another 3 large tubs in early November and then no more until March/April.
In the back garden I weeded the old tomato tubs and reconditioned them with a blood fish and bone and a little well rotted farmyard manure, I then planted them up with the remainder of my scrappy garlic bulbs. These will be harvested green and it’s a perfect use for smaller cloves and split bulbs.
I got a new phone this week, an iPhone 12 Pro Max, which has significantly improved optical image stabilisation, which hopefully viewers of my youtube channel will appreciate. This was purchased through the kind donations made by subscribers on my buymeacoffee web site, so the money made there is flowing directly back to the viewers!
It was raining again so Debbie and I went to see No time to die at the cinema, which proved to be an excellent way to spend a rainy afternoon. In the evening I went for a walk along the seafront and took some lovely photos of the sunset. Sunsets and sunrises are the main benefit of these showery autumn days!
On Thursday I drove up to the Lake District and hiked up the west shore of Windermere Lake, this involves a short ferry trip across the lake from Bowness, followed by the walk to Ambleside, where I caught a pleasure cruiser back to Bowness. It makes for a very varied day, mixing beautiful views, with a good walk and a bit of luxury at the end.
While on this walk I tried out the new camera and shot another “walk and talk” video.
Friday provided even more rain and so another rainy cafe and health club morning. I finished writing the climate change chapter and another chapter on living soils. These both still need decorating with photos and videos, but the text is finished.
In the afternoon I spent another hour on the allotment. I checked all of the new plantings, out of a few hundred I’d lost two plants, so I replaced those with spares. I also put extra supports in for a few plants damaged in the high winds we’ve been having.
Sunday’s forecast is rain again so we did the harvest on Saturday instead. I did the final harvest of the temporary spinach and salads in the polytunnel and I will get those beds replanted on Sunday. This was a tricky decision. I only have barely enough salad and spinach right now, my new plantings are at least 2, maybe 3 weeks away from harvest, so we will probably be a little short for a coupe of weeks. However without the new plants going in we will be very short over-winter. My preference is always to prioritise planting for winter and just hope that we muddle through the autumn transition some how.
Sunday is my strength training day in the gym and a day to relax and catch up on housework (since it’s raining). I’ve also finished the chapter of my ebook on climate change. As predicted I cleared and reconditioned the polytunnel beds and planted new spinach and lettuce for winter.
First harvests for this week and all previous weeks shown here:
Here’s what I sowed this week:
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: