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Allotment/Veg Patch - Thread 7 - The Harvesters Arms

(994 Posts)
bookbook Fri 30-Sep-16 20:36:40

Well, it's been an interesting summer, to say the least.
We are now heading into the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness smile
Everyone welcome to join in and ask for advice , share their woes and just enjoy growing!
previous thread here

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Fri 30-Sep-16 21:26:12

Thanks Book. I was trying to think of a suitable thread title but couldn't come up with anything this time. Harvester's Arms makes me imagine we're all coming in from our plots to a cosy pub to share our gardening tales smile

bookbook Fri 30-Sep-16 21:34:44

I nicked it from teacups suggestion on a previous thread title in truth. It sums up the end of summer and harvest festival too.

BellaGoth Sat 01-Oct-16 05:12:19

Signing in! Great title.

bookbook Sat 01-Oct-16 11:30:29

well, I had a quick dash to the plot this morning .
It is glorious ( though it was 6º this morning when I got up! ).
Finished tidying up the beans, dug up the sweet peas and did a bit more weeding. Then went to pick courgettes ( didn't end up having the time yesterday) - the slugs are starting to feast on them , so maybe time for digging up ..
A robin followed me around, serenading me from every post near by. Happy morning smile
I then went to check on the squashes. I think the crown prince are ready for harvesting. But the butternuts are really going for it- trailers are everywhere, and all amongst the strawberries. I counted 28 set, about 6 already look as if they will get to an acceptable size - not big mind you. So go squashes!! Now - the problem is, these are the runt plants -( I sowed spare seed from a couple of years ago as I had poor germination this year, and the slugs decimated the plants when they got put out at the plot) so which variety are they -mmm well tbh , no idea!

PhoenixJasmine Sat 01-Oct-16 13:47:46

Reporting for duty!

Sounds like a peaceful and productive morning book. How many butternut squash are set on each plant?

bookbook Sat 01-Oct-16 20:33:50

Phoenix - erm a bit of a guesstimate, but I have 3 butternut plants, and they seem to have one main trailer each. there is a little squash at virtually every leaf node ! so about 7/8. DH is agitating to cut the trailers down, to give the bigger squashes a chance. But he did that with my crown prince, and 3 went rotten afterwards, so I am not letting him near them smile

weediculous Sat 01-Oct-16 21:18:52

Argh this is the 3rd time I've tried posting - internet pribs I think.
Thanks for explanation of over wintering books makes sense now.
I want to try garlic - any tips/recommendations?

bookbook Sat 01-Oct-16 21:40:33

you have a bit of a choice with garlic .
there are two main types - hard neck and soft neck
Hard neck tends to be a bit stronger flavour , and can have bigger, fewer cloves, but it doesn't store as well
Soft neck stores better, you tend to get more cloves.
You are in the South East , so you should be fine, some are not so good for up here further North, in the cold
I tend to go for the ones with Wight in the name , but thats personal preference smile

weediculous Sat 01-Oct-16 21:52:44

Thank you, I'll go with one that stores well.
I do have garlic that I bought in France over the summer - from a little old lady selling it, not the supermarket. Am tempted to just try that...? Cloves are not massive

bookbook Sat 01-Oct-16 21:59:27

well, you could, but are they nice juicy cloves, they don't want to be dry and shrivelled IYSWIM. It's worth a try, but the advice is to buy garlic grown specifically for planting out. I only ever tried once doing that, and sadly didn't get any garlic , but it was a supermarket one

weediculous Sat 01-Oct-16 22:36:16

Ok thanks for advice, I'll buy some!

Cathpot Sun 02-Oct-16 08:40:46

Hello, popping in. 4 weeks into new job and still chasing my tail. Managed to clear the greenhouse, tomatoes were mouldy stems and fruit soft , very disappointing although I did get 90 million chilies. It's still a mess in there but my day off is Monday so I'm going to work late tonight and see if I can get some of my day actually off this week and get in there. I need to pressure wash it and disninfect it somehow before next year- any ideas what to use to kill spores etc?

