Thursday 4 August 2016

It's got to go!!!

So about 6 years ago I purchased some grapevines. I never really expected to get much from them but thought they would make a fine barrier between my plot and the next, look pretty and feed the wildlife.

Well I was right, they produce grapes but never really ripen so aren't fit for human consumption, they do however look pretty and the birds do pick off the fruit in the autumn.

Grapevine takes over!!
They are continually making a break for the entire allotment, and not just mine but the neighbouring plot holders too. I am continually having to hack them back just to get down the path so this autumn they are just going to have to go. They are wonderful but there is just no taming them and I am having to be so ferocious with cutting them this year to try and keep them under control a little that I don't think they will even produce fruit for the birds.

So in the autumn I will be removing them, my dilemma is, I don't just want posts and wire at the end of my plot. I want something bordering it but don't know what i should put here. I would like something that can give back in the way of beauty, habitat or food (either for me or the wildlife) something that would be a little easier to contain and something that will be there year on year to cut down the workload.

So if any of you have some ideas on what I could grow...please do let me know as at the moment I just can't decide.

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Garlic and Onions!!

 Well I breathed for a little longer than intended but never mind. I then of course thought I had loads of subjects to pick from for this post until I got my camera out and realised that whilst I have been taking it out with me I have neglected to take photos on it...oopsy!! But anyway I did photograph the garlic so mundane as it is this is what you are going to read about today...of course feel free to switch off now if you like...honestly I won't be offended...of course it's not like I'd even know....but even if you told me in the comments box that's what you've done I still really wouldn't mind.

Of course...if you're still here and do want to know then get ready for.......


Okay, so I grew four different sorts of garlic this year, really for no other reason than because I could. One lot was french garlic which was given to me by another plot holder and the other three were garlic bulbs that were available from the allotment shop so all at good prices.

garlic bulbs..french stuff
The french stuff.
Red Duke, homegrown garlic
Garlic, Red Duke
homegrown garlic, solent wight
Garlic Bulbs, Solent Wight
homegrown garlic, valledo
Garlic bulbs, Valledo
 I have to say i have never really taken any notice of the variety i have bought in the past, just bought what was available in the shop and hoped for the best. Some years have been good and some have been not so good but I have always managed some form of harvest.

Having grown different varieties this year i have seen the difference in the harvests quite extensively. It wasn't the best of years for garlic as the winter was quite mild and you get (well so the books tell me) better splits the colder it is. I'm not sure you can tell by looking at the photos but there was quite a difference in the bulbs.

Valledo were by far the better bulbs, the splits were good and so there are plenty of cloves on each bulb but not only that each of these cloves are a good size so I think next year this will be the one that I stick with growing although i haven't taken the taste test be honest I sorted them all out up the allotment and quite stupidly chucked them all into my trug....

garlic, homegrown, trug
Garlic in trug...rustic!!
Now isn't that a wonderfully rustic photo?? At least I was told they looked great in the wooden trug surrounded by lush green grass (and dandelions!) so I thought it was a perfect photo opportunity!! a little off topic there....oh yeas...flavour. I am aware that the flavours of garlic can be very different but I am hoping for the best here...if not I guess I will be back to the drawing board next year and growing several varieties again as I certainly don't want to lose out on flavour purely for quantity. I would much rather have a little of something good as opposed to a lot of something bleh. The only saving grace I have is that the valledo bulbs were so much bigger than the others it will be easy for me to single these out to try against the other varieties.

Has anyone else grown any of these varieties before?? A heads up on flavour would be good!!

Wow I found a lot to say about the garlic...but of course there were onions in the title too.....

autumn planted onions
Autumn onions
 Not many of these really and to be honest I had forgotten I'd even planted them. Even now I've dug them up I still don't remember but i am pleased that i did, my other onions aren't doing well at all this year and although these onions aren't huge they have a wonderful aroma about them and a nice flavour. I think I will definitely put more in this year...I mean how great to get something else in back end when you have so much more time as you aren't running round like a 'blue arsed fly'!!

No idea on the variety of this onion...I must have purchased them from the allotment shop along with the garlic so maybe I can find out or they will get some in again and so I won't have to go and source my own.

Well that's about all for now. Happy Gardening!