Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Holey Cabbage

Almost impossible to prevent slugs from chomping the outer leaves of these late summer cabbages, even if the nets prevent pigeons from having a go too, but the hearts are usually dense enough to make them worthwhile.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Bachelor's Buttons

The injestion of Feverfew, aka Bachelor's Buttons, appears to be as beneficial as it is a hazard.

Sunday, October 09, 2016


Plenty of fresh veg still around, though running out of onions as the first leeks begin to mature.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Seedy business

Now that the sunflowers, marigolds and rudbeckia are starting to wilt, it's good time to collect seed heads before the rain comes. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Long haul

The garlic planted last month has already put on lots of growth (some of the cloves were unearthed by curious birds, badgers or mice, hence the protection) but it'll be another eight months, around June, until it'll be ready to harvest.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

The colour of autumn

Into October and the sweet peas are still flowering, which is unusual. Any remaining colour at this time of year is welcome, before it all goes black and white. More pointless gourds, useful lettuce and tasty beets.

Friday, September 23, 2016


Globe artichokes look really punky when they're in flower; all spikes and purple mohican. Should really have cut the buds off before they flowered and eaten them: It would have helped the plant too, which was taken from a cutting this year and used up energy producing the flowers, which otherwise could have been used to establish it into a healthier plant for future crops. Then again, bees and other insects appreciate the flowers too.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Selfsufficientish Equinox

Smugly self-sufficient in vegetables and fruit so far this month: Daily harvests of beans, lettuce, sweetcorn, spinach beet, tomatoes and raspberries. Lots of windfall apples about and potatoes, marrows, onions and garlic in storage. Basil, chillies, parsley and coriander still growing well in pots. The freezer is now full up with blackcurrants, redcurrants, strawberries, apple, gooseberries, plums, rhubarb, peas, broad beans and sweetcorn. Still need to visit the baker and the dairy though.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Getting regular small harvests from the new autumn fruiting raspberry canes, planted six months ago. A job to keep them vaguely weed free and watered as the plants establish. The yellow variety, 'Autumn Gold' are just as vigorous and tasty as the red.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Green Beets

Spinach beet always seems to grow well here; better then spinach, which often bolts and runs away to seed from being too wet or too dry. It's not quite as tasty as ordinary spinach, but better than chard, which also has quite tough white stalks.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

On & on

Can't get enough of these; still producing well. Worth growing even more next year and stuffing the freezer.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Good gourds

Plants which I'd hoped were butternut squash turned out to be inedible gourds: perhaps they'll look good on the xmas tree!?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Big Toms

It's been warm and sunny for most of the month, helping the last of these beefsteak Costoluto tomatoes to ripen in the garden.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Full capacity

Some of the plots at the allotment already have bare soil, some meticulously weeded, others covered over and put to bed for the season. It seems a bit premature, when beans, lettuce and spinach still thrive, leek and brassica seedlings need space to establish for the winter and it's worth planting a crop of garlic and broad beans while the soil's still warm.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Daily beanfeast

Much better harvest from the second, later crop of french beans, (aka cobra beans or climbing beans) mostly due to improved watering, weeding and feeding and a sunnier position. Ambitiously planted out some final late seedlings, but there may not be enough daylight to see them to fruition next month.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Kale futures

A little late in clearing ground and planting out some kale seedlings that have been nibbled and pecked a bit, although hopefully they'll recover as they're a useful winter veg. These are a dwarf variety, not the best, so it's worth sowing as many as possible. Trying a final late sowing now to use up a packet of seeds before the expiry date.

Monday, September 05, 2016

More blighters

Along with all the usual stuff, harvested some celery today, some of which was showing signs of celery leaf blight (a virus that hangs around in the soil and makes the leaves wilt and die) and needed removing. The rest is fine and although the stalks are thin, they're full of flavour and good for cooking with. Spending more time in the kitchen than at the allotment now, cooking or preserving all the goodness.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Pot the red

More ripening every day; these 'Roma' have been reliable this year.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Friday, September 02, 2016

Lettuce pray no prey

It took ages to get lettuce growing earlier in the year, when it was too wet, cold or dry for the seeds to germinate and there were lots of slugs around to nip off any that did emerge. These are the first to do well from direct sowing into the soil; others were sown in modules and transplanted or harvested. Hoping some. of which there are about half a dozen varieties, might survive through the winter.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Harvest Supper

Crikey! September again and the accompanying panic and melancholia at the passing of the summer and shortening of the days. Still, plenty to harvest in reward for all the work months ago, when the days were lengthening. Trending (?) this week; sweetcorn, french beans, lettuce and windfall apples.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Season of the Spider

Can hardly move in the garden at the moment without running into a spider's web and plenty are making themselves at home indoors, which is helpful, because there are plenty of aphids and fruit flies about, but unhelpful when they end up in the bath.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sweet pickings

A good year for sweet peas, lasting throughout the summer and benefiting from repeated picking and watering.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Plum snatcher

This squirrel busily slurped on a plum a few feet away, discarding the skin and dripping juice until it either dropped it, or had had enough.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016


           A marrow, a courgette and something in between.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Add water

A beautiful month, after a rainy start, with enough sunshine to allow things to bloom and ripen. Everything's needed watering, especially sweetcorn, beans, courgettes and some newly established raspberry bushes. Lots of early windfall apples and overripe plums about and with them, fruit flies and wasps.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Late risers flourish

Despite being slow to start these off, the sweetcorn's done well in the hot weather, bolstered by almost daily watering and with any luck, there'll be a couple of dozen cobs along in a few weeks. Probably best to take the precaution of fencing these off with netting to discourage the local badger population from taking a sweet snack.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pomme de Terre

After a cold spring and periods of drought and humidity, it hasn't been a great year for potatoes, but a crop of Desiree have done ok.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Rudbeckia fulgida

        Rudbeckia and chamomile loving the hot dry spell this week.


The entire tomato crop at the allotment succumbed to blight, the perfectly formed fruits turning from green to black. It might have been because the weather was wet and warm for a while, but it's more likely that there are spores in the soil from previous years. Fortunately, the crop grown at home in pots has done well.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Echinacea, like Rudbeckia, are cone flowers. John Peel used to play a lot of Conemelt in the 90s.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Beans present & future

Harvested the first of the French beans and planted out some new seedlings for a late harvest.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Cuppa cha

A good year for chamomile and enough to harvest for tea, before the rains return next month.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Rack 'em up

Ideally, the onion harvest should last into the winter, but this year's crop isn't large enough and unless they're stored well they can rot. Enough for the next few weeks though and a lot more flavour than those in the shops.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Some Like It Hot

Raised from seed 18 months ago, these carnations are now blooming well and smell deliciously of honey and cloves. (Dianthus caryophyllus 'Giant Chabaud')

Friday, July 22, 2016

Home Spice

                                        Hot Cayenne

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Frozen assets

That's the broad bean harvest over for the year, with about 5kg in the freezer for later. A good source of protein; one of the best crops to grow. A shame that the earlier blackfly infestation reduced the harvest by around 20%.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


A multi-headed sunflower in the garden that made it to maturity, out of the dozens that didn't.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tray Safe

Kale and lettuce seedlings, safely sprouting in trays away from slimy beasties, though in hot weather the compost can dry out alarmingly quickly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Autumn Early

If these are the new 'Autumn Gold' raspberries, planted back in March, then autumn has come early.