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The season''s almost over in garden in October.

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default The season''s almost over in garden in October.

Post by Chilli-head on 1st October 2015, 10:08 pm

Well, how did we get to October ?  It's hard to believe it, the weather is still so fine during the day here.  But the night time temperatures have fallen enough to spell the end for the squashes; my pumpkin plants have vanished except for four decent fruits; the butternuts are limp but it looks like I have 8 decent squashes from them. The drying beans are ripening nicely.  

I made my favourite vegetable curry last night with onion, garlic, potato, carrot, green beans, chillies, broccoli and cabbage all from the allotment.  By now the broccoli (more correctly calabrese) main heads are all eaten, but the secondary spears that follow them if you leave the plants in the ground are well woth having and continue well into autumn.

But amongst all this winding down, it is time for the vegetable gardener to start turning their mind to next year.  Yes - overwintering onions, shallots and garlic can soon be going in, and broad beans like Aquadulche and The Sutton will need sowing next month.  Time to buy some more seed.

Whilst at the allotment I had a surprise - my shed has arrived !  My neighbouring plot holder offerred it to me (he's got a bigger one) and I said yes please, next I know it has arrived over the 4' fence ! He is an old boy, so I don't know he managed it, I hope he had help from his son.  I've scrounged some paving slabs to set it on too, all completely free !


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default Re: The season''s almost over in garden in October.

Post by Dandelion on 3rd October 2015, 6:37 pm

Has anyone else been affected by a big dose of 'I can't be bothered' in the garden? I think it's partly what you referred to as the 'winding down', CH, but it worries me that I'm making a habit of walking past things which need doing and ignoring them. In some ways (though not in others...) I'm looking forward to the winter coming; some lying fallow is required for both the soil and me!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by freebird on 3rd October 2015, 7:13 pm

Well you did say that your arthritis had flared up recently, didn't you Dandelion? There's nothing like a large dose of pain for taking the shine off of things you might otherwise have got on with.

Similarly for me though - not exactly 'can't be bothered', but I've done so little in the garden this year that those things I had managed to make progress with have all gone backwards. It's so difficult to find the motivation to do all that work just to get back to where I was before.
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Post by Ploshkin on 3rd October 2015, 8:33 pm

It's been such a poor season here this year I've ended up not taking much notice of things and just letting the weeds go.  I did find 2  tennis ball sized squashes today.  To be honest I'm never very good at the clearing up bit- I'm often clearing the previous years tomato plant remains out of the greenhouse to be able to put the next lot in.  I have been having a daily dig in the new polytunnel to get the beds started before the ground in there dries too much.  I've had a dodgy back for several months so I just do a small amount at a time.  Seeing it taking shape is a good incentive and it would be good to be able to overwinter something in there.
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Post by freebird on 3rd October 2015, 9:17 pm

Maybe some containers of salad leaves, Ploshkin. They'll be up in no time, and will hopefully benefit from the warmer conditions under cover.

Ha ha - me too on the clearing up front. I always intend to have everything ready for the new season. Do I? Pah...
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Post by Dandelion on 4th October 2015, 5:41 pm

The weather forecast is looking relatively warm for the week ahead, so I'm going to sow some broad beans to over winter. Hope springs eternal - you're right Freebird, pain does get in the way, but I think I can manage a quiet bit of seed sowing. (N.B. - in the process I discovered that I hadn't replaced the broadies I had used up this time last year, so had to go out to the garden centre,where Mr D and I felt it necessary to drink large amounts of tea and consume chocolate and pecan brownies - silver linings and all that...)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 4th October 2015, 6:36 pm

Dandelion wrote:Has anyone else been affected by a big dose of 'I can't be bothered' in the garden?

That's not me.  The worst feeling I get is a "why do I do this ?" sort of feeling sometime in spring when the pigeons have eaten the brassica, slugs have got the lettuce, and the carrots that have emerged nicely have mysteriously disappeared overnight.  But I push on through it ...

I actually quite like the cleaning up time of year. Almost always something has done well to cheer me up, and clearing the ground turns my mind to what I can start planting again - sometimes a patch of ground is bare for less than a day !  I've just ordered some garlic and overwintering onions,  I already have a lot of broad beans due to an error last year. I'll hold off sowing those at the allotment until November; I don't like them to grow too tall before winter or they suffer on the exposed allotment site.

