Invasion

We all know keeping a garden tidy is time-consuming. Keeping on top of the weeds, hoeing and watering in dry months too takes lots of dedication.

Weeds and Poppies

Weeds and Poppies soon overtake when your back is turned

Turn your back for five minutes and the weeds spring up and grow at an amazing pace compared with your crops..  And because we do not use any sprays to curb weeds or kill pests, you have to keep on top of things..

Now we have been so busy with picking, freezing and preserving in recent weeks, that parts of the garden where younger crops were not needed got over looked.

After weeding Beetroot

Weeding out revealed the young beetroot, I am leaving either side with weeds and poppies as beneath are young carrots and these easily disturb when you pull up the weeds, So its good habitat for insects and spiders.. Speaking of which I got two bites.. But nothing venomous here in the UK only red and itching marks.. Thank fully,

It didn’t take long before the weeds over took and covered everything up. So while Hubby was digging out the potatoes I got busy with this patch of weeding.

Potato Picking

Which was only scratching the surface.. Because there was also in-between the raspberries to re-weed, as well as around the Dahlias . I thinned out the raspberries and tied them up. These were the early ones.

Raspberry Canes And Gladioli

Raspberries tied up and thinned out. And Gladioli in front all cleared and weeded out

The Autumn raspberries are producing loads of fruit too which is being made into flans as quickly as I can pick them and frozen too for storage   The sweetcorn we are picking as each cob ripens and to date we must have had around 30 cobs off and frozen for storage.

Raspberries Autumn

Raspberries Autumn variety

The Strawberries finished long ago and were growing runners, These plants were off of last years runners and so this year we read that all you needed to do was cut back the strawberries and allow new growth to form..

Strawberry Bed

Strawberry bed, cut right back in the Autumn and new growth shoots soon sprout.

This is the new growth after only one week.. Even we didn’t believe how they produced new leaves so quickly.. But it has been exceptionally warm this September in what we call our  ‘Indian Summer’ it’s not often the temperatures soar to 24C to 28C this late in the year.. We were not complaining about the good weather. But digging and working in the heat did make both hubby and I wilt a little.

 

We also pulled up what was left of the Pea rows.. I had left some pods on deliberately so we could save and dry the seeds for planting next year.

 Below is the Butternut Squash Remember how we spaced them out and How Hubby put half cut plastic bottles for watering later?

This was redug out again, and we have planted butternut squashes in there. We put bottles into the ground when it was dry to allow water to soak into the roots and not get mildew on the leaves.. Since we did that, we have had rain none stop nearly for a week.. We left the Nasturtiums in from seed set last year. You can see the Old rickerty shed is still standing.. Soon to be demolished when we are on top of everything else.

This was redug out again, and we have planted butternut squashes in there. We put bottles into the ground when it was dry to allow water to soak into the roots and not get mildew on the leaves.. Since we did that, we have had rain none stop nearly for a week..
We left the Nasturtiums in from seed set last year.
You can see the Old rickety shed is still standing.. Soon to be demolished when we are on top of everything else.

Well this is now how it looks

Butternut Squash

You can see how those canes come in handy to detect where the bottles are under the leaves to water.

The water system my hubby did with the cut water bottles at the roots of the Butternut Squash when he planted came in handy. The canes marked the spot of the bottles which got lost among the foliage of the squash.

Watering the leaves can lead to mildew so this proved much better for watering and they are thirsty plants, each one would devour a huge watering can in seconds. My arms felt they had grown in length by several inches after carrying water back and forth.. Thankfully this is why we put the water barrels to catch water near the shed, so it saves on leg and arm power walking to and from the water cistern tanks on the allotments.

Harlequin Bug

Harlequin Bug

We also noted we now not only have got invaded with white fly upon our kale and purple sprouting broccoli. But we have over the years been invaded with the Harlequin Ladybug . This ladybug is not native to our Islands and has flown over from Europe. This is causing a threat to our own red native  Ladybug species, as it not only eats the aphids but will also eat the eggs of other ladybugs and butterfly caterpillar larvae too.. So I reported my find, I spotted two on the allotments to the Ladybug Survey Here  So any one in the UK who spots one of these can report it to their website so data is collected.. More about what these Harlequin bugs and their habitats  can be found here

Here to end, yes there is an end to this post.. (Sorry its been a long one this time)  are  the rest of the pictures taken .

