Monday, 1 September 2008

First Day of Autumn

It's the beginning of the end of the season and everything is starting to look a bit faded and frazzled. My pumpkin is rather lumpy, but beginning to turn orange. The tomatoes in the background are beginning to get blight. I picked lots of ripe-ish and semi-ripe ones yesterday that hadn't yet been affected, and brought them home to ripen in boxes. With the weather we are due over the next couple of weeks I will be lucky to get many more unblighted ones.

Here are my winter and spring brassicas - a cauliflour in the top left corner - there are several of those; savoy cabbages in the middle, and I can't remember the name of these spring cabbages on the right.

The marigolds have got so big that this area, where the legumes were, and which I then sowed with clover, has shrunk to about half its original size. Most of the clover has been cut now and is now mulching down. The roots should decompose over the winter leaving a lovely nitrogen-rich environment for next year's brassicas. I have taken down the rather mildewy peas that you can just see at the back, in front of the beans, which are all that are left there now. I didn't organise this bit very well - next year I will do a lot more broad beans, a lot more peas (sown successionally) and definitely no asparagus peas. The crimson clover has been quite successful, so if there are any empty spaces I will put that in again.

I forgot to take pictures of the sunflowers when they were at their best. In fact that was while we were away so it would have been difficult. This flowerhead is easily 1 ft across. There are several more along the path, one of which has a droopy head which I keep bumping my head on as I pass. It's more painful than it sounds.

The borage is now pretty much over. I need to remove it but I would like to save some seed if possible. The marigolds have all but taken over the plot but it seems a shame to pull them up when they are still flowering so well and the bees and other insects are still enjoying them. They also smell amazing - spicy and aromatic.

One project I definitely need to complete over the autumn/winter is the path/hedge/verge area. I need a couple more planks for edging, and I don't know where to get hold of them. I'm too self-conscious to be a skip-scavenger. Maybe I can get some from the tip. Don't want to buy them new, obviously. My parents are visiting at the end of this week, the idea being they will help me on the allotment - that is if it stops raining for long enough to do anything.

Also I would like to plant a few bulbs and flowers/wild flowers to come up along the hedge next spring - a few daffodils, bluebells, I've got a cowslip to go in, and some primroses would be nice. Don't know whether I will ever get around to doing a pond - maybe I don't need one, I've got my toad, and I saw a frog up there the other day too.

The great thing about veg growing is that you can start all over again every year.

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