October 2012



October 1st

Well,"Summer" is over as are all the shows so back to a bit of food growing again.


Given the horrible wet,cold,dull weather all year,for some reason I've had the best tomatoes ever.

I've removed almost all the leaves now to help air circulation and let any sun ripen the fruit.

These are the variety "Shirley" which as well as being my favourite tomato don't mind colder weather.


I planted out some cabbage and lettuce in the tunnel a few weeks ago and due to the protection they've really flown along and I should have some more salad stuff for a good month or so even when the weather outside turns nasty.

Grew my own large variety onion sets this year by sowing some Kelsae seed really late and pulling up the tiny bulbs as they reached set size.

Hopefully if this works it could be an easy way of growing some larger onions from sets,but I'll need to store them over Winter and hope they don't start to sprout prematurely.


I've had some success this year with the squash but as it was a packet of mixed varieties it's a bit of pot luck what you end up with.

So far I've had some white ones,some almost purple ones and now these yellow ones on three different plants.

Outside the Kale is still growing after months of harvesting.


Where the crops are finishing I'm starting to dig over for winter and add as much old compost and a bit of horse muck as I go.

Due to all the wet I've had to recycle some old pallets to make duck boards to walk on so I'm not up to my neck in mud.


We had a hard frost a fortnight ago which killed all the leaves on the pumpkin except any that I managed to cover with the cloches just as I had one growing.

It must be around the 40lb mark now but I'll not bother again as they really hate cold wet weather.


On the other hand my second Marrow plant which is ridiculously small considering the size of the beast growing on it seems to not care about the wet.

The plant's only about 8ft long and 3ft wide yet the marrow is over 50 lbs I think and still growing.

This is one I sowed really late and acquired from the British Record Holder Mr Fortey.

So I'll be growing this variety again and starting it off sooner then hopefully given some decent weather a 100 pounder might be possible.


And finally thinking of next year I bought myself a brand new 4ft grow light to set the onions and other things off in.

It's one of the T5 growlights that a lot of the top growers seem to use so I thought i'll get one and give it a go.

They are so efficient that they give out virtually no heat and much light so you can place them close to the plants without fear of scorching and they're cheap to run too.

This one will light an area of 4ft x 2ft and is only 200 watts.

Anyway I did a quick vid of the plot a fortnight ago so it may not correspond to the photos.

Click below to watch.

October 9th.

Finally some decent beetroot.


These were the thinnings from my supposed show ones which apart from fanged tap roots have grown way better after being transplanted than the ones I left undisturbed.

Strange one that as root veg supposedly don't transplant but this seems to disprove that theory and infact suggests that they grow bigger and better after thinning and replanting the thinnings.


As my plot is at the bottom of two fields, It's been flooded constantly all Summer so I got so fed up that I decided I needed to dig myself some French drains to catch the flood water and divert it into one of our field drains away from the plot.

The only problem is that the cowboys who put our drains in used quarry waste instead of clean stone so I had to dig a great big pit to remove all the crap stone that didn't drain and replace it with some fresh stone which would allow the water to get into the pipe.


So after digging trenches across my plot to catch any floodwater and installing pipe etc,etc.......


Then refilling the trenches with proper clean stone and using fabric to stop the soil and silt filling up the drain again we now have a drained lower plot.

October 20th.

Not much happening,just starting to get stuff tidied up and dug over.

Did manage to harvest the final giant marrow of the year which weighed in at 51lb 2oz.


Then when I cut it open to see if there were any seeds inside I had the urge to put it on my head.


Damn thing got stuck so needed a little help in extraction.


Had some amazing sunsets the last couple of nights.

Did a video of one last night.

October 27th.

Final update of October,hard frost last night that froze the water in my water butts and it didn't melt all day,fantastic sunshine though.


Brought all my Garlic home to store from the polytunnel where it and the amazing Banana shallots from seed have been drying off.

Best thing I've ever grown,not one is going soft or mouldy and they are enormous.

A must for next year.

Pulled a few of the show carrots I never ended up using for the shows,I still have another 96 of these still growing.


Managed to get enough pallets from my mate to completely surround my 2 large beds which will keep me out of the mud on the paths.

All dug over now and compost and horse muck added.


Harvested the last 2 squashes,these were from a pack of mixed squash seed and did really well this year despite the crap weather.

Started to pull the first leeks,they are without doubt the smallest leeks I've ever grown and just didn't get going this year but they'll do.


So still managing to harvest a bit of stuff almost into November with the odd lettuce from the polytunnel.

If you want to see a couple of half-wits playing conkers for the 1st time in 30 years and injuring themselves then have a look at my latest video below,it's hillarious.

Click to play,cheers.





I've got a YouTube channel full of various vids here : AllotmentDiaryYoutube

And I've got myself a Facebook Page click the link if you're interested,Cheers.


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