Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Monday, September 20, 2010

More Autumn Colours

I love watching how plants react to the seasons! Plants are so sensitive to day length, strength of sunlight and temperature and they respond in colourful ways sometimes. These are some Scotch Bonnet chillis that I grew from seed saved from a chilli bought in a West Indian market stall. You can see that they are responding to the shortening day length and cooler nights by turning colour.
Just in a couple of days these two orange coloured ones went from green to orange, then will go to red. This is the same process involved in tree leaves turning colour in Autumn when they respond to the seasons.
This one above you can just see starting to change, in only a day or so it will turn colour. These are fairly small plants and I might bring one indoors as a beautiful houseplant on a bright windowsill.
This little chap is a 'Bishops Kiss' chilli. I look forward to saving seed this year and growing more next year.
If you grow pumpkins or courgettes then this powdery mildew will be a familiar sight at this time of year. It happens every year, it looks horrible but it just seems to be inevitable that the plant will get this at the end of the season.
I have heard of people using various home concoctions sprayed onto the leaves, but it only delays the inevitable. It usually happens in dry conditions, but I just try to keep my plants well fed and watered for as long as possible.
Elsewhere, I am enjoying watching my Christmas Dinner growing on the plant. This is the first time I have grown Brussels Sprouts, and this variety Bosworth seemed like a good one to me.
These Crab Apples are looking glorious at the moment. I am always torn between leaving them on the tree for some lovely Winter colour in the garden, and to feed the hungry birds in the garden - or pick them all and make crab apple jelly. I can't decide!
Finally, just another reminder to email me a picture of your faithful canine garden companions for Matron's 2010 Dogblog. Send me a picture before September 29th and please include your blog address if you want me to put a link in. This old lady is my ex-dog Emma. We rescued her from Battersea Dogs Home in the 1970s and she was a fun and loyal companion for many years. I just found this photo, she had just been playing snowballs with me in the garden!


At 8:32 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Thanks for the reminder Matron. Emma looks a really sweet dog.

At 12:29 AM, Blogger Kris said...

Every year I pick the bottom half of my crabapple tree for jelly and leave the top half for the birds. Everyone wins here.

I, too, am growing Brussels sprouts for the first time this year. I'm watching them closely as it's less than 4 weeks until first frost...

At 1:50 AM, Blogger Mr. H. said...

I love the looks of those chili peppers, we grew a long skinny variety (can't remember the name) this year but they did not color up for year. Very cute dog, she's got that spunky look in her eye.:)

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Dim Sum Gardener said...

What a lovely pic of Emma. I'm looking forward to the Dogblog, even though I don't have a dog. The chillis are beautiful!

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Green Lane Allotments said...

For the second year running our sprouts are rubbish - our plot seems to have developed a dislike of them! WE have done everything we could think of to get a successful crop to no avail!!

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Jo said...

My chilies are just on the turn now too. The crab apples look so pretty, I think I'd leave at least some on the tree. It seems that Emma had been enjoying the snow, she looks a lovely dog. I'm looking forward to the dogblog.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Hope you have a long chili season before the cold weather set in. They are gorgeous. We are lucky this year our chili fruit through out winter.Have you start fall planting for cold vegetable lover yet?

At 2:32 PM, Blogger One said...

You have very pretty looking chillies. I planted the bell pepper but it has yet to set fruit. Your crab apples look lovely. I could understand your dilemma. I like to see the way Emma tilts her head. My Pomeranian does that when he stares at me.


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