Saturday, 19 November 2011

Crazy weather for November

The weather is still really warm for November (2.5degC) was the lowest last week. There hasn't been any rain for a while but it's been misty/foggy so it was pretty wet on the allotment this morning, but the sun was shining.
The weather's causing a bit of confusion - our raspberry canes are flowering again! We're going to clear them late this year or in the new year and just keep a few canes where we want them to grow - it'll be a shame if they've got fruit on them!!

We only went to have a look at the broad beans - the 3 which hadn't grown last week are still pathetic so we've left the cloches on them, the rest look happy enough though something is nibbling the leaves.
Talking of nibbling.... we didn't eat many of our sweetcorn this year as they hadn't produced very good cobs, but something is happily clearing them up for us!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Bad Camouflage

Whilst tidying up the chard - clearing dodgy-looking leaves and removing a couple of plants - I found three of these bright green caterpillars. A hopeless place to hide as they were almost glowing against the red stems. The Wildaboutbritain web forum confirmed that it's probably a Angle Shade moth larva.
They're living over the hedge now :-|

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Hot November

We haven't visited the plot for a couple of weekends but wanted to get up there to do some digging today. It's been rainy and dull over the last week (lowest temp was 1.5°) but today the sun was shining and it was about 16° - amazing for November!
The broad beans have sprouted well, with only a small number not looking right. I took the cloches off all the good ones and have put a frame over them in an attempt to keep pigeons off...
Pulled the remaining turnips and dug over the area and the green manured area.
We cleared Quarter 3 and dug the horse manure in, avoiding the area where the peas are going to stay.
Jamie dug up the last of the purple Congo potatoes and we also took home a giant beetroot and a carrot to have a lovely veggie bake tomorrow.

We left 3 hours later with a much tidier looking plot.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Next Year's spuds and onions ordered

We've placed our order for next year from Thompson and Morgan.

We've opted for these potato varieties:

Potato 'Kestrel' - 10 seed potatoes (Second Earlies)
Potato 'Orla' - 10 seed potatoes (First Earlies) We found these to be good for mash and baking too this year
Potato 'Belana' - 5 seed potatoes (First Earlies) These should produce lots of small new potatoes
And we've ordered the following onions and shallots:

Onion 'Santero' F1 Hybrid - This is an early cropper which is apparently resistant to downy mildew
Shallot 'Golden Gourmet' - Our favourites for making pickled onions

They won't arrive until Jan-mid-May.

We've ordered less than we've had this year, as they just keep going on for too long really. We got a bit fed up with the new potatoes this year and it's a shame to let them grow big.
We've still got a Congo and a Kestrel plant in the ground at the plot at the moment.

We're really hoping the onions will be happier next year so that we get a full season without them succombing to mildew...

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


We had a lovely Halloween dinner: Layered beetroot, potato, carrot and tofu chunks in a cheesy sauce - so delicious and colourful (we used purple spuds).

The next day the pumpkin went to the compost bin - not a home-grown pumpkin this year; they take up so much room, but next year we may grow some small jack-o-lantern squashes...