Allotment, Grow Your Own, Harvests, Writing

GYO – Halloween Harvest!

This week the visit to the allotment was brief, the lawn lush and green is not yet a field and as I entered I noticed the water was just over the 350 litre mark. Unfortunately our roof felt had taken a knock in some heavy winds so we will have to return to fix it at the beginning of next week.

Our Broccoli plants are healthy and the first harvest had set a few small florrets, the carrots in our box are finally recognisable but will be left until next year. My time was not set for digging over this week, I chose a simpler route. The damp proof fabric which has kept the weeds off the second half of my bean bed, has been repurposed for the potato bed which had started to send up shoots.

Despite the potential crop I feel that they will stay dormant under the plastic, The nettles and weeds that were starting will rot back nitrates into the soil. So with only a few weeks to go until our baby arrives, I have made the executive decision to let it break down naturally to be dug over early next year. At a time where I can concentrate on removing the established brambles and digging over the final space.

My first square beds which I have struggled to keep the towering weeds from emerging are to be built up with scaffolding boards to ensure they remain clear as the first of my strawberry patches has required weeding on every return despite being dug out, manured and raised slightly. I will be replacing the plants this year as the inherited ones have barely produced any fruit.

My beans produced a large trug’s worth of harvestable pods this week, so after adding a few to a chilli on Tuesday I have set the rest to dry inside. I will be using the beans to set next years crops as these are such a resilient variety they have coped with the severe frosts and still managed to secure their foot long pods. The late crop are still climbing and with the warm sunshine I hope they last until spring to allow an early crop.

Surprisingly my tomatoes are still producing fruit, ripening several a week which has allowed me to have fresh tomatoes with cheese in wraps. A delicious addition as the warmth of summer becomes a memory the taste is still fresh, I have left the plants and will keep them until they begin to die back naturally. I have noted on a few posts they have been successful with overwintering and I find the idea worth the experiment.

My Nasturtiums and Calendula are thriving still, a riot of orange, red and yellow to brighten up the cool days. It really is surprising how much survives despite the cool weather, the mild days allowing for a few additional weeks of growing is an added bonus.

Halloween became a riot of pumpkin carving and face paints, once we had received a few visitors we ventured to a friends who celebrates by devoting her front garden to a skeleton and ghoul festival, it really is an investment of time and energy which all who visit enjoy.

We have always made it a home project, my children were never fans of costumes and face paints, so it was never more than a box of chocolates at the front door and our carved pumpkins. This year, a few banners, carved lanterns and balloon scarecrow’s were our donation to festivities, our fabric spiders and knitted friends were hung inside as a fun addition. Although to my daughter the balloons provided the evenings entertainment, that and enjoying the funny faces of her siblings.

I was proud of our collection of pumpkins which we had grown, they all got to decorate their own and for the first time my eldest daughter successfully completed her own carving. As I am proud of them all, they looked fabulous in their chosen outfits, although not all bother dressing for the occasion, it is good to see them enjoying every minute of the evening in their own way. Afterwards they had no problem in falling to sleep, neither did I after another busy day.

So as my Autumn Garden has filled my collection of pots providing a wonderful display of colour on the cooler days, we have settled into the season with growing and harvests in abundance. A few weeks and we will be embracing the change that an ever expanding family brings and I look forward to meeting our precious addition and sharing the experience with my wonderful family.

Happy Harvests!




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