Monday, November 6

Diminishing returns

We have only a small harvest to share with you this week. Things are starting to fall off as we head towards the time when the allotment is somewhat dormant.

Also we have vegetables in storage that we are using and so we are only harvesting the vegetables still on the plot as we need them. Most will spend winter in the ground and be harvested as required. Despite that we have had a couple of firsts - leeks and parsnips.
2 November
The leeks above are rather thin but nevertheless are perfectly usable,

The carrots continue to be disappointing and will require a fair bit of preparation before using.

Some of the parsnips are forked and, as you may have noticed above, are proving difficult to remove from the hard ground. We wonder whether the ground suffered from lack of moisture over the growing season meaning the beds became hard and dry where these crops were growing. Once the plants had taken off we maybe neglected them in favour of plants that displayed more obvious signs of suffering through lack of water.

As a drop in temperature, with a possibility of frost, was predicted I decided to pick all the fruits off the sweet pepper plants in the greenhouse. This was a good decision as on Monday morning there was an icy covering on the cars.


The small Snackbite peppers have done well and provided us with fresh peppers to add to our lunch time sandwiches. Definitely a variety to grow again. The only disappointment was that none of the plants seemed to produce red fruits.
Although this strawberry flower on Sunday showed no sign of being frosted, I imagine that today things will look different.
With harvesting taking less time we are concentrating on tidying some areas of the plot and emptying compost bins. Martyn put together a video showing some of our weekend activity which can be viewed here.

I've removed all the dead leaves from the chard and am now wondering if the new growth will last over winter to provide us with some greens. 
Maybe Lou over at Rainbow Chard can give us some pointers about growing chard as the seeds that I sowed later in the year, which were supposed to provide winter vegetables, didn't do very well. This was mainly down to slug activity. The same is true of the later sown spinach and pak choy. It's a group of vegetables we haven't much experience in growing but I am keen to learn.

Another job of mine was to prune the quince tree. It's goal is to head skywards and my goal is to prevent it doing so.
Each year I thwart it and cut back all the upward growing branches. The end result is more like a weeping tree. It doesn't seem to resent this treatment too much as it usually produces a  good crop of fruit with the bonus of it all being in easy - at least for Martyn - reach.

We did manage a harvest of flowers on Sunday
We now have a house full of chrysanthemums rather than sweet peas. However, incredibly we did manage to pick a tiny posy of sweet peas and lavender.

As usual I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres



16 comments:

  1. Your leeks did incredibly and those are some giant parsnips. Perhaps the dry weather affected your carrots as well. And your Snackbite peppers look to be very productive. We've been getting close to freezing, but most plants escaped the affects except a couple of squash plants did get a bit burnt.

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    1. The leeks are usually thicker, Phuong I think the dry weather and slugs mowing down our first sowing didn't help the carrots

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  2. I wish I could grow leeks, but they've proven to be too susceptible to rust here. Those carrots are certainly funky looking but I'm sure they'll taste great. Congrats on your pepper harvest, I know that's a difficult veg for you in your climate.

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    1. Our leeks succumb to rust too but it doesn't seem to affect the white parts, Michelle.

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  3. Well done on the parsnips and leeks. I've grown both and with a great deal of success, especially being able to harvest young parsnips which taste so good. Have you ever grown swede? I did once, but never had success after that one time. Your harvest is still looking good, even with a few suspect carrots.

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    1. We keep trying with swedes - including this year, Deborah but the root doesn't seem to swell. We've tried a club root resistant variety in case that was the problem but still the same.

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  4. Sweet peas and lavender in November - that's good going Sue :)

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    1. I've been surprised too, Anna. The lavender has flowered for ages.

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  5. Those peppers are gorgeous! I actually prefer the vibrancy of orange and yellow peppers to red - they almost glow.

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    1. I do like the yellow and orange ones, Margaret but I was hoping for the full colour range.

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  6. What wonderful peppers! Lucky you having the flowers too, my lavender finished ages ago. I have a lot of forked carrots, mine are small this year.xxx

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    1. Our carrots are fairly large but mishapened, split and nibbled, Dina. There are still buds on the lavender.

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  7. I like the look of your sweet peppers Sue; I might try those next year as I usually buy them from the shops. My leeks (first time growing them) have been thin but I'll leave them over winter and see what happens. Good to know that you just lop off the upward growing branches of your quince - I was wondering how best to tackle mine (today's job!).

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    1. The mini peppers are one of this year’s successes, Caro. I’ve been cutting back upward growing quince shoots for a few years now.

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  8. Great peppers, Sue! I'm a bit worried about my parsnips now! Was there any manure in the ground?

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    1. No manure, Mal. Maybe some of our others will be better. We can hope can’t we?

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