Monday, 1 December 2014

Autumn Colours

After another chilly and drab Autumn week, but with a beautiful sunny day yesterday, which cleared away the dampness in the air and on the ground I decide to spuddle off to my plots today in the late morning. With not a great deal to do around my allotments, the intention was to make a short visit and do a cursory inspection of everything. Most of the ground areas were reasonably dry, except where the fallen Autumn leaves were strewn around, holding in moisture, mainly across the southern lower parts of my plots, close to the hedgerow. The grass areas of the plots were also a little damp, as only recently has the grass stopped growing to any degree. As I wandered around my plots checking the beds, borders, paths, cloches and ground covers, I noticed a surprising and varied amount of new growth, despite the recent cold, damp weather. Many spring flowering bulbs were showing well above soil level. The autumn sown veggies which would be expected to develop were doing well and even my mixed lettuce, (uncovered as yet), was growing away, unaffected by the recent frosts. 

Passiflora Still Flowering End of Nov 2014
 Seven or eight other plot holders were working away on their plots when I arrived and were in the process of some rough digging or clearing decaying vegetation from their planting areas. By about midday most of them had left for home. I dug over a few feet of soil at the top end of No1 bed. After about forty minutes of digging, I decided to remove my runner bean plants, which were still in situ on the L-Shaped bed and still growing, although they were looking bedraggled, having been ravaged by a recent heavy overnight frost. This task took me longer than I anticipated. After cutting away the plants ties, removing the supporting canes and cleaning them of soil and sooty mould, salvaging some beans for seed, disposing of the foliage onto the compost heap and putting away the hundred or so canes, into my shed, 2 hours had gone by. I then cleared the ground, on the drainage ditch bank beneath my fruit trees, of more fallen leaves, depositing them into my "leaf mould bin". By the time this task was finished I called it a day, locked up the sheds and spuddled off home.
Camelia In Full Bud End of Nov 2014
Groundsel Flowering End Nov 2014
Inkcaps Like It Damp Dec 2014
More Inkcaps
More Inkcaps Dec 2014
More Inkcaps
And More Dec 2014
(This One Usually Dies Back in Late Autumn) Dec 2014
Feverfew Flowering Dec 2014

There's Always Tomorrow!!!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Rooko's December Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1 to 10.


If you don't celebrate Christmas be happy anyway!!

Bacon Chocolate animated GIF
Now Remember Don't Overeat This Christmas
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There's Always Tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Free Vegetable Growing E-Book

Just a quick link to obtain a free E-book for my U.S.A. viewers (and others)
 (100% free P.D.F. download)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Another Overcast Week

With just 2 visits to my plots this week again, today and last Monday. Only a little tidying up needed doing and a few weeds required pulling and disposing of, onto the compost heap, so things are moving slowly. I may get around to the 2 main tasks I have left over this year, some time next week, those of repairing my poly tunnel vents and replacing several water butt taps which have worked loose. The plots are mainly damp and looking very Autumnal, although the soil is still workable, (using walking boards), any remaining preparation can now wait until early Spring next year, as I am taking a few well earned breaks from most gardening tasks until then.
Broad beans
Broad beans (Aquadulche) Mid Nov 2014
 In one of my earlier posts I remarked that I thought this coming Winter would bring some extremely bad weather. When I visited my plots last Monday I found beds 3 and 4 already had approximately 6 inches of standing rainwater across their lowest ends. Despite some heavy overnight rain and daytime showery rain this week, the water had drained away by the time I visited the plots today. Hopefully the clearing of the drainage ditch I carried out earlier this year has paid off, as there was no sign of further underground water running into the ditch from the plots, as there was on Monday. Anyone who watched the Andrew Marr show this morning, on the B.B.C. (Bulls******s Baffling the Country) may have heard him comment about the wettest Winter on record, to come, this Winter.

Having harvested a couple of excellent sized cabbages and some spring onions earlier today the rest of the crops growing around the plots need little attention at this time of the year. My parsnips growing in one of my raised beds were weeded out for the first time this season, mainly due to a wasps nest close by them. Having been left to their own devices since being sown, I forked over and weeded the damp and compacted soil around the plants, uncovering the shoulders of the roots to discover some excellent sized specimens. Just some frost needed now to add a little flavour to them, or so the experts say??

Parsnips (Hollow Crown) Mid Nov 2014

 There's Always Tomorrow!!!