Oct 2011

Strawberries, snow and frost

Winter is now well on it's way with the snow level creeping down the hills and temperatures of around zero in the villages but up at the allotments things are still active.
My Strawberries, under protection plastic, are still on their second harvest though the lack of sun combined with the rain means that there are very few available for eating (either still white or red and gone off with the wet conditions) and with the current cold weather this will probably be the end of them for this year. Hopefully we can be successful in our funding application for a polytunnel which will allow us to extend the growing and strawberry season (well stop them from getting continually soaked and rotting).

Harvesting of tatties, beetroot, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, lettuce, spring onions and parsnips continue across the plots.

Planting of garlic cloves under plastic protection and onion sets has started along with lettuce seeds in the coldframe. The leeks and young spring onions preparing for the rigours of winter. This year I have planted some Winter Tares (green Manure) for growing over the winter and digging in next spring. This provides nitrogen for fertilising hungry crops like brassicas - once dug in it needs to be left for at least a month before planting carrot, parsnip and spinach seeds as it inhibits the growth of small seeds but does not pos a problem for transplants or young seedlings.

Digging has also started in small manageable segments as has weeding (these are the only things which really benefit from our terrible summer). Again we are hopeful in getting some funding for a petrol rotovator and storage shed which will make the autumn and spring digging a bit easier.