Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween...from a bad mum :-(

Well Halloween arrived is now just about over. It isn't widely celebrated here in the U.K. like it is in some places but you still get a few children who go out 'Trick or Treating' and there are some costume parties that go on and some pumpkins carved.

I don't dislike Halloween I just wish it took place at a warmer part of the year although I don't suppose we can grumble too much about it this year!

I didn't go 'Trick or Treating' with the kids this year but I did fully intend to carve some pumpkins with the kids...however the kids are all tucked up in bed.....it's getting on for 11pm...and my pumpkins are still sat on the side...Whoops!!

I will probably carve them at some point, I guess we can always use them as garden ornaments for next weekend but we just didn't get around to it..and the kids never asked even though they sat on the side.

pumpkins
Pumpkins still waiting to be carved...whoops!!

You will notice they are in a carrier bag and this is because they were store bought. I didn't grow my own this year and if I'm totally honest I have never eaten pumpkin and don't really know what to do with it!! I fully intend to grow some next year though so maybe I will be more enthusiastic about carving them then...one guy who grew them this year had one sooooo big it took two full grown men to lift it and it nearly tipped over the wheelbarrow...unfortunately I didn't get a picture.

So what did you do with your evening on Halloween??? And does anyone know any pumpkin recipes??

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Autumn is here...kind of!!!

Well it's been a while since my last post and I feel kind of bad for being so neglectful as I do have stuff to right it's just hat with half term being here I seem to have had less time than whilst working!! Not much is going on around and about...we moved the clocks in the U.K. last weekend so now it's getting dark at 5pm but weirdly it isn't that cold. I know it's autumn because the calendar says so...and some of the leaves are turning and coming off the trees but it is just so warm still and today was 18degrees...Oh well I guess I'll just make the most of it whilst it here...could be snowing next week..lol

Anyway although it is still quite warm the tomatoes have just about finished. There are still a few on the plants but they are very slow in turning and the leaves are curled and brown but I am determined to leave them on the plant as long as possible as I much preferred them ripened this way.


Still haven't been up the plot so I will hopefully manage this at the weekend and I can let you know how it's doing then.


tomato plant
Poor tomato plant!!

What's the weather doing where you are??? Is it as warm for you?? At this rate I'll need to cut the lawns again :-(

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Grape vines!!!

Did you see my title??? That's right...I actually said 'Grape Vines'...not plants or trees...aren't you impressed??? My Mum kept moaning at me for not naming them properly so I thought I should be a little more correct about the new fruits I was growing!!!

Anyway I finally got the vines planted today...I have to say i feel a little awful about having left them in the pots for so long but with other stuff that's happened i just didn't feel like playing in the garden.

Anyway they are in now and hopefully will thrive well. I have put these in the garden as they are going to trail and I didn't have anywhere sheltered to put them on the allotment. I am going to get some trellis and erect it for them to climb up and if they do well i may get a couple more for next year!!

grape vines
The Grape Vines in their new home!!

As for my dwarf nectarine tree...I think with the grape vines in residence it may not feel so lonely so I have decided to leave it where it is and get a few different fruit trees for the allotment.

I think the allotment is doing OK but I have to admit I haven't been back since Monday and even then I didn't take much notice of what was going on for obvious reasons so I will hopefully go and check on my beans at the weekend!!!

Monday, 19 October 2009

R.I.P. Tiger-Lilly

Today was a sad day as we lost one of our cats...she was found just a little way up the road on the grass verge and had obviously been hit by a car. She was not my only cat but each of them are very different and have very unique characters and she will be sadly missed.

I write this post here as she was a cat that loved the great outdoors and would go wandering over the fields and even sometimes follow me to the allotment.

Tiger-Lily..with a character as big as a tiger's and a cat NOT prepared to be ignored...lol

So this was where I buried her.....on my allotment knowing how much she loved to be out sunning herself and also knowing that she will always be with me when I visit. R.I.P. Tiger-Lilly...we loved you and will miss you dearly!!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Can I have a little advice? Please.....

Hi All.

Well there has been some discussion on my blueberry bush and I thank you all for the info...whether it was good or bad news and now I just have to wait and see what happens over the next few months. I have to say I have popped up the allotment since to collect some tools and it is looking rather healthy but only time will tell fruit wise.


I had to go into town today (which is usually a major no no for me on a weekend) to take a dvd back and I had a quick wander down the market where I saw two rather healthy looking grape plants/bushes which I bought for the bargain price of £4.95!! I also saw some very nice frut trees which I think I will go down and collect in a week or so...(you see the sacrifices I make for my allotment..visiting town on a weekend!!)

