Allotment Vegetable Growing in October 2007

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Allotment Plot 28

Allotment Plot 28
04/10/2007

This is my neighbour's plot - next to 29. They've transformed the plot into a work of art. Even painted in matching colours and that includes the raised beds.

This shot is their shed with pergola leading into the site and greenhouse. Note the hanging basket under the shed window and the wood store racks to the left of the shed. Impressive or what?

Allotment Plot 28 Top End

Allotment Plot 28 Top End
04/10/2007

This is the seating area at the top of their plot. They have the sea in their blood and came across the length of hemp rope or is it hawser? that has formed the fence around the patio and is artistically coiled on the patio.

Note the matching blue slate on the border behind the rope fence.

The small raised beds are edged with bottles. The poor couple are obviously forcing themselves to drink a lot for the sake of the plot!

Wood for the new raised bed

Wood for the new raised bed
04/10/2007

This is the wood all cut to length and coated with preservative ready to form the new raised deep bed on plot 5.

After the perfection of plot 28 you'll see we're back to reality. The remnants of the sweetcorn behind and a fine crop of young weeds springing from the ground!

Red Cabbages on plot 31

Red Cabbages on plot 31
04/10/2007

These cabbages caught my eye on plot 31. They're quite close spaced in a deep bed and look rather fine.

They're not too big either which is ideal if there's just a couple of you. The photo hasn't quite captured the vibrant red due to the sunlight.

New Pressure Sprayer and Roundup

New Pressure Sprayer and Roundup
05/10/2007

This is my bargain sprayer from Wilkinsons. They're a funny store since they manage to keep the sale prices a secret from the customer, which is pretty unusual. When we got to the checkout it was nice to find they were half priced an it only cost 6.50!

To the right is a little bottle of Roundup. I'm not a great one for sprays but the paths between plots are getting overgrown and this is the quickest way to get them back into some sort of order.

The bench is looking very dark after its coat of preservative and teak oil. Best thing on the plot after some hard work is somewhere to flop down on and recover.

New Raised Deep Bed on Plot 5

New Raised Deep Bed on Plot 5
08/10/2007

The bottom end of plot 5 has not performed well this year due to the rain keeping it almost under water although it hasn't affected the comfrey bed below. My answer was to construct a raised bed from scrap wood.

Because of the slope the sides are unequal being 14" downslope but just 8" upslope. It's four feet wide so I can reach in to the centre from either side and should never need to walk on it.

The compost is mounded because I know it will sink over the winter.

Decking on an allotment!

Decking on an allotment!
08/10/2007

Eat your heart out the groundforce team, proper decking in my work area at the top of plot 5.

Of course, being an allotment, it's 100% recycled having being rescued from a renovation around the corner from the site. It's actually quite useful as the bench seat kept sinking into the soil under the wood chippings. The black dustbin contains lime and fertilisers in bags and is water tight.

Raised Bed Wood and a Very Blue Sky

Raised Bed Wood and a Very Blue Sky
19/10/2007

In the foreground the wood for the new raised beds and behind you can see the half barrels that will have carrots next year. They did really well in those this year so hoping for three times the success next season.

The main thing is the blue sky. It's ironic after the awful summer that now we have sunshine and blue skies as the season ends. It might be cold but it really was lovely.

Last of the Chilli Peppers

Last of the Chilli Peppers
20/10/2007

Here in the main greenhouse it's getting a bit empty. These are the last chilli peppers. You can see a few ripe orange ones on the right hand plant and perhaps make out a couple of long green peppers just turning red on the left.

The chilli peppers have done really well this year but the sweet peppers haven't been quite so productive. Still, never complain when something works.

Jerusalem Artichokes on Plot 29

Jerusalem Artichokes on Plot 29
20/10/2007

In the foreground a patch of leeks that are doing quite well considering they were late planting out. I'll be pulling those from now on.

In the background the Jerusalem artichokes. They must be nine feet high, quite an amazing amount of growth. This was all from just 4 tubers given to me at the NVS. I'll be cutting down the haulm and harvesting very shortly.

It's always the taste test that counts in the end, but I'm hopeful.

Brassica Cage mid Plot 5

Brassica Cage mid Plot 5
20/10/2007

Behind the runner bean haulm and pile of compost for the new raised beds is the central brassica cage with cauliflowers mainly in there.

A couple of years back I built simple 'U' shapes of 2" x 1" and attached rigid wire netting to them that make the sides of my brassica cages. The netting then goes over the top supported by bamboo canes and the pigeons leave them alone.

Close up of developing Brussels Sprouts

Close up of developing Brussels Sprouts
20/10/2007

This shows the second sowing Brussels sprouts developing on the stalk. They're about pea sized at the top and get larger as you go down the stem towards the ground.

These should be ready for Christmas, with a bit of luck. We're already eating sprouts from the first sowing. You need to keep an eye on them as they start to open up or blow when they pass their peak. You just pop the ones that are ready off the plant and leave the smaller ones towards the top to develop.

Pigeon Damage to Brassicas

Pigeon Damage to Brassicas
20/10/2007

These small flower like plants with artistically frayed leaves are actually cabbages on the plot next door.

This is what happens if you don't net your cabbages - you feed the pigeons.

Raised Bed 2 Finished

Raised Bed 2 Finished
24/10/2007

This is the second of the five raised beds going onto the wet end of plot 5. It's overfilled with compost, which will settle over winter. The upright stakes will have cross beams added to support netting, fleece etc. using 8' bamboo poles lengthways.

Only three more raised beds to go!

Yes we have no Squash

Yes we have no Squash
24/10/2007

Not only has the season been pretty terrible but I was late getting my squash planted. They never seemed to take off until late on either but I kept hoping the weather would not break.

Well the frosts have come, the squash have died and this is it. 2 very immature and unripe squash.  But the weeds did well.

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