Well, we finally did it. We harvested our giant cabbages that have been growing happily for the last few months. surprisingly, they both had very little pest damage – just a few nibbles here and there on the outside leaves. Initially, we had planned to weigh the cabbages individually just to get an idea of the weight, I even borrowed a set of fishing scales from a friend for the event, but I simply couldn’t lift them on my own!
Andy managed to get a hold of one of them but only for the shortest time that it took to take the photo!
Thanks again go to my Uncle Jimmy for giving me the small seedlings and the best advice on their growing conditions. Here’s to bigger and better next year!!
I have started to feel a little sad knowing that the growing season has started to come to an end. There are plenty of jobs that I can still do on the plot but these are not as exciting as growing new seeds and tending to plants. The harvests this year have been plenty and with the preparation for the soil and buildings on my plot, hopefully the harvests will be just as good next year.
I plan to try growing a few more giant vegetables next year after my success with my onions and cabbages this year, and in order for them to have the best possible start, soil preparation is the key. Looks like many more trips to manure mountain for me!
Jobs to do………in October
- Continue to check all crops that you have stored. One bad vegetable could ruin the whole crop.
- Clear away yellowing leaves from winter brassica plants. This helps to reduce white fly.
- Collect leaves this Autumn to make into leaf mould for next year.
- Start to dig over vacant areas of soil ready for the winter. You can add layers of manure, leaf mould or compost over the soil and leave it until the winter has passed, turning the soil over in Spring.
- Continue to add compostable waste to your compost heap. Keep it covered to keep the heat in and help the decomposing process
- Clean and store tools, pots and containers as these are not generally needed as much during the winter months.
- Place squashes and pumpkins in a warm place to toughen the skins ready for storing in a cool place.
- Ripen the last few remaining outdoor tomatoes by placing in a brown paper bag or hanging in the greenhouse alongside a ripe banana.
- Give the greenhouse a through clean and make any necessary repairs
- Take hardwood cuttings of currant and gooseberry bushes
- Harvest herbs and dry or freeze for winter use
What to sow………in October
- Chinese cabbage
- Winter lettuce
- Broad Beans
- Hardy peas (under cover)
What to plant………in October
- Rhubarb crowns
- Spring cabbages sown last month
Crops in season now
- Jerusalem Artichoke
- Early Brussel Sprouts
- Cabbage Summer/Autumn
- Chinese Cabbage
- Cauliflower (Autumn)
- French Beans
- Kohl Rabi
- Peas (late)
- Pumpkin and Squash
I’m not sure if you agree with the idea of this; I certainly don’t. Thomson-Morgan sent me an email recently letting me know about a new plant that they claim is a world exclusive – The TomTato. Apparently, this plant grows cherry tomatoes at the top while the root produces white potatoes!
Now I know that tomatoes and potatoes are both from the Solanaceae family, which also includes deadly nightshade, but is this genetic modification gone mad?? Not my cup of tea thanks.
Whatever next! Melons and pumpkins on the same vine? Onions and garlic sharing a bulb? Cauliflowers and broccoli sharing the same head?
As the allotment beds start to empty of all the crops grown this year, my mind wanders to what could be replacing their space next year. I love buying seeds, although on many occasion I have had to hold back from purchasing too many, as I do get click happy when browsing the Internet or online seed catalogues for new varieties. With peas, beans, squashes and peppers I do try to save my own, but I also get very excited when I see a new variety that I have never tried before.
Seedparade have a massive collection of heirloom varieties that may not be available in the gardening centres or from the bigger seed companies. At the moment, they also have a discount of 50% off applied to any order over £10! This was the perfect opportunity for me to try some new varieties to add to my vegetable growing collection. (I am, by no way profiting from letting you all know about this fantastic offer that they have, I just love to share in a good bargain and have used this company many times)!
I just love the look of the Pea Bean, Cauliflower Romanesco and Chocolate Habanero hot chilli peppers. These were some of the many seeds that were added to my online shopping list and look forward to growing these next year.
I can’t wait for sowing season to begin already!
A few months ago my sunflowers were growing in all of their glory, turning their huge heads to the sun. Their primary job on my plot was to attract pollinating insects for my beans. They also did a great job of looking fantastic too! I knew that their flowers wouldn’t last long, but I didn’t expect to see them in the condition that I did I when I turned up at my allotment last night.
The empty flower heads had been completely stripped of their seeds and all that remained were the outside seed shells strewn all over the floor. I’m not sure if it was squirrels or birds that had made the discovery of the free food, but I’m just glad that after they have served their purpose with me, they now have a new lease of life feeding the local wildlife!
I had hoped to collect a few of the seeds to replant next year; oh well, there are those that are in need more than me.
My how they’ve grown! The cabbages seem to be thriving well with the growing conditions that they have. I’m so proud of them! They are the first thing that I look at when I go to the allotment and they are the last thing that I see when I leave. I dread to think about what I would do if vandals decided to sabotage all of our hard work for this veg growing experiment.
They have a really wide leaf span and also seem to be hearting up really well. They have the odd pest hole here and there but nothing that would affect the size. I can’t imagine how big they will eventually get and to give more of an idea of how big they really are, I thought I’d get in front of the camera to give you a size comparison.
I feel so protective over my veg at the allotment, especially since there have been a spate of petty thefts lately. I love tucking my veg up at night. My cabbages have a special place in my heart.
These cabbages shown here are in fact the babies of the bunch grown in the brassica cage. I think that they have high aspirations to get as big as the giants outside. I wonder if they will achieve their goal?
This onion needs no introduction and can clearly speak for itself! The last circumference measurement of this particular onion was a staggering 19″!
Once upon a time this was just a tiny black seed, sown in moist compost on Boxing day 2012, kept warm, then transplanted into its’ final growing position at the allotment when big enough to stand on its’ own.
I am astounded at how big it has grown! I plan on pulling it at the end of the month, as long as the weather still looks favourable – or before the thieves and vandals get their hands on it.