Anyway the advice I wanted to ask you was about a fruit tree which is where all the other babble came from. In my garden I have a dwarf nectarine tree...it has been in the ground now for about 18months. I have never had blossoms or fruits
but it seems to be quite healthy. My question to oyu is...do you think I should transplant it to my allotment?? It looks rather lonely here and I know some fruit trees will only produce with other fruit tress close by. I don't know if this is the case for the nectarine tree but I thought it may do better up the allotment surrounded by other fruit trees and bushes. So what do you think readers??? Move it or leave it??? Quite a big decision to make but it also needs to be a speedy one as I think next autumn would be too late and if I don't get it moved soon it won't be settled before the hard frosts arrive.


dwarf nectarine tree
Dwarf Nectarine tree.

I look forward to all your comments and decisions....Thanks!!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Shopping Trip!!!

Well today I went out to Downtown Garden Center. I took my parents for lunch there as a treat and also had a good look round and picked up a few fruit bushes for the allotment.

I ended up with 2 redcurrant bushes....a blueberry bush and a red gooseberry bush...I even bought some lime for the blueberry bush :-).


fruit bushes
Today's purchases.

I wasn't quite sure what to do with the lime as I have never added it to my soil before so I just dug a deep whole....sprinkled some in...stirred..watered....drained...re-stirred and then planted...I think this may have been wrong so I'm hoping I haven't done any damage...only time will tell!!!

I have planted all the fruit bushes within the gravel and also moved my existing gooseberry bush to the top end of the allotment as well. I think they will become very established here without hindering the plot...and it will look lovely in the su
mmer and make the fruits easily accessible!!

fruit bushes
All planted!!

I also got some cut price herbs, all of them had gone down to 49p so they have gone in with the other herbs on the allotment...no real bargains this trip but I am happy that I got some fruit bushes...I would still like a few more but I am waiting for something that jumps out at me...loganberries are kind of doing that at the minute...hhmmm?!?!?!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Winter dig is finished!!

I got up this morning to a dreary looking sky and wet paths and gardens. As the son rose higher above the horizon it burnt away the clouds spreading warmth over the fields beyond my windows and that was when I decided that i was going to get the digging finished today....before the earth got to wet and heavy and the air too cold!!

So off I went to the allotment...I still had quite a lot to
do but as I had already took out the few weeds that had sprouted up and took up the remaining chilli plant, cabbages and leeks yesterday it really was a case of just digging. I went in the frame of mind that i wouldn't leave until it was all finished and that is exactly what I did. I think it took me a good couple of hours none stop digging...(and a lot of sweating...eewww!!)...to get it finished but I was very pleased when I came home and showered knowing that i was sorted for the winter!!!

I still have my runner bean plants in as they are still producing but I think it will be only a few weeks now before they come up as well. My broccoli and brussel plants are all looking quite healthy and I am hoping for a good crop next spring!!

I have to say after what i started with at the beginning of the year I am giving myself huge pats on the back for the accomplishments I have made this year. The allotment still isn't exactly as I want it but I know that by this time next year I will have everything in place...(at least I hope so!)



Doesn't it look great??

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Busy Days.

Well we have had some decent rain this week so I decided it was time to start giving the allotment it's winter dig. I didn't get down the plot until 2:30pm so I didn't have much time but I got a good start getting about a third of the allotment rough dug and fertilizing as I went!!

I had a few weeds to dig out and a nasty patch of grass to get up but I got all that done first and so hopefully I will get back tomorrow morning and get the rest dug over and fertilized and then I can rest for the winter and plan for next spring.

I saw Kate up the allotment setting her winter broad beans and I have yet to do this but I will wait a couple more weeks before I set mine.


allotment
What I started with...and Kate in the background working on her allotment.

I am quite pleased with how well things have worked out this year and I'm just hoping I can do as well next year when I (hopefully) have a bit more land to work.


When I get it all dug over I will let you know and post a pic....it will be very brown..so not exactly pretty..but neat!! :-)

Thursday, 8 October 2009

What to do with the chillis!!

I had a really good crop on my chilli's this year. I had 3 plants on the allotment...I didn't grow these myself but bought them from the allotment store at the bargain price of 20p a plant.

It is the first time I've grown chilli's and I will definitely grow them again next year!!

