Friday, 2 November 2012

Seed for 2013 and October photographs

Late October and the leaves are beginning to turn.

I keep loosing this list so I will write it here so that I know where it is:

Wodan Beetroot *

Perpetual Spinach

Rainbow Chard

Curly Kale*

Broad bean*

Broccoli Red Arrow*

Brussel Sprout Trafalgar*

Cabbage Bruswick*

Cabbage Stonehead*

Red Cabbage Red Drumhead*

Calabrese Green Magic

Cauliflower All the year round*

Carrot Flyaway *

Carrot Sweet Candle*

Carrot Autumn King*

Celeriac Asterix

Celery Victoria*

Cauliflower Aalsmeer*


Courgette Jermore*

Cucumber Crystal Lemon*

Cucumber Bedfordshire Prize*

Florence Fennel Rondo

Florence Fennel Romanesco

Good King Henry

Garlic Wight

Kohn Rabi Purple Delicacy

Leek Mammoth Blanch*

Leek Pot *

Leek Blue Solaise*

Lettuce Web's Wonderful*

Onion Mammoth Improved*

Onion Armstrong*

Onion Santero*

Parsnip White King*

Pea Douce Provence*

Pea Early Onward*

Pea Progress No9*

Pea Lincoln*

Pea Onward*

Asparagus Pea

Runner Bean Liberty*

Squash Metro*

Pumpkin Kills Atlantic Giant*

Sweede Tweed*

Sweetcorn Early Extra Sweet

Shallot - my own*

French Climbing Bean "Trail of Tears"*

The ones with large asterisk will give 12 points and the ones with small asterisk will give me 8 points.
The early potatoes this year will be
I am only going to grow Latah tomato this year.
I will be planting several of the saved seed including Cobra French Bean, Broad Bean, Telegraph Pea, Runner Bean and Trail of Tears climbing French Bean. I would have liked to collect and keep a lot more seeds but I haven't had the time this year.
Potatoes for this year will be;




Red Duke of York


Arron Pilot

And the second early will be:


I have finished off sowing green manure.  Experience shows that planting it this late in the year does not really give it time to thicken up very well.  I will probably not plant any more now until the Spring. I have used quite a bit of pigeon manure this year because it was free and left by my allotment.  Having said that I have been careful to use it sparingly digging it in now to allow time for it to decompose a lot more before the spring.  It does produce quite a bit of ammonia and this could burn the roots of plants.  However, it does not seem to have done my green manures any harm.  Maybe this is due to the care I took not to put too concentrated amounts in any area.
I have quite a lot of well rotted compost now but I am not too sure where I am going to use it yet.  There is a rat in this compost heap and I want to make sure that it does not stay there during the winter.  I keeps on throwing out the compost when it digs its burrows and the compost is being banked up against the shed.  This might make the shed rot.
The comfrey bed is not very tidy at the moment because I have been taking the pigeon muck and the compost out and trampling over the plants.  All of the pigeon manure has been dug in now.  The remnants have been put along the rhubarb plants.  I am going to give the rhubarb some of the well rotted manure next.
These comfrey leaves will be taken off now and put into one of the big water butts to rot down together with the nettle tops.  I will probably keep this until next year and use it to water in the seeds and seedlings for next season.  Some of the comfrey bed is covered in horse manure which is mostly wood shavings.  I will spread this out a little better when I deal with this area a bit more systematically.
The green manure on the new onion bed has really grown thickly covering the soil and blocking out light to weed seedlings.  The rye grass and tares were sown directly the potatoes were taken out and have had plenty of time to grow large.  I am hoping that the later sowings of green manure will fare so well.  It is producing lots of carbon and nitrogen to dig in next spring. All this will be dug in just before Alliums are planted next year.  As I have planted all this green manure, I have not got any room for my garlic so I have started them off in pots in the greenhouse.  I have the room because I am sowing sweet peas in early spring this year.  I usually sow sweet peas in autumn but I have not even got the seed yet.

