Sunday, 11 December 2016

Pretty, bleak and an end of year round up.

It all looks a bit bleak down the allotment at the moment.

I've not been down the allotment for quite a while. Both the Wife and I have been suffering from a rather nasty cough which is proving rather hard to shift. The last time we were there was with the last blog post... which was about 3 weeks ago.

Not much has changed though... apart from Mr Fox has tried to have a bit of a dig in the new flower bed and unearthed some daffs. I just replanted them, they should have taken no harm.

But this year has seen a lot of ups and downs. Things started up quite well. Early March saw the fixing of the shed. Not only the roof (which got blown off) but also, after rootling in the rubbish, the windows got replaced, which had been broken for a long time.

The seeds started off well (albeit a bit late), and plantings outside went brilliantly due to nice warm weather in the early months.

However June saw a bit of an upset in the rains which caused severe flooding. That lost us a lot of veggies (such as the Onions) and, more to the Wife's horror, the flower bed. Hence the last allotment week was spent building the new raised bed.

So lets have a round up of what we grew this year...
Apples - Not as many as last year. Perhaps the floods put off the tree from making as many blooms. But what we did harvest were quite sweet... albeit a bit maggoty. Think we're going to have to try a coddling moth trap next year.
Artichoke - Put up a load of blooms again. Taken a bit of a trim in the installation of the new raised flower bed. But hopefully it'll bounce back next year.
Beans - Didn't do as well this year. Slugs decided to make a meal of them.
Beetroot - Despite taking a ducking during the floods, they did really well again. Still going strong even into winter.

Blueberries - Way more than last year. Think they may need a bit of a prune over winter though. Hopefully they'll be even better next year.

Cape Gooseberry - A new addition this year, and they have done really well in pots. However being a permanent bush, these really need to find a good home.
Carrots - Well they produced. But once again they're misshapen. Not sure of the best way to solve this, as we've tried all sorts of options. But they're still tasty.

Chinese Lanterns - They're not supposed to produce in their first year. But we did get a couple of them to do so. I think because we kept them in the greenhouse. Next year they should be putting on a good display.
Courgettes - Again a stirling performance. This year we kept count... 67 off 5 plants.

Grapes - Quite a few bunches this year. Still a little tart, but some filled out quite nicely. We're still unsure of the variety but we guess it must be a wine rather than a dessert grape.

Leeks - Produced a rather vigorous growth. But somehow didn't get to the size expected.
Leafbeet - Still going strong. Now has a permanent home in the front bed. Performing a simply "chop-and-drop" when they grow. They keep producing seeds, so I simply strip said seeds and throw them back into the bed.
Lilies - Started out nice, but then the deadly beetles took hold and ate them.

Mint - Wow. Just a few spare leaves left over from buying a small bunch at the supermarket has turned into about 8 really big full size plants. The bees loved the flowers. Guess it really is prolific.
Morning Glory - Despite a slug-fest start, it put on a huge display this year - even going so far as to fall over. Unfortunately it didn't produce any seeds.

Onions - We managed to get a few before they rotted because of the floods. Need to plant next years in one of the higher beds to prevent waterlogging them.
Peas - Dismal failure. The floods really did a number on them.
Potatoes - The Maris Peers did really well in their bags. This seems to be the preferred growing method for them, so we're going to do the same again next year.
Rhubarb - We've given away the rhubarb that was at the back of the plot. But the big one at the front more than makes up for it. Once again it's been throwing out the stalks.

Strawberries - Not only the strawberry bed, but even those in the pots were putting out a load of them. Next year should be even better as they're going into the tower.

Sweetcorn - Did wonderfully. Only we were too late in harvesting them. The chickens loved them though.

Tomatoes - More toms than you could shake a stick at. We've decided that the the smaller, cherry toms, are better suited to our needs, so next year we will be concentrating on the smaller varieties.

Wildflowers - These were dumped into an empty wheelbarrow at the front of the plot. And, to quote a phrase, didn't they do well. Collected a load of seed heads, so hopefully we can do the same against next year.

Zierkurbis - Did really well. Despite them not being edible, they certainly worked wonders as Halloween decorations.

Anyhow, I'll leave you with some allotment produced festive lights. The sun was sparkling through the dew drops on the new wattle fence.