autumn gardening

November 29, 2010 at 11:00 am 17 comments

It’s really hard to feel motivated about gardening at this time of year.  Even the sun winking enticingly at me this week hasn’t been enough to encourage the pulling on of wellies.  Our first sprinkling of snow yesterday would have been reason enough to stay at home; to a sane person anyway.  To a shame faced allotment dodger it was a chance to assess how much longer to resist the urge to hibernate indoors!

Earlier in the month I had managed to complete a couple of ‘November‘ jobs.  My broad beans, marked by the bamboo canes, are safely tucked away underground, as are most of my spring bulbs.  I say mostly because these irises, planted to create a colourful border along the side of the shed were duped by the late autumn sunshine and think Spring is on it’s way already! 

I transferred my currant bushes to a less shaded spot on the plot and added some cuttings from Henri’s redcurrants and gooseberries.  He advised pushing the cuttings a good hands length into the ground to be ensure firm rooting and support and allowing 1.5 feet between them.  As you can see my cuttings are closer together and I will thin them out next year once I have more soil prepared and they are less twig and more bush.

There’s not much to harvest at the moment.  We’ve been eating some late sown Beetroot and have plenty of Jerusalem Artichokes to lift intermittently over the winter. My Spinach has gone limp and soggy but the Radicchio was looking rather fine in spite of it’s snowy dusting.  My neighbour Robin ties his up to blanch the heart (like forcing rhubarb) so I thought I’d try the same having not grown it before.  Not an easy task on a day as cold as yesterday and with plants half the size (which is why for your viewing pleasure this is a picture of Robin’s Radicchio and not mine!) 

I harvested the last of the brocolli before leaving the plot. All that remains are the Brussell Sprouts which are plumping up nicely for our Christmas Day meal.  
Brussel Sprouts snapped a few weeks ago as you probably guessed!

Entry filed under: allotment tales.

you know it’s cold outside … discoveries

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jacqueline  |  November 29, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I think you should change that to winter gardening. We have thick, thick snow!

  • 2. nina - tabiboo  |  November 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    You are good – I hold my hand up shamefully as being an allotment dodger at this time of the year – sorry – I’m casting my eyes down in shame.

  • 3. Catherine  |  November 29, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Those sprouts look so plump and delish! One of my favourite things about this season 🙂

    Thanks for leaving the inspiring quote on my blog – it said exactly what I wanted to say

  • 4. Mark Willis  |  November 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Your pictures are ample proof that it is still possible to get food from your garden / allotment, even in the Wintertime. I love that Radicchio – more people in the UK should grow it, because it seems to thrive best in the cold weather. I have some of a variety called Rossa Di Verona, which I hope will heart-up and provide some of the ball-shaped radicchios. I’ve also had some success in the past with Sugarloaf chicory, but that one is not so hardy.

  • 5. fay  |  November 29, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Wonderful looking even in this weather! Thank you great closeups of the sprouts!

  • 6. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes  |  November 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Great pics, I tried to take some of the goldfinches this morning, without venturing outdoors… We grew radiccio once and the hearts sort of rotted away, not the easiest of veggies to grow, but tying them up to blanch them makes sense, because ours was very bitter. We’ve been munching on sprout tops for a couple of weeks, from Leigh Court organic farm on the outskirts of Bristol. Your blog makes me wish I had an allotment, but as I am too lazy to handknead my brioche, as Robin knows, I don’t think I would ever manage to do all that digging. 😉

  • 7. Damo  |  November 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Great pictures those sprouts look good.

  • 8. Peggy  |  November 29, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    You’re a better ‘man’ than I am Gunga Din! I shivered at the thought of venturing out to the plot this week and stayed home.I picked all of our sprouts and they have been blanched and frozen for Christmas dinner.Its very cold here even in the southern half of the country and we are having some of the lowest temps ever recorded for Nov.Most of the country has had snow by now but so far we have escaped much to the dismayof the children!

  • 9. Nip it in the bud  |  November 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Jac – is there such a thing as winter gardening? Even I’m not that mad {wink} brrrr must be freezing but I bet Cooper’s enjoying it

    Nina – I’m in fine company then ;o Time to get the needles and hooks out then…

    Catherine – you’re welcome. Sprouts are seriously underrated aren’t they. I reckon it all comes down to how well your mum cooks them as to whether you love them or loathe them

    Mark – I usually find copying more experienced gardeners works well! And Robin’s lived in Italy so he would know. All the best with your Radicchio, like you say hardy enough to fend off the snow for sure

    Fay – thanks. Bet there’s a chill wind blowing through where you are. double brrrrrr…

    Joanna – my radicchio were a bit small for tying but Robin’s advise is usually worth listening to so I persevered! If I was in anyway inclined towards bread making I’d be happy to trade my wellies for an apron and stay in the kitchen all day creating wonderful things

    Damo – hello :o) thanks for popping by. I see you have a fine array of sprouts in your beds too. Roll on Christmas eh!

    Peggy – I now realise I was lucky on Saturday. Relatively ‘warm’ by comparison to the minus temperatures we’ve been having since! I just want to hibernate now. I’ve not managed to master the art of freezing veg so shall have to make one last dash in a few weeks time.

  • 10. kate  |  November 30, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Our soil has gone from waterlogged to frozen solid this last week and now, like the rest of the country, we are under a thick layer of snow. Hmm – gardening just might have to wait a bit, might have to dig a pathway to the greenhouse!

  • 11. Ann  |  November 30, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I haven’t stepped outside for days so think it was brave of you to visit your plot and do a bit of work there!

    It’s snowing here again but the temperature is as least a bit ‘milder’ at 1C.

  • 12. Debbie  |  December 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Fantastic looking sprouts! Homegrown produce always tastes better to me than shop-bought.

  • 13. Stephanie M at Together In Food  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Your Brussels look lovely! I know what you mean about being demotivated to winter garden. We don’t even get snow here but it’s chilly and damp with SF’s winter rains starting so exiting the warm house (where I can cook instead) isn’t exciting!

  • 14. reapwhatyougrow  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I am so envious of your wonderful brussels sprouts. I can’t think of anything better than a Christmas dinner with your own seasonal produce!

  • 15. Nip it in the bud  |  December 4, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Kate – judging by your lovely village snaps you’ve had heaps more snow than us. This little dusting last weekend was about the extent of it. Staying indoors with our knitting is much better idea than gardening or path making!

    Ann – hope the weather’s improving in Nottingham and you’re keeping snug x

    Debbie – you’ll get no arguments from me there!

    Stephanie – let the kitchen fun begin ;o

    Moy – and they’re being nicely refrigerated down at the plot until I’m ready to pick them!

  • 16. Bilbo  |  December 18, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    You say there is not much going on, but you’ve got a wonderful selection to harvest at present.

  • 17. Nip it in the bud  |  December 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    yep, out of sight out of mind so was lovely for me to see just what is there


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