Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Fade To Grey

The Hooded Composter
I couldn't get Visage's 1980 masterpiece out of my head while we were down at the allotment on Saturday, no doubt in sympathy with the conditions which were the very epitome of dreich. Days like this are, I think, the ones which remind us that no matter how much we enjoy this caper, we're never going to be what you might refer to as hardcore. A bit of drizzle and a notable lowering in temperatures were all it took for us to collectively decide to sack it off after just a few essential tasks were hastily completed.

Perhaps we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves. After all, we at least made it down there, right? And anyway, who wants to read about a bunch of workaholic allotment perfectionists who put one's own efforts to shame? Exactly.

We pulled up all our remaining courgette plants, resulting in a good final batch of courgettes and massive pile of foliage to compost. These plants went absolutely beserk in the summer sun this year, I've never seen them so big. Cutting them up for compost (Kasia is quite exacting in this regard, all compost is to be cut up nice and small...) you realise what ridiculously blowsy plants they are, just big tubes for carrying water with far more foliage than their modest root systems deserve.

Down came the polytunnel cover as we've no real plan to grow anything in it now, and the last thing we need is for it to get knackered by a malevolent wintery gale. We need to be way more organised, and realistic, about what goes in here next year. 12 tomato plants and a bunch of cucumbers was wildly optimistic for a three-metre long tunnel, to say the least. I now also know that there's no getting away from the fact that anything in a grow bag needs watered daily, no getting away from it. Grow less, grow it better, that'll be next year's polytunnel dictum.

We also pulled up a gone-to-seed Romanesco Cauli and, rather more excitingly, our first ever home grown. Globe Artichokes. They're only tiny, so will provide little more than a couple of nibbles, but who cares; I've hardly ever eaten artichoke at all, never mind home-grown, so am looking forward to seeing what these fellows taste like.

Late Season Harvest


  1. Nice harvest, and I do like the look of your artichokes,not that I have ever grown or tasted them either..lol. Yes, tomatoes in grow bags need a lot of watering, and I myself won't be doing that next year as we dug the ground in our green tunnel and I will plant them direct. One stray tomato plant that was in the hens area and had absolutely no care or extra attention has actually thrived and grew into a large green bush, no red toms, but really green and healthy looking ! Roll on next year :)

    1. Had the artichokes last night, they were lovely! Wasn't sure exactly how to go about cooking/eating them, had to youtube it, but dead easy and kind of fun. We'll be growing more of these for sure. Funny how often the neglected/forgotten stuff does the best!

  2. We use bad weather as a break too. It's time to do others things. As for growing in grow bags we use the growing rings with ours which means you don't have to water quite as often as every day. You could also use a water butt to rig up some sort of drip feeding system.

    Very sensible to remove the polytunnel cover..

    1. Definitely going to have a think about what goes in the polytunnel next year and how we grow it!

  3. I got out there at the weekend in my waterproofs and luckily at the end I was able to just hose myself down as I was fairly muddy!

    As for artichokes, in the past I've boiled them and then just eaten the nice bits of the leaves by pulling the leaves off and scraping the meaty bits off with my teeth! I'm sure there's more etiquette to it but that's how I roll!

  4. Snap. Despite looking like hard work, they could scarcely have been simpler. The hearts were a real treat, quite a unique flavour


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