As the rain started falling today it felt icy cold and almost as if it is the end of Summer.
For 3 of the family it actually is the end of Summer, the Summer holiday and once again the allotment and blog will be handed back to The Head Gardner.
Here are some pictures of the allotment as it stands today and some snippets of our journey and the future plans.
Littlest digger has suddenly become an enthusiastic writer and spent the morning in the newly tidied shed writing and avoiding the inclement weather.
These are the onions that had had too much outer skin pulled off. Looking at our neighbours you can leave them in the warmth and they develop a brown skin so can be stored.
Our pepper has taken nearly all Summer to turn from green to red and is still not there. Hidden on the plant are several others but I’m not sure they are going to get bigger in the time we have left of warmness.
These are winter salad leaves, planted a few days ago. They are fast growing (3 weeks) and will hopefully give our greenhouse a purpose. We have also planted red winter cabbages and coriander.
These are our Christmas potatoes we are growing 3 inside and 6 outside. These have been in less than a week and already are erupting through the soil.
These are the straggling last of our tomatoes although frankly we have had so many that I close my eyes now incase there are more to pick. They are a bit battered and the skins are not the best so we are cooking with them at the moment.
The herb garden is flourishing in the pots and I have plans, after the winter when I see what’s survived, to recreate it at home so that if I want fresh herbs and haven’t visited the allotment they are easily available.
This is our new strawberry patch. We looked at different ways of growing strawberries and decided we would just plant them out and put straw under when needed.
Unbelievably these 3 strawberry plants are the parents of all the plants in our patch (approx 30!) We are all very hopeful that next Summer we may all get a strawberry at the same time and even manage to take some home. This year it has been whichever person was the quickest to find the hidden juicy jems.
This is the bed of our 6 outdoor Christmas potatoes.
This is the existing brassica bed that until yesterday housed broccoli. The plan for next year is this will be the new home of the raspberries and in front of the raspberries where the cabbages are now will be the cold frames. This is Head Gardners September project.
The rest of the brassica bed still looks very green and alive – cabbages, sprouts, kale, turnips and radishes.
We are just starting to see the tiny sprout buds appear on the stalks.
The compost bin, newly extended this week, is looking great and full of all the peas and beans and weeds.
The mint is flourishing in its bed and the initial worry that it was dying has subsided.
This is the surprise rhubarb which seems to be doing well, although is right in the middle of next years root patch so will need to be removed and relocated.
Our apple tree is being used to hang a basket of strawberries next to the strawberry patch. Despite the fact it grew leaves and blossomed we have had no apples so we are unsure what to do with it but may give it another year to prove itself.
Our carrots and parsnip in there heavily protected tent are looking OK. Not sure there will be enough carrots this year to provide even a meal but it’s been an experience.
The parsnips look better but frankly I couldn’t care less as I don’t like parsnips. However after seeing the parsnip cake on Junior Bake Off I may change my mind.
The main crop potatoes are growing away. We are aware that we can start lifting these but as we still have 2 bags of second earlies in the fridge we are avoiding that job for a bit longer! Fingers crossed blight or no other potato horror befalls these in the interim.
This is the smallest raspberry cane with a raspberry on, although it has been nibbled as it is so close to the ground.
The small raspberry cane, along with these stray canes are all going to be moved to the new raspberry area when the raspberry dormant period arrives (November).
Our globe courgette is still blooming beautiful large, yellow flowers however before the courgettes come to anything worth harvesting the flowers die off and so does the fruit. We have had 3 usable courgettes and have enjoyed the experience however will be growing normal courgettes next year.
This new bed previously housed weeds, beans and peas. As these have come to an end we have pulled them up and started to dig over the area. I have really been enjoying this digging although my hands, back and knees are suffering.
The gooseberries have had an early prune as it was the only way to actually get to some of the fruit. Out of the 5 bushes only 1 gave a good yield of edible fruit, the rest had funny skin and were very squashy. Not sure what we will do with these next year.
These are lettuce, leek and spinach. The spinach is delicious and the more we pick it the smaller and tastier it becomes. Next to this is a new row of rocket just peeping out. I love rocket far more than lettuce so I’m hoping this crops just as heavy as the lettuce.
I’m not sure what we did in the past Summers as the allotment has dominated this Summer however we have loved it and almost been sad on days when we haven’t visited!