Autumn colour on the Allotment
A frost is forecast for next week so I decided to crop the last of the row of rainbow chard cutting it back to 15cm above the soil level. That will be it till late April/May next year when new leaves should emerge to bridge the gap whilst a new bed of chard gets going.
The green manure sown from seed 8 weeks ago is full of leaf and about to flower. I chose Caliente Mustard which should die back over winter and the roots can then be cut with a sharp spade pushed through the soil. This produces a natural gas which reduces and suppresses a range of harmful nematodes and diseases in the soil. It ‘s a rather wonderful plant with these soft yellow flowers blooming away…Another experiment that was looking good in the Autumn sunshine and almost ready to pick were Japanese mustard greens Komatsuma (below). I’ll put a fleece cloche over the row this weekend for protection and look out some stir-fry recipes over the next few weeks.
In the garden an evergreen plant of Fatsia japonica that started out as a small shrub 15 years ago is now a 5 metre high multi-stemmed tree producing a mass of cream flowers…