Started eating autumn raspberries and they are lovely much nicer than the summer ones , but I've planted them in a ridiculous place- back of a high raised bed- so picking them is an extreme sport- not sure what I was thinking. I really need to learn to plan ahead.

quince2figs Sun 02-Oct-16 08:57:56

Reporting back too after a long gap... hi everyone.
Unfortunately life has very much got in the way of gardening this summer - mainly trying to manage DF, who is elderly and very ill. After various crises at home, he is safe and happy in a nursing home for some respite care.
I think the slugs have been almost as big a challenge, mind.
Aaand - my almost acre plot is covered in brambles and nettles again - it's like Groundhog Day. At least now the growing season is over, I can spend the autumn and winter really working on getting rid of weeds and hopefully all the grass.
Doreen recommended making turf beds to me earlier in the year, which I will try. I have a very large metal frame which has been in place so long we would have trouble moving it now. Toying with making this a fruit cage, as I would need to just drape with the Enviromesh (that is still in the packet). It's enormous, but I guess if we are going for YoF2017 that's ok!

Only good crops this year - wild damsons, gages, some decent but small apples and pears from my ?8 year old Aldi trees. A few delicious tomatoes and some decent chillies. 2 kale plants from months ago have survived slugathon, and are hanging in there, albeit 5cm tall still.
My beloved quince tree has fruited profusely (?4 years old) for the first time. They are now pear size, so believe they can get a lot bigger, wind-permitting.
Shove, can you tell us more about green manures? I understand we sow now, asnd they weed suppress and fix nitrogen over winter. But what happens then - do they die back and have to be weeded out, or do you dig them in? Which type would I use for clay soil?

bookbook Sun 02-Oct-16 11:43:50

Hi folks Cathpot - I think half term may be the next time to draw breath? smile
quince - its rather disheartening, isn't it. But maybe you need to concentrate on just a few smaller areas, do them well, and let the others look after themselves a bit! You have a lot on your hands.
Green manure - you dig them in - but you must do it before they set seed, so just be aware of that . This is a good site for helping you choose
I have been to plot, but back a bit sooner than normal. ( Minor problem - the wind and rain from yesterday tore some felt off the shed roof, so had to come back and warn DH - another trip back this afternoon to repair <pah>). Managed a bit more digging/weeding, picked some calabrese. Then decided to weigh into the squashes. Forecast for tonight here is for 1º , so I decided to pick the crown prince squashes. While in there had a good look at the butternuts while getting rid of some leaves. There are actually about 3 trailers on each plant ( managed to cut one off with a couple of little squashes on - daft person I am!)
So, altogether I have 6 crown prince. Smallest is 1.8 kg, largest 4.4 kg. So pleased overall , though I should really have had 3 more if we hadn't cut back to them ,and then they rotted. Lesson learned there.

PhoenixJasmine Sun 02-Oct-16 14:11:38

I've had a lovely morning at the plot, digging and weeding whilst my dog snoozed in the sun, and other plot holders coming over to introduce themselves and make friends. Ended up getting a little tour of someone else's plot and they gave me a rhubarb plant which looks pretty healthy smile it seems like a really nice little community. I've also had offers to help prune my out-of-control fig tree and build some supports and things.

Would head back this afternoon, but we're off to meet DP's new nephew, just 5 days old! I don't mind losing a few days of daylight for that smile

GrouchyKiwi Sun 02-Oct-16 14:23:35

Marking my place on the new thread. Nothing much is happening in my garden, which makes me a bit sad, but truth be told I don't have the energy for it. I'd like to go back to being that person.

What could I be doing in the garden now, if I had the motivation?

