November 2016!

This month is cold!!! There have been frozen fingers at the allotment and to be honest I just wanted to stay inside!

The first Saturday of the month we got down to plot 2 and removed the last of the bean frames and dug over the bed ready for new raised beds to go in sometime soon! I also finally got the elephant garlic, normal garlic, shallots and winter onions planted. After two weeks the garlic was already showing little shoots!

Garlic shoots are popping up!

The next day we just popped down to plot 1 to harvest some veg for our Sunday roast but ended up clearing away some rotting cabbages. Eventually the cold got to us and we retreated back indoors!

Beds are dug over, manured and covered for the winter!

In the middle of November, we dug over half the old brassica beds and covered with plastic except for one, where we have sown ‘Super Aquadulce Claudia’ broad beans for overwintering. We laid more bark chip in plot 1 and dug up the Oca in plot 3.

Winter broad beans have been sown and covered with fleece!

I am quite disappointed with the Oca. We had four plants and the tubers that we dug up were either very tiny and pointless to eat or were hollowed out by slugs or possibly wireworm. Not happy. We managed to get a handful of tubers but they were so tiny that it wasn’t worth doping anything with them. I have decided that next year I will give the Oca a miss!

Sam has dug over his little raised beds on plot 3 – you may remember he challenged himself to grow as much as he can in those two beds but unfortunately that didn’t come to much fruition. I think this is largely due to lack of planning! We did get some veg from it; broad beans, cabbage, carrots, radishes, runner beans but not any decent quantity. Birds were the biggest problem for Sam! So instead of growing veg in next year, he will be growing wild flowers, the seed of which he has now sown! We then retreated home and had a go at making our own butter! It was surprisingly easy yet hard work at the same time!

The butter we made -one of two blocks!

The rain then stopped us from doing anything at the allotment the following weekend except to offload our garden leaves into the compost bin and fill up the bird feeding station! We were also far too busy buying toys and treats in preparation for our new dog China!

Our beautiful new border collie – China!

Last weekend, I trundled off to the allotment and set about turning the compost – a mammoth task in itself! I also cleared the polytunnel, mulched with well rotted manure, put down weed control membrane and covered that with straw. I want to set the polytunnel up ready for the seedlings that I will be growing in the next year!

Polytunnel is set up for plants next season. Just need some more staging!

I also got started with clearing the fruit cage! All the autumn-fruiting raspberry canes were cut down, the grape was pruned as were the red currants. They were all given a thick mulch or well-rotted manure. I just need to clear the weeds from around the black currants and mulch them too.

Raspberries have been cut down and the bed has been mulched with well-rotted manure!

I didn’t manage to clear the strawberry patch again but then there is always December…if it is not too cold!

Most importantly, the Christmas Tree has gone up and the air is starting to feel festive!!

It’s almost Christmas!

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