Freitag, 1. Januar 2021

Winter brassicas

The six Palmenkohl plants (palm cabbages) seem to be working well.
As I harvest the mature leaves the stalk gets longer, making the palm tree effect. We have had the leaves sizzled quickly in a frying pan. Very tasty. The six kohlrabi plants were a moderated success. They made small kholrabis, but they were tasitier than expected. The disadvantage is that once harvested they are gone.
They will also get another try next winter.

Dienstag, 29. Dezember 2020

New allotment up and running

After many happy years with my old allotment, 2020 was a chance to start again from scratch with a plot much closer to home. The new allotment is adjacent to the orchard and in shouting distance of home. Apart from the nearness, the main advantage is meeting all teh people who stroll past going round the block. The ground had never been worked and so the first months were spent clearing the worst of the stone from the first beds.
By late summer we had had the first crops (potatoes and pumkins mainly) and test brassicas were in for the winter. We have since been enjoying palm cabbage (Palmenkohl) and kohlrabi. I have used some of the biggest stones to build a small henge / stone circle. It is aligned carefully and bring a smile to passing neighbours.
In the small strip of woodland between the orchard and our garden (near the stream) we have put in a hedgehog house in autumn 2019. For the first time there is a hedgehog in there (the small stick over the door moved). That is a great thing.

Montag, 30. Juli 2018

No rain but plenty of bees and apples

We have not had any proper rain for a couple of months now. Although the grass and the Michealmas daisies are dead, most things are doing fine on their own. The apple tree (now about 10 years old) is completely covered in apples and their weight has dragged the branches down to the ground. The result is a nice shady cave.

Apple tree at allotment
At home, their is still water flowing in the stream (the Riedsbach). The local bee population has obviously been forced out of other options and now spends all day commuting back and forth across our "lawn" to drink at the stream.

Samstag, 14. Juli 2018

Hedge trimmed, but should still keep cows out

One edge of the allotment now has a freshly cut hedge. I can only reach the inside edge and up to about 1,80m (6 ft). In principle I have to keep it to 1,70m but despite my efforts, that whole edge has gone crazy and is about 4,00m high now. I have no idea what to do about that - maybe if I just ignore the problem, it will go away ...

Meanwhile, the sunflowers are really enjoying the hot dry weather. They are around 2,00m and most have three or four flowers. The bumble bees are enjoying them.

Dienstag, 3. Juli 2018

Competition marrow and sun flowers

This year's competition is focused on growing the best marrow. 2018 is the 10th anniversary of the Horticultural Society and so there is bound to be some extra enthusiasm for the coveted "Special Prize".

One of the competition marrows
It will be up to the judge to decide what makes the "best" marrow, but I will be doing my best to win.

There are also a dozen sunflower plants growing at the allotment this year. Right now they are about 2,00m high, and I have brought the first vase full home.
Sunflowers at the allotment
I look froward to more sunflowers over the next couple of weeks or so.

Samstag, 23. Juni 2018

Update on the orchard

Orchard at mid-summer
The orchard has had a couple of years to settle now, and it is starting to take shape. The apple trees are doing okay and this year will have their first small crops (Pilot will probably be the best). On of the pair of pear trees has six or seven fruit but somehow the other has none; at least the orange spot was not bad this year. The mirabelle is covered in fruit and the quince tree is also doing well. But the peaches are rubbish - they but get a hideous leaf-curling disease every year and need to be swapped out. And one apple tree just died.

The bank of the stream gets cleared back to the surface of the soil each November (once the birds have finished whatever they are up to in the brambles), and then happily grows back to wilderness through spring and summer. It was home to a weasel/stoat/ermine for a while.

And if you ever wondered what the garden proper looks like, here's a part of the border.

Garden border

Montag, 28. März 2016

First Spring in the orchard

Over Easter the rain let up long enough to pull the docks out of the orchard.  Due to the way the contractors dumped the new top soil over the ploughed up and leveled old soil, there are dock and other perennial roots really deep down.

Brook running along the edge of the orchard

The docks do come out but it is really hard to get down deep enough without destroying the surface.  As of the end of today, all the visible dock plants are out but some root got left behind.  From now on it will need to be a regular job to get the docks out as the appear.

I can't decide whether the dandelions need to come out.  It is meant to be a meadow/orchard after all - not a front lawn.