Tuesday 1 November 2016

A year on the allotment: October 2016

butternut squash harvest from our allotment

Things continue to wind down at the allotment - but there are still crops to harvest and jobs to be done. This year we have had a good crop of butternut squash.

We thought nothing was happening with the plants, but suddenly little green fruits began to appear in August. These soon grew into much bigger squash with beautiful cream-coloured skin.

butternut squash growing on our allotment plot

Our sunflowers are at their peak in September, sadly they start to fade in October. Despite the sunflowers being past their best, they still add some warm colour to our plot in Autumn.

fading sunflowers on the allotment in october

sunflowers add autumn colour to our allotment

Our Cosmos seemed to take forever to get going this year. When they finally flowered at the end of August, they put on a stunning display throughout the early Autumn months. Better late than never...

cosmos flowers on our allotment

bright pink cosmos flower

cosmos flowers add autumn colour to our allotment plot

One thing we've never had any luck with is growing our own pumpkins. Magoo has always wanted to carve her own homegrown pumpkin for Halloween. Our plants always get eaten by the slugs. Not sure what the secret is, but lots of other plot holders had grown some enormous ones.

We had to settle for admiring other people's pumpkins this year. I noticed lots of allotmenteers grow them directly in compost heaps, so maybe that is the way forward.

large pumpkin growing in compost heap at allotment

growing pumpkins in compost heap at allotment

We were pleased to see fruit appearing on our mini-trees. So far we've only seen one pear, so we can't get too carried away. Think we might have to have an arm wrestling competition to see who gets to eat it...

pear growing on our mini fruit trees

One of the main things we need to do at this time of year is clear the plot. We seem to produce tons and tons of garden waste in October and November. We have been overrun with nasturtiums this year and they are threatening to take over the plot.

Whilst pulling loads of the plants up, we spotted a huge frog, one of the biggest I've ever seen. My Mum screamed because she hates them, I managed to get up close and grab a photo before he/she hopped off. I felt a bit bad about ripping all the plants away and ruining the frog's cosy home...I'm sure they will find somewhere else to settle.

large frog hiding by raised bed on our allotment

large frog sat by raised bed on our allotment

We were still picking fat blackberries in October, we've left the rest of the fruits for the birds. I will be back in November for my penultimate 'Year on the Allotment' blog post. If you'd like to catch up on my previous posts from 2016, you can see them here.

autumn blackberries on the allotment plot

I'm always looking for new ideas for our allotment. I've put together an 'Allotment Inspiration' board over on Pinterest. I love connecting with other pinning fans, so it would be great to connect with you over there...

This week I am linking up with:

'How Does Your Garden Grow" over on the beautiful mammasaurus.co.uk


Unknown said...

Wow that's a great squash harvest! We managed a total of four from three plants this year, I think the weeds did a great job of crowding them out. Lots of my allotment neighbours grow their pumpkins on the compost heap too, I've never tried it that way but it does seem to work. Like you we have a lot of clearing to do before the frosts really set in, I've drafted in my dad for a bit of hard labour next week ;)

Happy Homebird said...

Our allotment is also full of nasturtiums and requires a huge tidy that will commence this weekend. I have the same issue with pumpkins, out of many plants I managed to get a couple before they were munched. I need that frog on my plot!

chickenruby said...

I love the cosmos and I'm a big fan of nasturtiums, as I've managed to grow them directly in the sand in Dubai and they provide a lovely touch of colour to an otherwise boring display of greenery

Anonymous said...

How are you planning on using them up - any killer Squash recipes?

I'm with your mum though, giant frogs freak me out! (Like cows, ants and meerkats)

Thanks for joining in again lovely, hope you are keeping warm :)

Anonymous said...

How are you planning on using them up - any killer Squash recipes?

I'm with your mum though, giant frogs freak me out! (Like cows, ants and meerkats)

Thanks for joining in again lovely, hope you are keeping warm :)

A Green and Rosie Life said...

My butternuts also did really well despite going in horribly late. Hasn't it been a fabulous autumn? I am still picking raspberries and even had 2 strawberries on Nov 1st!! #HDYGG

Jibberjabberuk said...

We haven't tried any squashes on our allotment yet in fact I don't think I've seen anyone grow any around us. I certainly have a large enough compost heap at the moment to try them!

Stephanie 139a said...

Those squash do look good - we got five off of two plants so I was more than pleased. interesting technique to grow pumpkins in the compost heap. I only managed two munchkins and a random mystery squash :)


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