October in rearview mirror

allotment in october

The weather in October has been very mild – no frosts yet, in fact it was the third warmest October month on record. This (and some careful planning) is the reason why the garden still looks quite full and colorful. It is also the reason why we are still harvesting red peppers.

harvest in october
The harvests are still plentiful albeit of different vegetables. Endive especially is doing really well and I’m picking some every week to make the popular Dutch dish “stampot andijvie” or potato mash with endive. I would like to use it in other ways, too, but the thing is, everybody likes the mash. Nevertheless, if you have any suggestions for using endive, I would love to hear them!

dahlias

Last month I have expressed my worries about the voles eating our sweet potatoes – they probably did eat some, but fortunately not all of them, so I am proud to let you know that for the first time ever, we have harvested some not very big, but homegrown, sweet potatoes

sweet potato harvest .

Even though the sweet potato harvest was by no means plentiful (I blame the cold summer weather and the voles) it was still far better than our persimmon harvest which consisted of ONE persimmon. We quartered it so that everyone could get a taste and it was delicious.

persimmon

In our edible forest garden at home, we have picked a bowl of tiny kiwis from the six year old hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta) plant. The juicy and sweet fruits are just about an inch long so it is a good thing they do not require peeling!

hardy kiwi Actinidia arguta

Meanwhile, the winter salads in the cold frame I sowed in September are growing well and we have eaten some thinnings. I am still waiting for the weather to turn colder before I put on the lights.

leaf mustard in the cold frame

I have also planted garlic, which is one of the jobs I tend to procrastinate. This year I managed to plant it a whole month earlier than last year (self high five). I planted the softneck variety “Thermidrome”, the two bulbs I bought having given me 25 cloves which hopefully over time will grow into a bulb each. I am thinking about adding some regular store bought organic garlic and see how they compare.

planting garlic "Thermidrome"

In October we have also visited some beautiful kitchen gardens in England of which I hope to share the pictures soon.

All in all, a good month in the garden and outside of it.
Happy gardening!

P.s. This is what our garden looked like a year ago, in October 2013

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