The worm bin is still on the go.  I have virtually filled it with dock and bindweed roots.  Hopefully the worms will devour them with relish, however if they don't then bacteria and fungi will do an equally good job.
If you look carefully you can just see the green manure beginning to germinate.  This area will probably be used for broad beans next year.
I dug in some pigeon manure and I am hoping not to have to put much more onto this bed because the green manure should add enough nutrient for broad beans.  I am hoping that the green manure will take up nitrogen from the pigeon muck but at the very least it should prevent nitrogen from the pigeon manure from leaching away during the winter.  

This is where next year's runner beans and a few rows of sweet peas will be put next year.  I like to grow the green manure in lines so that I can weed between the rows.  They close over and form an impenetrable canopy eventually.  I have got two plants of oca in here somewhere and they will have to be taken out soon. They did not flower this year but I still hope there will be some tubers.  I will not eat any of them though because I am trying to build up a stock.  Last year I lost a great deal because I did not store them properly.  This year I am going to put them into paper bags and keep them in a frost free shed.  
 Some of the leeks are quite big but others are a little ropy.  You cannot tell when they are in soup or stew.  They will be used over the winter.  

This will be where the new summer cauliflowers will go.  This soil has had the sweet pea tops dug in and compost and pigeon manure added.  The green manure will protect the soil until next spring.  Hopefully it will grow much bigger and form a canopy.

The rest of the new brassicae bed which will be limed fairly soon.  I did get some club root this year and I would like to avoid it for next.  The cauliflowers and cabbage seem to be particularly susceptible but the brussels, calabrese, winter cauliflowers, kale and broccoli seem to be more resistant to it.
 These are the old runner bean plants ready to be dug in and which has now been done.  Guess what, I planted green manure here as well.  You can't have enough of a good thing.
Winter cauliflowers in the background with the remnants of the cabbages.  I have sown rocket and lambs lettuce here but they do not seem to be germinating very well.  It might be because this area of the allotment is a little shady.
A rather atmospheric photograph of the Trafalgar Brussel sprouts.  In other words the low Sun is making a mess of the photograph.
The strawberry bed looks a little untidy at the moment even though I have  hoed through it and raked it.  I dug in quite a lot of comfrey leaves and, when these decompose, the soil level drops unevenly and leads to undulating soil.  It might not be very aesthetic but why worry if they produce lots of strawberries.
The blackcurrants have been mulched with pigeon manure and horse manure.  The horse manure does not have very much body in it so I fortified it with the pigeon manure.  Blackcurrants are very hungry plants and withdraw lots of nutrients from the soil so I like to mulch them really well in the winter.  They are loosing their leaves now and I will keep an eye out for any sign of big bud.  I tend to cut out any branches that show signs of this mite.
This is the new roots and leaves bed.  In the background are the climbing French beans "Trail of Tears".  They have been taken down from their supports and the supports put down by the store shed.  The beans were dug into the soil here and green manure sown.  The carrots will be planted where the beans were next year.
This is the new potato bed.  It looks very untidy in the picture but I have just finished digging it over adding pigeon manure and sowing green manure.  The carrots, parsnips, beetroot, Hamburg parsley, salsify and scorzonera will be harvested during the winter so they were left.  They will help to cover the soil and keep the rain from washing away too many nutrients.  The asparagus pea, which I have now dug in, has been quite successful and would be a good candidate for sowing after the potatoes or onions have come out.  You have to be careful only to harvest the very young pods because they get very tough and inedible when they get a little mature.  Believe me cus I was there.

So the allotment has been put to bed for the winter.  The only things now that I need to do are to empty the compost bins and to construct new ones opposite the store shed with new fence panels I have acquired.   After I have done this I can take off all the comfrey leaves and then dig over the comfrey bed.

Then all I will do is harvest the leeks and the roots and use up the stored pumpkins, potatoes, onions, squashes and marrows.

Not bad for a poor year.

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