I froze some of my chilli's...first I chucked them in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds to blanch then and bring out the beautiful green colour and then sealed them in freezer bags immediately and when they had cooled put them in t
he freezer.


drying chilli's
Drying the chilli's

Some of the other I have chosen to dry...I am air drying them by threading them on to a piece of cotton and then hanging them up....some of them as they are drying have started to turn red...is this normal for a chili??? Not ever having grown them before I really don't know!! When they have finished drying I am going to chop them up roughly and put them in a grinder...(you know the kind you use for salt and pepper)....that way people can add an extra touch of hot to their meal if they wish to...I usually do!!


red and green chilli's
See them turning red??

What do you do with your chilli's???

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Just a little looksy!!

Well as promised in yesterday's post I popped down the allotment this afternoon for a little look at what's been going on over the last week!!

I think the nice surprise this morning was the puddles on the ground due to horrific rainfall throughout the night so when I did get down to the allotment I was pleasantly surprised and how wet the earth was and how soft..(If I'd have known it was going to be quite that soft though I would have put my wellies on ..as it was I had to scrub my shoes on returning home :-( ) Anyway back to the afternoon at hand. Thankfully my time spent weeding still seems to have paid off as i only saw one or two weeds and it is nice to know that when I go to turn the earth over...and the fertilizer in....at the weekend I won't have lots of pesky weeds to remove.

cabbage
A cabbage..haha

My runner beans are still producing and I got a good carrier bag full today so I was quite pleased...there are still some immature beans on the plants so I won't pull them out for a while yet.

The marrows with the powdery mildew are now looking quite healthy but have not produced me any more marrows and I doubt they will now so I will dig that up at the weekend.


marrow
moldy marrows!!!

My one remaining chilli plant has done well and I will also harvest those chillis and dig it up over the weekend.

chilliLovely chillis!!!!

In the garden the tomatoes are still turning but at a slower rate which is much better for me as I am not shoving quite so many tomatoes down the kids throats..lol.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Oh Peppers....no rain :-(

OK...kind of an odd title I know but I was hoping it would make you want to read....I think my title is probably the most exciting thing about the post though!!!

I have to say I have been very bad and haven't even visited my plot since I put the gravel down...(I hope it's settled nicely now) and I just know I will have lots of beans that are now too big to pick and also plenty to harvest...than there was that left over chilli plant...and the marrow....oh cripes!!! I guess I'm off down the allotment tomorrow....I'm sorry I neglected you my dear leftovers!! :-(

Well I got up this morning to darkness...and as the sky lightened I saw dreary clouds and that was all...and then the rain started....the problem is there wasn't enough rain to improve anything so I am still no better off and although I will visit the plot tomorrow I know it will still be too dry to dig!!!!!


pepper plantYay...peppers!!


On the plus side my Peppers have started to be actual peppers....they are coming along nicely and although they may not get much bigger with the weather now getting colder there are quite a few that are of an edible size. I did nip out quite a few of the shoots a couple of weeks back as there were LOTS of flowers blooming and I wanted the plants to concentrate more on the veg it had already produced with us being so late on in the season. I don't know if this was the right thing to do but it doesn't seemed to have harmed the plants. The peppers have done quite well in the mini greenhouse and I think I may purchase an extra one next year for the soul purpose of growing peppers!!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Changing Seasons!!

Well I think I can safely say that autumn is well and truly with us. I got up this morning to se fast moving clouds which were dreary and saw the trees moving crazily in the strong winds. We haven't got the the stage where the leaves are falling thick and fast quite yet but I know it won't be long now with the drop in temperatures.

I'm still waiting for rain though. Although the weather forecast keeps threatening rain when it comes to us it is never more than just a light spattering that barely wets the pavement...let alone the earth!!!

I quite like Autumn arriving as life seems to slow down a little for me, the days get shorter and with the darker nights I can't be busy fro quite so long so it allowa for a bit of me time, to just kick back and relax with a good movie or book, I also find more time to write letters!!!

I've been worrying all summer about what would happen to my blog come winter time, after all...it's not like you spend much time on an allotment in the winter so waht will I write???? Well I'm sure I'll think of something to write...I guess it may not be about allotments all the time but I will hopefully find something to write...it will be fun to see what everyone else comes up with for the winter months too!!!

fallen tomato plant
whoops!!!

Well with all the windy weather that has been about today my tomato tubs have blown over (AGAIN!!). So I have decided that for next year I am going to sink them half the tub depth into the ground therefore (hopefully) solving the problem for next year as we are bound to have more winds again!!!! I guess it will be this time next year when I'm telling you whether or not my solution worked...(god I hope I don't bore people so much that they stop reading by then!!)

Well that's all for now....anything exciting going on in your gardens/allotments that you can tell me about??? I'm feeling a little dejected that I have nothing to do on mine until the rain comes!!!!