Autumns Golden Treasures

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Autumns Gold early morning along a favourite local walk.

The end of September saw both my hubby and I busy getting the allotments straight for our short break away in Scotland so it would be low maintenance upon our return.. Little did we think it would be so mild.. or that in England the rain coupled with the mild weather give our newly cleared weed free allotments time to grow. But as we all know weeds seem to have a growth spurt known only to themselves.. So we still had plenty to keep us busy when we returned..  Our time in Scotland on the other hand was Sunny and dry, not one drop of rain did we have until the day we departed for home.

Tarbert Scotland Loch Fyne.

Tarbert Scotland Loch Fyne.

There was much to do still, as the tomatoes had all about finished, and I made lots of fresh tomato soup daily as my husband cleared out the greenhouses both at home and on the allotments.  A tasty fresh tomato recipe can be found here. on my recipe pages.

The next thing we did was gather up the squashes.

For what ever reason, this year has not been half as good as last year for our butternut squashes.. They have not really ripened and many were decaying and going bad.. In fact those you see we put to ripen on the window ledge a third have already have had to be thrown away.. 

I spied this lone Nasturtium  amid the Squashes..  A splash of Gold amid the leaves.. 

The Autumn raspberry canes were cut back down to the ground.. The Spring ones we did in the beginning of September as I showed you below how we had thinned out the old shoots  and spaced them and tied them to the frame.. We have since cut back the tops to the top of the wooden framework. 

Raspberry Canes And Gladioli

And no Autumn post would be complete with out a few Autumn pictures. So here is a local walk we often do to a wild life lake close by. 

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Vicars Water

We came across this quite tame Robin. He stayed posing for us for some time.. My husband held out his walking stick to invite him to hop onto.. He considered it but declined :-)

We came across this quite tame Robin. He stayed posing for us for some time.. My husband held out his walking stick to invite him to hop onto.. He considered it but declined 🙂

This week has dropped colder and we have had our first overnight frost.. I gathered in what was the last of the Dahlia’s I think, they have given me a tremendous amount of pleasure this  Summer and Autumn and an abundance of flowers which have been share between family and neighbours. 

Dahlia's

Dahlia’s

As the garden winds down for the year, my craft work will now come out. My Knitting and Artwork will replace the gardening..  And already I am well into a knitting  project which I will share when it is finished. 

Happy Gardening

~Sue~

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~