 Happy Gardening until next time 

~Sue~

 

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62 thoughts on “Invasion

  1. Beautiful! I have found that raised beds really help with little to no weeds, but then you need to water more. Always a trade off in the garden! Meanwhile, I have a now huge patch of poison ivy to deal with that I just kept putting off completely eradicating in the heat of summer. In the past, I asked it to leave, and it did. Unfortunately, this time, it came in like a beautiful ground cover, and now I am not sure I will ever get rid of it among the ferns and other shady plants!

    Thanks for the photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    • oooh Ivy soon spreads and poison ivy not nice to deal with Laura. Once we put things off before we know it they overtake. 🙂 Now that is a good thing to ask for, I usually ask for the insect kingdom to behave and leave my crops alone, this time the caterpillars have obliged, but then I know that if they are scares then so will the butterflies be next year.. 😦 not good.. And yes watering is a problem, luckily our water cistern is not far away from our plot but water is heavy and carrying constantly makes me ache.. Thank you Laura for visiting Loved that you enjoyed Thank you

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  2. Sue, you’ve got your work cut out for you in that garden! So much work. It’s sad to hear that even in England you are being inundated with (heat, yes) but also some of the nasty buggers that plague our island gardens – the aphids and whiteflies and other destructive chomping critters that trim a landscape undesirably. And there’s really nothing we can do but to adapt to these changing times, like it or not. I do scrub aphid- or whitefly-infected trees with a soft-ish dish brush (w/handle) and a solution of neem oil and water (that I keep shaking to maintain dispersal), which both knocks them back but also leaves a nice sheen on the bark until the next few rains, giving the tree some protection from the sucking for awhile (sometimes for good). I’ve spoken to experts here, so don’t waste your money on neem applied to roots – there is no beneficial uptake there. But topically it’s very good, though it would definitely change the taste of your greens (so I wouldn’t do that, personally). Anyhow, perhaps you know all this, but from one gardener to another on very opposite sides of the globe, I wish you luck! xoxo

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    • Thank you Bela, yes we sure have to keep one step ahead at times.. I had not heard about Neem oil before and had to look it up.. 🙂 I use garlic crushed along with a little washing up liquid in a spray which helps combat black and green fly.. White fly is different and gets under leaves and everywhere… We do not use any other pesticides or herbicides so when these little critters invade we have to live with them.. Planting more than enough for our needs is often what we do and any excess is a bonus as family and friends along with neighbours and other allotmenteers benefit 🙂 Thank you for your well wishes Bela.. Love from one gardener to another too xxx ❤

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    • Thank you Jo, yes this time of year can be full on… But you can see now where we have been. 🙂 and two pairs of hands are better than one.. And when we work together a few hours each day we soon make inroads. The next big job is winter digging which I don’t do..:-) xxx

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  3. Your weeds actually look pretty Sue :). I went up to Sanctuary to empty the compost bin and have decided that due to the fact it is now officially a “Swamp” I am going to have to completely rethink gardening in the ground here. I am going to do a lot of experiments with wicking beds of all sorts this year to save water and to grow the best veggies that we can. I have young berries invading EVERYWHERE. I might pull them up while the ground is soggy and pot them up for swapsies. Lovely post Sue (and hubby) 🙂

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    • Yes they do look pretty especially the poppies, which I do love, but not where they grow :-).. Sounds like you have got a plan and the young shoots of the berries should easily take.. I remember how much you cut back as the blackberries went wild.. We cut ours back behind the shed big time last year and have not even picked any this year. They didn’t fruit as much, but we collected so many last year, I have still loads in the freezer, so the birds have had a field day. Glad you enjoyed Fran. Thank you. ❤

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  4. For me a tour of your garden is always inspiring Sue. I guess the pest attack is all part of the game making us learn ways to minimise the damage. From the last many years I’ve stopped the use of chemicals for pest infestation and use local methods. The Leaves of a neem tree are quite effective but not as powerful as chemical pesticides. Some damage has to be accepted I guess.