This weekend I've got my acquired shed into place on top of some scrounged paving slabs at the bottom of the allotment. That required trimming back some trees/shrubs a bit.  My neighbour gave me a load of prunings, the larger bits big enough for firewood too, so the smaller stuff has all gone through the shredder to make wood chip to surface the allotment paths.

Since I went to the lotty by car to take those paving slabs, I took the opportunity to bring back the pumpkins and squashes before it gets to Halloween and the low life notice them.  I also pulled some carrots which I'm really pleased with this year, and a couple of buckets of beetroot to store.  Must remember to do that.
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Post by Ploshkin on 7th October 2015, 1:49 pm

It's unusual to have a glut of tomatoes in October!
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Post by Dandelion on 9th October 2015, 3:26 pm



I've still got a few tomatoes left in the greenhouse: the hens can't work out why they can see me but can't touch me!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 9th October 2015, 4:33 pm

Nice photo ! And quite nice looking tomatoes too.

I have a few tomatoes left on, but the plants are almost dead. Coming out soon to make space to overwinter the lemon and lime trees.

I also have quite a few chillies left; I was thinking to make some peach and Habanero jam with some paper lanterns when I get time, and I need to start drying the mulatos. This is a bit of a timing excersise; they need to be fully ripe, but then dried over the woodburner - so you need to pick them just as the weather goes cold enough to have the fire lit most evenings Very Happy

Garlic and onion sets arrived yesterday; the garlic can wait till November, but the onions (Shakespeare) will go in this month. Some overwintering lettuce might be nice too.
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Post by Ploshkin on 9th October 2015, 7:30 pm

That's very autumnal and atmospheric Dandelion. Are those sungold? My Auntie Madge's from the seed swap have finally come into their own. There are hundreds of them.
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Post by Dandelion on 10th October 2015, 11:34 am

Good old Auntie Madge! I didn't grow any this year, but I wish I had instead of wasting time on Sioux, which got blossom end rot, or were black inside. (I bought them from Seeds of Distinction: the distinction was that this was the only variety of tomato I've ever grown which was unusable!!)
The yellow ones in the photo are Blondkopfchen, from the seed swap. They're East German, delicious, and have huge trusses of tiny yellow fruits. My current favourite way of using them is to mix them in (cold) when I serve frozen peas - they look very jewel-like on the green, especially if I have a few red ones too.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion on 17th October 2015, 7:55 pm


I spent a little while with my junior hacksaw this morning , altering the end of a redundant broom handle. I've slipped a zombie bucket on to the pole (50p from Wilkinson!), and for very little outlay and effort I have a bucket on a pole for clearing water out of the pond at half term!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion on 24th October 2015, 12:28 pm

Day two of cleaning out the pond (I took some of the water out yesterday) - I have spent two hours cleaning pebbles to get pond weed and slime off them; I have removed more water and mud; I have removed a large frog, who sat and looked at me then jumped back in. My trousers are stiff with mud, and the garden looks as though we may have been re-enacting a key battle from WW1. Can't wait for my other half to get back from archery and help with the bits I can't do!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 24th October 2015, 1:11 pm

Laughing Dandelion.

I love the Halloween bucket too. Ingenious.
Last year C-H jnr had one of those smallish pumpkin orange coloured buckets with a scary face on for Halloween trick or treat sweet collecting. Later at B&Q we spotted a pile of very similar B&Q orange 3 gallon builder's buckets. A few moments with the marker pen and they'd be perfect for greedy children !
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Post by Dandelion on 24th October 2015, 6:03 pm

The whole pond cleaning process could do with some non-electric tools to help. OK, admittedly it hadn't been cleaned for a long time, so was more of a task than it probably should have been, but when I looked up 'pond cleaning tools' on Google they were all electric hoover type things. I really didn't want to use anything like this because a) I don't do it that often to justify buying an expensive bit of kit, and b) as it's a wildlife pond I like to see what I'm removing, rather than hoovering the whole lot up. I'll keep thinking and inventing, and perhaps next time will have a homemade mud scraping tool!

I like the idea of a builder's bucket for trick and treat! Reminds me of the families we used to know who took full sized spades and buckets to the seaside so their kids could have the best sandcastles!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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