The key to plentiful vegetables from your garden are top quality seeds and the best varieties. Barry Cuff spills the beans.
Our plot continued supplying us with fresh produce throughout October.
Sunny and mild weather ensured that many vegetables carried on growing. But as heavy rain was forecast early last month we decided to harvest our winter squashes before the deluge. Most of the green material had died back making them easy to find as the patch had been like a jungle previously.
The two Crown Prince plants produced four very large fruits. One plant of Butterfly produced two very large butternut squash. Also harvested were Honeyboat, Sweet Dumpling and Walnut. These varieties will keep in store through the autumn and winter. Another variety (Waltham) failed to produce any mature fruits.
Once again we dug carrots, beetroot and radish as required. We never store carrots and beetroot as we believe they keep better in the ground despite a little slug damage.
Hello Mr Chips
Our first parsnips were made into tasty chips. Over the last few years we have grown Palace which we consider to be the best variety. They are an early variety with a smooth skin and shallow crown.
We cut the last of our Fargo cauliflower early in the month and await Cendis which will
be ready from mid November onwards. Ironman calabrese has done exceptionally well, providing smaller individual spears once the main head had been harvested.
It has been a bad year for White butterflies and on more than one occasion despite careful checking the odd caterpillar has turned up on the dinner plate! The last of the courgettes and French beans were picked on the 16th.
We started digging a few leeks mid-month as we have four rows which will see us through the winter.
Because of the sunny days the self-sown Marvel- of-Peru (Mirabilis jalapa) continued to flower. We are not quite sure how this plant arrived on our allotment and we allow a few to flower and seed each year as it’s an interesting plant with marbled, striped and bi-coloured flowers.
We have ordered manure for the whole site and expect nine trailer loads to arrive in November. Some busy spade work to look forward to.
As we belong to the South West Counties Allotment Association we get a 50% discount on seeds from both Kings and Suttons. Our order was posted a week ago and we expect to receive them anytime now. Both companies supply top quality seed.
By Barry Cuff
Sponsored by Thorngrove Garden Centre