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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Autumn Harvesting and Tidying

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while but things have been a little busier with me trying to make more stock for my very small business venture, I hope to post the new items on there later today so don’t for get to pop by for a visit.

So lets see, we’ll have to rewind a bit to last week. I made it to the allotment last Wednesday and did some digging with one of the other plot holders on a shared spot to remove some more spuds that were just left, took some home for dinner. I had planned to get to the plot last Thursday as well but Wednesday afternoon on picking up my eldest from school I was greeted with a feverish runny nose child who put stop to my digging plans the following day (she is fine now and went back to school on Monday).

Over the weekend on the Sunday (a lovely warm and sunny day, probably the last of the season) I finally got to spend some time in the poor neglected garden, the weather up until Sunday was glorious but with lots of rain and possible cold night being forecasted I opted on Sunday to harvest my winter squashes and pumpkins from ‘The patch’.

I have included the previously harvested blue banana, kabocha and snowman pumpkins. There is only one lone pumpkin hooligan to be harvested as it was a late starter and as such is till ripening, if frost is forecasted I will wrap it in 3 or 4 layers of newspaper at night.
Now although the active growing of the plants in ‘The Patch’ slowed down or stopped a few weeks ago and the plants concentrated on ripening their fruits, in the last ten days or so the refinish sharkfin squash restarted growing and began producing flowers and immature fruits again, I would assume from this that in a hot tropical country it would just keep going and going, maybe it should be renamed as the energizer bunny squash ;o)

While I was in ‘The Patch’ I also harvested the ripened seed fronds of the amaranth plants. I just have the job of threshing it to get done now, in the mean time its in the shed keeping dry.

Since I had harvested all the crops in ‘The Patch’ area I cleared it of all the spent plants (except the lone hooligan pumpkin plant), the area looks all empty and forlorn now, the cardboard that I lay in the late spring to help reduce weed growth has worked and has hardly broken down so it will continue to do its job into next spring when the annual seeds will try to germinate.

The compost bin which was half full saw a lot of action and was over flowering with the remains of ‘The Patch’ and later still with some of the sweet corn stalks which I bashed first with a mallet hammer then chopped up further with a secateurs.

Other harvesting which was done was the two small and very small melons I grew in the greenhouse. The plants have withered away now. I’m afraid we are yet to eat them, simply because we keep forgetting them.
The regular tomatoes and beans were also harvested, along with all the immature sweet corn that has no chance of ripening with the fast approaching colder days and nights. I used them like you would baby corn in a stir fry later that night. I also took some carrots, beetroot and radishes. Previously picked borlotti and ying yang beans which were allowed to dry out further in the mini greenhouse were shelled as well. When the entire crops of both beans are harvested I’ll weigh and show you all.
The picture above is one over the winter radish - Mooli I’m growing for the first time this year and it is doing well as you can see. I also had a snoop around the parsnips and some are a lovely size considering the little leaf growth and the lack of water they have had, the proof would be in the pulling on whether they are forked or not.
In all the harvesting, chopping and clearing I came across quite a few ladybugs and even a larva. I moved all the ones I disturbed to the greenhouse onto a basil plant which I noticed had a little greenfly. The fact that there is still a lot to be found has led me to decide that the garden will be getting only a superficial tidying this winter as I do not want to disturb them into moving on, I want them to over winter right here!
Well since Sunday night it has been raining which is no bad thing as the ground will be easier to work at the allotment when I get there, which hopefully will be on this coming Thursday if the weather is dry like they say it will be as forecasted by the MET.
Over the last two wet days I should have been turning some previously harvested plum tomatoes into more chunky tomato sauce, so that’s where I’m heading now, to the kitchen.


  1. hope the sauce making went seem to have everything under control and getting on nicely...I am still waiting for rain on my patch and until it comes can't really do very much!! Hope all goes well for Thursday!!

  2. Hi Kella, a post worth waiting for. I wondered what to do with my sweetcorn stalks, now thanks to you I now know, so out with the mallet!!! I can't wait to weigh my pumpkin, it's really heavy, lots of pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie, yummy.

  3. Tanya the sauce making was another success, I'll post about it in my next installment. The rain has been falling daily here since monday, so the garden has had a well deserved soaking. the weather forcast for tomorrow is still sunny and dry, so hopefully the day willl be productive one outside.

    Some people layer them in a heap at the bottom of new compost heaps to improve air circulation, others lay them in a stack for overwintering creepy crawlies.

    A word of warning when you are bashing them beware that the liquid in the stalks sometimes squirts right into your face/ eyes, not that it stings, its just unpleasent to have happen.

  4. You did well with 'The Patch'. I want to grow some squash next year. Any recommendations?

  5. Thanks Jo, I can't honestly give any recommendations as up until last year I only grew butternut squash.

    After receiving lots of varieties through swapsies last winter I had to try out a few. The only one not to give any fruit was a ‘Delicante’ variety but I think that was due to the treatment the plants suffered early in the growing season.

    I still have patty pans harvesting from my summer growing stock, so I am yet to dip into the winter harvest.

    When I do I’ll be sure to let you all know what they taste like and if they will get repeated next year along with new ones I would like to try.



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