When we visited the plot last week we only harvested a few things to top up our stock of vegetables. Whenever possible and weather permitting we try combining our harvesting with a little work. Last week the little work was for me more tidying of our rose/perennial bed whilst Martyn treated our fruit tree to a winter wash. He has posted about this here.
We only harvested sprouts and leeks which will be shared with my sister. As you can see the leeks haven't followed the example of our giant carrots and parsnips.
Last week's carrots and parsnips are still keeping us supplied and so there was no need to dig up more. Just one root is providing us with plenty for two or more meals and in answer to some questions posed last week - yes despite the size they taste good and are not in the slightest bit woody.
The roots keep well outside under cover to keep them dry and we also have our onions, shallots and squash stored in the summerhouse and potatoes in the garage so we will survive even if the weather prevents a plot visit.
We started 2016 with a long row of summer raspberries comprising of two varieties - Glen Ample and Tulameen. We were off to a promising start as all the canes produced new green shoots. The earlier fruiting, Glen Ample were producing flower buds and then suddenly the leaves started to go brown and shrivel and the plants just gave up.
It remains a mystery as to what struck the Glen Ample canes as I couldn't find any signs of the usual raspberry diseases and the Tulameen canes growing alongside them were unaffected and went on to produce a good crop.
We are, however left with a planting gap and have been considering what to replace them with.
Tulameen produced plenty of summer raspberries which were supplemented by our purple raspberry, Glencoe. Our All Gold yellow fruiting autumn raspberry kicked in once the summer fruits had finished cropping. Hopefully next year the red autumn fruiting variety Joan J will join the party.
We like to grow fruits that are a little different and wanted something suitable that would grow along our allotments boundary. I came up with a black raspberry. It is claimed that the fruit is a superfruit, packed with health promoting properties, that knocks any other superfruits into second place.
It grows from a single plant like our Glencoe raspberry. Apparently the fruit is a similar colour to a blackberry but formed like a raspberry. I maybe able to tell you more about it at a later date.
Our plant arrived yesterday. It was a potted specimen but has been popped into a larger pot which will live in our greenhouse until we feel that the time is right to plant it out on the plot.
For now we have to consider how we plant it. Being related to the raspberry I am concerned that whatever led to the demise of the raspberries may still be lurking in the soil so the best plan may be to remove a 'holeful' of the original soil and fill with some new from elsewhere.
Another possibility is that waterlogging killed the raspberry plants and so we will also use gravel to improve drainage in the planting area. I don't think we can do more then than to wait and see how the plant grows.
We won't get any fruit this year as the black raspberry fruits on canes produced the previous year and as you can see from the photos, our new plant hasn't any canes that are likely to produce fruit.
My blog was named back in 2006 when the aim and focus was completely different. Back then it was a communal blog just to inform plot holders. So it was just called 'Green Lane Allotments'.
When I decided that I wanted to make the blog more personal I wanted to keep it recognisable to the Followers that I had started to attract and so I rather unimaginatively renamed the blog, 'Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments'.
When I started adding posts about our garden, I continued the unimaginative trend and added a '& Our Garden in Ossett' tag.
Lots of my fellow Bloggers have given such interesting names to your blogs. Even Martyn, (I'll get some comments from him about the 'even' bit) has a much more interesting and appropriate name for his blog.
Let's face it, my title would hardly inspire anyone to take a look. I think the time has come to consider a new name but if I do will it confuse things. Obviously the Url will remain the same and I can leave it's official blog name the same but a more inspiring new name on the title banner shouldn't cause a problem should it?
My thinking cap is on and I am open to any suggestions but be warned that I reserve the right to delete any rude suggestions.
We managed a toe freezing visit to the plot last week to harvest a few things and do a little work on the plot.
We had run out of fresh vegetables and as it wasn't raining or blowing a gale, we would have considered it a poor showing if we hadn't done a little work whilst we were there.
Martyn did a bit of renovation work to one of our compost bays. Our plot neighbour had sorted out an old fence panel for us, so the job couldn't be put off any longer.
I have also started a long overdue task of sorting a flower/rose/shrub border at the edge of the plot.
It doesn't look like I did much but the bed is matted with couch grass roots and it is going to be a long job. Before, Martyn spills the beans, I did have to stop for a chat with a couple of other plotters. A girl has to be sociable doesn't she and Martyn did spend some time playing filming a piece of video which is available here
Of course the main reason for the visit was to harvest and we came away with this.
Another typical winter harvest but let's look closer. I think this carrot is our largest specimen ever.
The parsnips have been the best ever this year in size and shape.
We will move swiftly on with only a passing mention of the diminutive leeks.
We still have sprouts left on the plants.
The plants have been grown under enviromesh in an attempt to keep them clean. In the past they have attracted nasty, grey, brassica, aphids. This has worked but something has still nibbled at the outer leaves.
The damage doesn't look extensive enough to have been caused by slugs so I am thinking the culprit must be some sort of small caterpillar. The evidence is purely circumstantial as to date I have not come across the culprit.