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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM

Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit

Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Vines And Other Climbing Plants.

Fish Ponds

Books By
Alan J Hartley



A Good Harvest.

It is always about now that the Climbing French Beans and Runners Beans come to an end with the gradual cessation of flower production, but some strong winds that we had a few weeks ago blew down half of my canes stopping growth. Some of the row might have been salvageable, but with the collapse of most of it, it had lost any structural strength and would have not been worth trying to save, as few more beans would have grown anyway. However, I did manage to rescue two big carrier bags full of Beans that I processed for my Freezer. After clearing up the mess I tied all of the unbroken canes tightly into a bundle to stop them twisting in the winter wet. It didnít take long to clear up the mess that was left as it all went into the compost heap with no problems because the string I had used to tie the Canes together with, and tie the Beans up, was soft string that rots easily. I learned many years ago that although the Plastic/Nylon type of string is much stronger and more durable, that is also its shortfall, as it will last forever in a compost heap and it is difficult and time consuming to separate from the old Bean stalks.
This year I did particularly well with both types of Beans even though their production was cut a little short, however my outdoor Tomatoes did get Blight and were absolutely no use at all. They also got composted, as I wonít use the resulting compost anywhere that might grow Potatoes for a few years. It is said that the Blight Spores can stay viable in soil for several years to infect future crops of Potato, or Tomatoes, so most people recommend that infected plants be destroyed elsewhere, away from the allotment.

I often find that Swedes can be a bit hit and miss, but I have done particularly well with them this year producing some lovely big roots. They are a bit of an unpopular vegetable with most people, although, diced, they are ideal to go into thick winter Stews along with diced Turnips that are also a little unpopular. I also like to eat Turnips diced and steamed as an ordinary vegetable though. Their slightly peppery flavour adds a bit of spice to a mixed plate of mild flavours. Both vegetables deserve to be more popular as you get lots for money with them being big, solid, chunks of root. I am also picking Kohl Rabi that look particularly good after the long, slightly cooler and wetter spell of weather that we had after the rocky start they had when they were planted in a very dry spell earlier on in the year. Instead of just using them in salads, as I have always done, I tried dicing and steaming them as I do with most vegetables. The result was that they softened and cooked quite quickly keeping their faintly Cauliflower/Cabbagey taste. After all the plants are basically just a swollen cauliflower stalk I think. 
Indeed, my Brassicas generally did well with the Red Cabbage coming on nicely and I have cut a couple already. I prefer to grow the Red Cabbage instead of Green because I have found that you donít get trouble with Cabbage White Butterfly - only Slugs!
Several of my Broccoli bolted and opened out, but I did manage to cut some nice heads first and it seems that my Brussels Sprouts went in too early, because they are nearly ready to start picking now! So much for being ready to go with Christmas dinner!

Elsewhere on my Allotment I potted on some Egyptian Walking Onion bulbs that I had collected from the tops of the stems. If left they would have happily rooted down where they dropped, but I wanted them in pots so that they would be ready for next years ďPlant Day,Ē at work. The tops will die off over Winter only to shoot again in the Spring as do some other members of the Onion family.
I have all but given up with my first crop of Beetroot as the Mice are still after them, but have left them to divert the Mice from my second planting that I hope will be OK!
My Chard are picking nicely with some lovely, big, fat, white, stems and large leaves, although there is quite a bit of Slug damage to the green leaf. I donít really mind though, as I have become quite partial to cooking just the white stems. Apparently, it is high in Potassium like Bananas and so is good for high Blood Pressure.
So far, I havenít touched another particularly health giving vegetable and that is my Kale. Again I think I planted it too early, because it is supposed to be a Winter vegetable and mine has been ready to start picking for weeks now!
I really must pay more attention next year and get better organised, and think about proper sowing times. Nearly all packets of seeds tell you just when to sow seeds and the expected harvest time that will follow!


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