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

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My New Veggie Garden

 I started clearing one of my old raised beds today.  Digging out all the shrubs and flowers except this old blackcurrant bush.  I am going to prune and train it up against this South facing wall.  I brought with me from my old allotment about a dozen bags of soil which I spread out in this bed.
 I did manage to bring some Swiss Chard seedings with me, so I hope to plant them out in a sheltered spot.  Swiss Chard and other leaf crops are one veggie that can tolerate some shade in a growing patch so they should do well here.
 I also brought some mint with me.  I will find a large pot or raised bed so that it does not spread.
 I cut my Joe's Long Chilli plants from my old greenhouse, They are not quite ripe yet, so I have hung them over my balcony rails and they are beginning to ripen in the sunshine now.
 I also found a passenger in one of the bags of soil I brought from my old garden.  This smooth newt had been hiding in the clay soil. They are one of the most common newts in the UK. They eat worms, spiders, slugs and other critters so there will be lots for it to eat here.
My garden backs on to a small river, so it will be really at home in the undergrowth here.  As I was releasing it on the river bank I noticed this beautiful orange underside.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Matron's New Garden

 Only 2 more days to go before I say goodbye to my old patch.  Fear not! I am starting a new challenge.  I have transplanted some fruit plants into my new courtyard garden, where I can grow fruit and veg that will tolerate a little bit of shade.  I dug up some Rhubarb crowns from my old garden - normally you wait until Winter dormancy to do this, but the leaves had already died back on some of these crowns so I hope they will like their new home.
 Ditto this Tayberry that I planted just 3 years ago as a small plant.  This Tayberry put on some amazing growth throughout the Summer so I pruned it back a bit and took these two leaders for transplanting.  A Tayberry is a fairly new cross between a Blackberry and a Raspberry.  It will tolerate a little bit of shade so I can train it up this brick wall.  I hope this transplant works, I couldn't bear to leave it behind so it was dug up and replanted within a couple of hours.
 I also took some raspberry canes from my old patch too.  I hope they will be happy in this raised bed.  If the shock of transplanting isn't too much, then I can provide ideal conditions for them.  So, Rhubarb crowns on the left, raspberry centre and tayberry on the right.
It was a magnificent harvest of my family fruit trees!  I picked these apples yesterday, hope to store some of the best ones, and eat and juice the others.  Onwards and upwards!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Matron Lives!

 We're still here!!  Leo and I have been clearing up and saying goodbye to my allotment patch, but sadly after 35 years on this site I am moving on.  But I have come up with an exciting plan!  Matron is moving her patch to a new and exciting venture.  Matron Lives! More details in the next few days.
 I have been lovingly tending this soil and adding organic matter for 35 years so I have decided to bring some of the garden with me - a garden transplant!  This is gorgeous soil, and whilst repairing a broken raised bed there was about a ton of soil to distribute and tidy up before the new tenants come in next week.
 So I am bagging up some of the soil, complete with all the wiggly worms, into some strong rubble bags and bringing it to my new garden.  I will be revealing my new project in the next couple of days. I just cannot bear to think what it would be like without growing my own veggies.  Tending a plot and getting your hands dirty in the soil is one of my greatest pleasures - second only to eating what I grow!
So, I'm emptying the greenhouse and starting afresh on another new adventure.  Only 6 days to go now!