Cathpot Sun 02-Oct-16 15:25:13

bookbook you'll be eating squash until Christmas! Just having a cup of tea having got in from traumatising my youngest at mrs peregrines home for perculiar children- they didn't stick to the book, put it that way. I've accidentally double ordered daffs and alliums so I've got insane amounts to plant out - but it's sunny so that's not a bad job really. Also need to cut down the garlic chives before they set seed- bit late there. I can see some more ripe raspberries out the window - easy to do as they are 6 feet off the ground. If I can persuade my oldest child she wants to hoover the car I'm all set. Allotments sound so nice in terms of friend plant obsessed people but I have enough trouble keeping on top of the garden beds. Hope everyone is out in the sun

quince2figs Sun 02-Oct-16 17:57:14

Thanks Book, there is more to green manure than I imagined. I think you have guessed the fatal flaw in that plan though... excellent chance of me failing to dig them in before they set seed!
I think I will go the cardboard and mulched garden clippings route, and concentrate on the central area nearest th house, as you sensibly suggest.

bookbook Sun 02-Oct-16 20:13:02

Well, an hour this afternoon patched up the roof felt, so it is watertight ( ish!) but will need to be re- felted when we get out to buy a new roll.
Phoenix - its lovely getting to know folk. Everyone is sort of in the same boat, knows the work put in , and share things. Thats the joy of an allotment site ( mind you I don't think shove sees many...)
Cathpot - ah - the joys of proper winter squashes - I give them a little wash in dilute bleach, rinse them, then they dry hard on the outside. They store really well for months ( we had the last one in early March from last years harvest).
quince - well it did seem a possibility !
Grouchy - are you okay? Take care of yourself please, get help if you need it. ( Can I give you a virtual Mum hug , even though I am not your Mum? ) In the garden - plant garlic perhaps and some lettuce and spinach ? And maybe just something pretty in a pot to smile at.

bookbook Mon 03-Oct-16 09:11:31

Cathpot - I didn't answer about greenhouse cleaning ! I personally just use hot , soapy water and a scrubbing brush ,then hose down. However I haven't had blight. Old fashioned maybe, but Jeyes Fluid is still available. The wonderful veg grower who I spoke about in the other thread uses dilute bleach to clean everything. I think I may do that this year, as I have had mildew on the cucumbers, so it won't hurt!

shovetheholly Mon 03-Oct-16 09:35:47

Grouchy - big hugs. Totally understand the desire to get back out and do something for yourself, it's important. But don't beat yourself up or feel guilty if it's just the sense that there are jobs to be done - the garden will keep. flowers for you.

quince - so sorry to hear about your DF. It can be hugely traumatic for everyone concerned when a shift in care is needed, and there can be all kinds of resistances to it. I'm glad things are now settled - you've done well to get through it all. To answer your question about the green manure, I think you just dig most of them into the soil when finished. Book's link is just about the best I've seen for a run down of the different kinds. The main thing is to work out when you'll need the bed next, and choose one that suits that date and your soil!

cath - sounds like the new job is going well, but busy! It can be such an adjustment going back. Hope you're OK and not too tired. I have made mistakes in locating my rasps too, so you are not the only one!

phoenix - I love the sound of doing the plot with a snoozy dog, how lovely.

book - I am beyond jealous of your wonderful squashes. They're beauties!

IckleWicklePumperNickle Mon 03-Oct-16 09:42:01

Thank you for the new thread Book

Got the greenhouse cleared. Have a busy day all over today. But need to also get to the allotment too.

Cold here too, had our first frost yesterday.

GrouchyKiwi Mon 03-Oct-16 16:08:58

My sedum has finally flowered properly and is looking so beautiful.

Thanks for the hugs, books and shove. I think I'm missing all of the new life the garden used to have. Spring is such an uplifting season.

books I have a lady from a befriending service coming to visit me once a week. She's lovely. The HV is great too.

funnyperson Mon 03-Oct-16 17:48:51

Marking place. Slightly confused though- are sedums edible?
Can someone please advise on what to do with raspberry canes now?

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