Allotment Blog October 2007

Weekending 14.10.07.

pumpkins

Again another quite couple of weeks, mainly spent clearing plants that have finished producing, like sweet corn, some tomato plants had some bight so they were removed. I carried on picking fruit, pears, apples, Autumn Raspberries and the odd blackberry. I had some nice small pumpkins which I have harvested.

I took the rest of my outdoor tomatoes up and took down the runner beans. The parsnips leaves were starting to turn brown and black so I have harvested them, I will peel and freeze them for use in the winter ( if I would have left them in the ground they would have rotted.)

I still have tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse, Leeks and of course my winter brassicas. The allotment is now clear and ready for digging. This I will do over the next couple of weeks.

Weekending 28.10.07

First of all I would like to thank all of you for visiting my website and a special thank you to those who have emailed me with comments about my website.

Review

Well as it's a year now that my website has been up and running. I thought it would be a good idea to have an update of what's been happening over the last year, which also coincides with the growing season of 2006 -2007.

The Planning

The planning worked out quite well, in that the plots, beds and greenhouse were used as planned. and everything was ready, i.e. digging, composting and rotovating etc. I let myself down in planting tomatoes and cucumbers too early, this effected their growing and fruiting.

Sowing and planting

Apart from the tomatoes and cucumbers all was sown and planted in time and ready for planting out when required. BUT be very careful that you label properly with a permanent marker. As you most probably know, all my Brassica markers faded and I had a job trying to sort out which was which. Even now if you look at my brassica bed you can see the odd cabbage amongst the cauliflowers. The early potatoes grown in a large pot were OK as a novelty but not really worth the effort as a week later I was able to dig up my first earlies. The early carrots grown in a large pot were well worth the effort, these were great and lasted a few weeks. The garlic I planted last year although grown in a mound raised above the main earth, I still suffered from some white rot and rust.

General upkeep

During the season my main work was trying to keep weeds down by hoeing and watering the greenhouse and tomatoes. I did very little watering of the other crops, other than when I planted out my Brassicas, it was rather dry then and needed plenty of water.

Fruit

Well what a year for fruit. My apple trees, pear, plum and cheery all did very well, also my raspberries, blueberries, with plenty of fruit and hardly any pest problems. I transplanted my Gooseberry and black current last year and they were not as good as previous years.

My strawberries on the other hand were a disappointment, although they started off well at the beginning of the year, I got a serious ant problem that caused damage to most of my plants. I am re thinking my strawberry bed situation for next year.

Asparagus

Although I tried to remove the couch grass from my asparagus bed, it was unsuccessful so I am rethinking my asparagus situation. As I started my asparagus from seed, and it has done quite well, I also have female plants that produce seed, so I am going to let the grass take over the bed and just let it go to lawn.

General points on the crops I grew this year

I have added a new column to my seed list from last year to give you an overview of how they produced

Seeds sown and planted this year with review comments of the results

Type

Name

Seeds

 

Comments

Review Comments

Beans Broad
Aquadulce Claudia 70 Aquadulce Claudia Long podded for autumn or early spring sowing. I chose these beans because they can be sown in the Autumn and therefore produce early pods and by trimming the young tops when the beans have set, help to prevent black fly. These beans were planted November 2006 to grow over winter. They cropped well giving a good flavour. Most of the beans were frozen ready for the winter
Beans Dwarf French
Cropper Teepee 110 Cropper Teepee Pencil podded type with white seeded medium green pods. The plants grow with all the pods coming from the top above the foliage for easy picking. This is the reason that I chose these plants. I have not grown this variety before. Some of these beans I started early in the green house producing early beans, they hard a nice flavour and produced well. Some of the beans were started in the greenhouse and planted out as plants, these also produced a good crop. Some beans were planted directly into the ground outdoors I got about 30% successful plants.
Beans Runner
Polestar 70 Polestar Completely stringless, bright green, smooth, fleshy pods, Early and heavy cropper. I chose these because of them being stringless. Again a new variety for me.

Excellent crop of beans excellent flavour very little stringiness some of these were planted into modules and the rest directly into the ground. I thought that they seemed a little slow to produce their pods.