    All the best dear Sue 😀

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    • Yes we expect it Dilip. Which is why we grow more than we need, and give away excess and the bugs, caterpillars etc are happy 🙂 I think even here in the UK with intense farming methods farmers are realising they now need to leave margins of uncultivated, unsprayed vegitation at the side of their fields to encourage wild life of insects, mice, voles ect which then help owls and other birds of prey to exsist… We are all of us within the food chain.. And when we start messing with it as we have, We then see the how the insects, Bees in particular suffer as a consequence.. Lovely to see you too Dilip.. Thank you xx

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  5. It’s great that you don’t spray for weeds and pull them instead. This post made me hungry! I’m looking forward to some butternut squash soup made with peanut butter and rosemary.

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    • Glad this post made you hungry Love the soup too and have made it along with loads of fresh tomato soup, I think you may find a recipe here on that if not it must be on my main blog. 🙂 Thank you so much for the follow here too and your comment..Home grown and home made beats all 😉

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  6. What a wonderful garden Sue, you’re definitely reaping the rewards of your hard work. I only have a few tomatoes, one beanstalk and some herbs in pots this year ~ we were considering downshifting to a smaller, more manageable house, so I didn’t know if we would still be here. (That’s another story!) So thank you for this comprehensive tour of your allotment and your abundant crops! 🙂

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    • Hi Jacqueline yes lots of rewards for our efforts for sure, I can see why you would not wish to plant a garden to leave it all behind.. And thank you for your lovely visit to the plot, loved giving you a tour 🙂 Hugs to you xxx

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  7. Wow Sue, you two had your work cut out for you. Such a lovely harvest though. And we all know for all good things, we must pay somehow, hence, the weeds. 🙂
    We had that ladybug infestation here in Toronto a few years ago, perhaps they got bored here and flew over to your neck of the woods, lol. 🙂 xoxo

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  8. I am sure you and your Hubby would quite easily be a great success with your own gardening programme on TV, you cover everything beautifully and I don’t recall ever reading of you having any failure, if you have you have turned it into a success.
    A pleasurable visit to your allotment Sue.
    Cheers.

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    • Thank you for that Ian, haha. no way would I enjoy the TV pressure.. 🙂 lol. But that is a huge compliment my friend.. And yes our onions have failed miserably this year. only got about a half a bucket full.. The torrential rain we had all the way throughout June and the cool weather then rotted a lot of them. .. So pleased you enjoyed the visit to the plot Ian

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    • Yes they are delicious lol, and yes it can feel like a full time job at times, but one I enjoy even if some days tiring. And help yourself any time, just hop through the window and start picking 🙂 xxx Big Hugs and thank you Christy for the follow Many thanks for that my friend xxx

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    • Yes, we have picked up a few more tips about the butternut squash to cut back on some of the long tendrils that are growing with no flowers and cut back some of the foliage to help ripen the squashes, we are off later this morning to do more weeding and digging.. xxx

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  9. Sue your Poppies are wonderful one of my fav flowers. So much work , those weeds are truly hard to keep down. Autumn Raspberries are doing fine here to and taste great. Not as many as you have here though. My brother is a fond lover of Butternut Squash , although have yet to try it myself.

    Great work looks just great , and I know how much work you both have put into it.
    Hugs
    Sheila xx

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    • Thank you Sheila, yes we are now nearly on top of the weeds, and hubby and winter dug a good portion back where the potatoes were. I have been clearing, weeding and doing a little digging now and again.. We have fallen in love with Butternut Squash and you can find lots of recipes to use it in too.. We love a mild veggie curry made with it among other things.. Thank you so much for the encouragement

      Love to you too Sheila hugs Sue xx

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  10. Fab post and lots of lovely photos Sue. You’ve both worked so hard to weed, collect seed and prepare for next year. There’s always something to do. I haven’t seen any Harlequin ladybirds but my lupins were attacked by aphids earlier in tge year and now little slus are enjoying the lettuce. The apple harvest has been amazing. We’re going to take some of our old varieties to be identified and then juiced at a loca villagel ‘Apple day’. Happy harvesting!
    🙂 xx

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    • Thank you Mac.. When the weeds start to grow, yes the job is never ending, but I do so enjoy hands on in the garden.. Though this Spring I am taking things more slowly, so as not to over exert myself.. Many thank again. 🙂

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