welcome to my little suburban oasis, filled with flowers,fruit trees and vegetables

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Golden lawn

 The dreadful storm at weekend missed us completely and just left us an attractive layer of golden leaves.

For now, while their colours are bright and fresh, I won't clear them up - there'll be time enough for that when they turn dark and damp.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Picked this week - 27th October

We only managed to get down to the allotment once this week - but it was worth the trip.
I was surprised to find so many tomatoes still ripening 

and lots of raspberries

even another round cucumber, peppers and courgettes - and a tiny butternut squash

some small broccoli florets and lots of spinach again - there's almost more there of it than we can eat.
more beans, both runner....
...french and broad

salad leaves from the garden

and radish and spring onions

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Picked this week - 20th October 2013

 A couple of nice surprises at the allotment this week - far more autumn raspberries than I expected. I thought the damp weather would have slowed them down but they seem to have continued growing and ripening despite it.

 and while starting to clear out the sweetcorn, I discovered some undeveloped cobs which will do nicely for stir fry

 And the 'usual suspects' - tomatoes

radishes and the first spring onions from the September sowing


 small peppers, crystal lemon cucumber and a courgette

 a whole heap of beans - runners, broad, french, borlotto  - and somewhere in there a few peapods

dirty crops - beetroot, turnips and purple radish

teeny cauliflower and very late spring cabbage

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Cut and come again

 Normally 'cut and come again' is a technique I'd associate with salad leaves or herbs but a couple of my cabbage plants are trying to join in as well.
I often find cabbages hard to uproot, so when I wanted to crop these I just cut the cabbage off and left the stalk in the ground. They were both in areas that didn't need to be dug over, so they sat there, just looking stumpy for a couple of months - then they started to grow again.
I expected at best to get some loose leaves from them but left them just in case - and now there's a fine second crop of cabbages! They aren't as large as the original cabbage heads but they may still grow.
I think in future I'll do this with all cabbages, if the ground isn't wanted immediately for another crop. It's the laziest way of growing them, ever :)

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Garlic planting

It's time to get the garlic planted so in-between the rain I found time to clear a small patch of garden that had been a brassica seed-bed, and plant out the garlic bulbs.
These aren't the nice fat bulbs found on sale in shops but the wizened inedible bits and pieces left hanging round the kitchen. Not all of them will grow and the amount of garlic produced isn't going to be anything like the quantity I'd get from new bulbs - but it's free and it saves me just throwing these scraps away.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Picked this week - 13th October 2013

The week started wonderfully sunny but with cold night time temperatures threatening by mid-week we decided to start clearing out the more 'exotic' veg - so more tomatoes...


...lots of peppers, chillies, courgettes, our only aubergines and a tiny pumpkin

runner beans...

...broad beans.

french beans and peas..

..and more of the 'drying beans'

hoping this won't be the last of the soft fruit

the last of the allotment apples and pears - still have one apple tree left to clear at home

now on to winter 'staples' spinach, cauliflower and broccoli

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Butterfly Autumn


A wonderfully sunny day brought the butterflies and bees flocking to the Michaelmas daisies


red admiral

Monday, 7 October 2013

Picked this week - 6th October 2013

autumn fruits - blackberries, grapes, raspberries and, amazingly, strawberries

 and, of course, apples - quite a lot, all of a good size but marked by bugs

lots and lots of cucumbers

some green peppers

and some red

 continuing to clear outdoor tomatoes as soon as they're big enough to pick

though indoor cherry tomatoes are still ripening

I've cleared most of the remaining cobs of corn this week and also collected some smaller ones to add to stir fries

 a solitary courgette

 out first squash of this year - not very large and not really the right shape for a butternut variety

french and borlotto beans to dry

runner beans to freeze

 ..and more..

and a few more late-cropping broad beans

spinach - self-set amongst the cabbage but cropping really well

and last but not least, a cabbage