Beetroot
Cylindra 250 Cylindra half long, stump ended, ideal for slicing.Thats the reason for me choosing this variety Good crop of beetroot again I started these off in modules with three seeds per module, then planted module into the growing spot.
Broccoli.
Romanesco 300 Romanesco pale green conical curds. I chose these as they can be cooked whole like cauliflower or broken into pencil thin heads and stalk and cooked like asparagus Cannot comment yet as they are still in the growing process but looking OK
Red Arrow 200 Red Arrow Prolific yielding purple type with excellent uniformity and quality cutting March and April. A nice vegetable during the lean vegetable season. Cannot comment yet as they are still in the growing process they are growing well at the moment
Brussels Sprouts
Seven Hills 210 Seven Hills Latest maturing of the open pollinated varieties, with buttons on medium height plants that can be harvested into April again a nice vegetable during the lean vegetable season. Cannot comment yet as they are still in the growing process. The sprouts are forming well
Cabbage.
Hispi F1 80 Hispi F1 Pointed. Sow early spring. Can also be sown from March to July for summer and autumn cropping. Very quick growing, again a nice vegetable to shorten the lean vegetable season. These cabbages I started in the spring and gave us some very nice spring cabbages.
Tundra F1 80 Tundra F1 A winter cabbage with great uniformity. Compact habit and very hardy. Sow from May to July for cutting from October to early May. A nice vegetable during the lean vegetable season, which stands well. Cannot comment yet as they are still in the growing process The heads are producing nicely
Carrot.
Ingot F1 375 Ingot F1 Early Bercicum type with long stump ended roots. Good flavour and excellent inner quality and very suitable for heavy soils. I have not tried these before but I will grow them at home in a large pot which I will start off in the green house at home. Excellent crop that was grown in a large pot. The rest I had sown direct in the allotment produced three carrots very disappointed. Might be due to the wet clay soil that they were grown in.
Flyaway F1 375 Flyaway F1 The first variety to have tolerance to carrot fly as it is not attractive to egg laying flies. Stump ended roots. These will be my main crop carrots chosen because of there carrot fly tolerance. planted some in large pot still waiting for them to mature, rather small at the moment mainly due to too many seeds sown in the pot.
Cauliflower.
All year round 175 All year round Sow succession for summer and autumn, I chose these so that I can sow them over a period of time to get a succession of cauliflowers these produced very small heads so unsuccessful
Wainfleet 75 Wainfleet Well protected heads maturing from mid April to early May. Large heavy heads. A nice vegetable during the lean vegetable season. Cannot comment yet as they are still in the growing process
Courgette
Defender F1 10 Defender F1 A heavy yielding, deep green variety resistant to cucumber Mosaic virus. Crops throughout summer with regular picking. Excellent crop of courgettes they just kept producing and producing.
Cucumber.
Avanti F1  4 Avanti F1  An all female type for very early cropping. Slightly ribbed, dark green fruits. Growing up to 36cm in length These I will grow in the greenhouse at home as well as at the allotment. I have found this variety to be of excellent value in both taste and number These fared a little better than Diana below some got mildew but I did get some nice cucumbers from them. I have used this variety before without any problems
Diana F1 4 Diana F1 All female mid season variety with extra long fruit up to 37cm. Plants have a strong root system suitable for soil culture and growing at lower temperatures. Again to grow at home and the allotment. A new variety for me. Disappointed. with these. I will take responsibility for that, I think they were sown too early and had a couple of setbacks to their development some rotted in the green house others were disturbed by ants
Gourd
Sweet Dumpling 10 Sweet Dumpling Small, round slightly flattened shaped fruits with light coloured skin and dark green stripes. Creamy orange flesh for cooking whole or stuffing. Stores well. There is only the two of us so the size is ideal. Grew well and managed one pumpkin per plant.
Leeks.
Musselburgh 300 Musselburgh Long thick stems. Ready December onwards. I have successfully grown this variety in the past and is a great winter vegetable to help fill the lean period. Laziness on my part stopped me from planting these leeks as I did not thin them out early enough so they were too thin to plant. So I purchased some leek plants from ebay
Tropita 275 Tropita Extremely long shanks for late summer and early autumn use. A new variety for me so I will give it a try. Laziness on my part stopped me from planting these leeks as I did not thin them out early enough so they were too thin to plant. So I purchased some leek plants from ebay
Lettuce..
Tom thumb 750 Tom thumb Early dwarf. Compact solid heads this will be my main outdoor allotment lettuce. Grew well had a nice crop of these lettuces
Mixed 950 Mixed A mixture of butter head, crisp cos and loose-leaf types for continuous cropping. This lettuce I will grow in pots at home in the greenhouse as a pick and come variety. These did well I continued to sow these over the spring and summer to get a succession of lettuces. these were sown in modules and planted up in pots and kept in the greenhouse at home.
Winter Density 1000 Winter Density Very hardy, Medium large cos type. These I will sow early this month (January) to get an early start in the greenhouse. These did well in spring and were the first lettuces that we had to eat.
Onion.
Bedfordshire Champian 250 Bedfordshire Champian Good keeper. Large round shape. These are my main white storing onions Good crop very little bolting took place. Only had about 2% white rot
Red Brunswick 200 Red Brunswick Late maturing semi flat bulbs of dark red. Medium to large in size with excellent flavour These are my main red storing onions Again these produced well with very little bolting
Onion Spring
White Lisbon 600 White Lisbon Spring onion Poor crop again may be the soil was too damp and clay
Parsnip
Avonresister 600 Avonresister NVRS Cultivator. Canker resistant Short conical roots. I purchased these because of their short roots, as we have clay type soil sometimes the long root varieties are hard to dig up without leaving part of the root behind. Good crop had to pick early as some rot was starting to develop
Peas..
Oregon Sugar Pod 400 Oregon Sugar Pod Tall growing Mange tout type with really large, broad, flat pods. Very prolific. An excellent pea for stir frying, cooking whole or leaving raw for salads. Excellent crop
Onward 600 Onward Outstanding main crop. Very heavy cropper. this will mainly be used for freezing. Excellent crop
Meteor 600 Meteor Very first early. Autumn or spring sown. These I will sow in guttering in the green house to get an early start and transplant into the soil when about 5-10cm tall. Excellent crop
Peppers
Beauty Bell F1 20 Beauty Bell F1 Large block shaped fruits. Heavy cropper. Use green or red. Had a good crop of peppers grown in the allotment greenhouse.
Radish
Mixed 800 Mixed including French Breakfast, Scarlet Globe and Sparkler to provide variation throughout the season Good crops of radishes grown at the allotment and also in deep trays in the greenhouse
Swede
Marian 700 Marian Excellent main crop. Disease resistant. Large purple top roots Did not use
Sweetcorn
Early Extra Sweet F1 40 Early Extra Sweet F1 Sugar enhanced variety with well filled 20cm long cobs. Maturing early September onwards A good crop of sweet corn although not all the corns were full
Tomato..
Big Boy F1 23 Big Boy F1 Very large meaty fruits. These will mainly be used for cooking down and freezing for soups and sauces.

