Posted by: sweetpea | October 23, 2006

Tidying up at the lottie

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve spent any time down at the lottie, so I made up for it this weekend.  I spent most of Saturday there, and popped down Sunday morning too.  There is always so much to do, and it’s always hard to know where to begin.  It’s the time of year for tidying up the plot, preparing the beds for next year, and repairing and building structures.  I decided to start with the tidying up.

 

I’ve been amazed at how productive the squashes have been, but the plants are by now looking half dead, or in fact dead in some cases.  So up they came, quite a job really stuffing them into bin bags.  Seems a waste not putting them on the compost heap but they’ve had powdery mildew and as I’m not sure whether it’s something that will be killed by my compost heap I thought it best to bag them and take them to the green waste skip so it can be composted at high temperature.  Whilst clearing the area the squashes had covered I found a few extra I’d missed when harvesting and a few more that the rat had got to.  Looking back, although the rat has been a problem, I don’t think I’ve lost a huge amount to it, and what I lost in squashes I gained in sweetcorn 🙂

 

Squash harvest

 

view of the plot 

 

Once I’d cleared the squashes I set about clearing the courgette and sweetcorn bed.  But before I got stuck in I collected the remaining sweet pea pods ready to sow for next year, not as many as I’d hoped as a lot have gone mouldy in the damp, but enough for a good show I hope.  By the time I’d finished clearing the bed it was time for the allotment store to open, so off I popped to pay for a couple of barrow loads of manure.  Its hard work shifting the stuff, I have to do it in half barrow loads, but it looks good stuff this time.

 

Before leaving on the Saturday I also cleared out the dead material from the greenhouse. I’m wondering whether to try and pot up the aubergine plants as they’ve started to re-sprout after I cut them down. I could bring them indoors and maybe I’ll get an early crop next year as they are supposed to be perennials I think.  I might try the same with the chilli plant too, but I don’t think there will be room for the sweet peppers!  I pulled up the remaining ‘Flyway’ carrots, can’t say that I’m that impressed with the flavour and they’ve been hit by carrot fly as I didn’t get around to putting up a barrier, so I think I’ll try a different variety next year, I quite fancy the multi coloured ones.  I also pulled up a couple of beetroot, a kohl rabi, and a couple of overgrown turnips!

 

Carrots

 

Sprouting sprouts

Sunday I popped down to shift a few more barrow loads of manure, somehow I managed to get it all over my jeans!  After digging some into the old potato bed, I planted 32 garlic cloves, I’m trying a pink garlic this year from Seeds of Italy, I’m sure I should have left it a couple of weeks for the manure to break down a bit more, but time is scarce at this time of year so in they went and fingers crossed they’ll be ok.

 

The wildflower bed really needs a good weed and a tidy but I’m loath to remove the seed heads. I love how the teasel towers above everything else with its architectural seed heads, in contrast to the fluffy seed heads of the Hemp Agrimony and the papery chicory.  (Can you tell I’m doing a garden design course!).  I want to try and make an insect refuge with the teasel stalks when I finally bring myself to cut them down.  Next year I want to plant even more flowers around the plot, especially late flowering ones so that the bees and butterflies have plenty to feed on to prepare them for winter.  At the moment all that is left flowering is the French marigolds and some borage.

 

Marigolds

 

Borage flower

 

Oh, and I almost forgot, I started to fill my second compost heap too.  the first one isn’t full but I thought I’d let it rot down and mix it up so that I can use it in the spring.

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