Excellent crop of tomatoes, these were my favourite this year, grew well great flavour

Shirley F1 12 Shirley F1 Superb uniform fruits Good flavour. These will be used for salads sandwiches and again cooking down and freezing I was a bit disappointed in these tomatoes seem to take a long while to develop fruit, seemed to be affected by our cold and windy nights even in the summer
Tumbler F1 12 Tumbler F1 A superior, extra early variety for hanging baskets and tubs, with a graceful, cascading habit. Prolific plants produce over 2.5kg of cherry type fruit. These are to be grown in hanging baskets at home for salads. I was a bit disappointed with these tomatoes they seem to take along while to develop fruit, seemed to be affected by our cold and windy nights even in the summer

Potatoes

Comments

Review Comments

First Early
Swift
Swift
One of the earliest. A good crop of waxy white potatoes with a delicate new potato taste in as little as 7 weeks from planting. Some of these potatoes will be started off in large pots in the greenhouse at home to give us an extra early crop of new potatoes

Excellent crop no slug damage, they eat well

 

2nd Early
Anya
Anya

Bred from Pink Fir Apple, with superb flavour and texture. Anya can be lifted earlier, at any time from early July. Foliage is more compact and manageable. Plant out from Late March, harvest from end June. Each 2Kg pack will contact, on average 25-30 tubers, sufficient to plant a 25-30ft row. These potatoes are excellent for boiling in their skins and store very will through the winter, giving you a nice new type potato with your Christmas or Easter dinner

Excellent crop very little slug damage, they eat well
Main.
King Edward
King Edward
An old but still very popular traditional variety and deservedly so. The oval tubers have attractive red splashes over the eyes. Ideal for baking and roasting. Plant from late March and lift for storage in September and October. 2kg gives between 25 and 30 tubers, sufficient for a 25-30ft row. An excellent all round potato
Excellent crop very some light and slug damage, eat well
Desiree
Desiree

This red skinned, yellow fleshed main crop. produces heavy crops, even in dry seasons. Desirée has a waxy texture and excellent flavour. Wonderful for baking and lovely mashed. Plant from late March and lift for storage in September and October. 2kg gives between 25 and 30 tubers, sufficient for a 25-30 ft row. I have found that these potatoes do not seem to get so much slug damage

Excellent crop no slug damage, eat well.

I think this is the best main crop potato for avoiding slug and insect damage