Steve Woodward – tales from the allotment

Guest blogger - Steve Woodward - Surveying the damage after the first frost of 2012

Surveying the damage after the first frost of 2012

It’s mid October and the wife wanted me to go to the allotment this morning to get a few veg for a Sunday roast dinner, there are still a good few plants growing down there although the weather is now turning decidedly chilly! A fine row of large parsnips similarly with a row of leeks, I have a good selection of brassicas and chose a nice cabbage from the cage that protects them from the veracious wood pigeons! But to my surprise when walking up the allotment path this morning there had been a fairly good frost! Now, the allotment is protected on all sides by high hedges and I love this as it affords us a great deal of privacy when gardening, you can be pottering away down there in a world of your own in complete peace and solitude and the astonishing bit is the allotment is only yards from an A road and a mile or so from the M1 but you would never know it, however the high hedges do not seem to protect all of the allotment from the cold weather as we have noticed a good area does seem to be a frost pocket.

Guest blogger - Steve Woodward - The allotment with high hedges on all sides

The allotment with high hedges on all sides

The frost this morning had put paid to my high hopes of the pumpkins reaching a massive size this year, This may be a bit of a disappointment for the grandkids but at least there are 4 or five of a decent size for carving grotesque faces in to so I may get away with that. Looking over the allotment there was the tell tale sight post frost of glistening limp green foliage on all my pumpkins, squash and courgette plants and so as well as gathering the veg required for Sunday dinner I had to also gather all the pumpkins, courgettes and squash to get them safe at home before further frosts penetrate them, the damaged foliage went on the compost heap and will maybe help feed bigger pumpkins in time for Halloween next year? Yes, ever the optimist a familiar trait as with most gardening folk.

Guest blogger - Steve Woodward - Pumpkins

Today’s grow your own bounty from the allotment

About Steve Woodward:
I am 56 yrs young, next monday the 22nd is our 35th wedding anniversary, have 2 children and 3 grandchildren, have an allotment on the Notts/Derbys border. I am RHS trained to level 2 and also passed a course in herbalism, had the allotment for about 20 years that is mainly for veg growing, at home I grow fruit and have a love of anything big leaved exoticy looking jungly type plants. I also help run a gardening forum at


  1. No proper frost here yet but all I have left growing outside are a few green tomatoes which I must remember to bring in! If you’d put a plastic covering over your pumpkins would they have got any bigger or riper Steve?

    • Hi Sue,

      I don’t think so, they are so sprawling that you would need a massive cover, it’s also warmth and light that they need to keep growing too

  2. I’m just waiting for the same to happen to my much cossetted butternut squash – but so far Jack Frost has stayed away and I am still hopeful that the two biggest fruits will ripen enough for cooking. Steve’s right about gardeners needing to have optimism by the bucketful – this is my second year trying to grow butternut squash. 1st year was a complete failure with plants refusing to grow and just sitting in the ground sulking. This year a system of unwanted man-hole pipes full of compost has at least produced two fruiting plants! Next year I may be inundated with squash!

    • Rebecca Tute

      We’ll keep our fingers crossed that your squashes get big enough to harvest before the frost gets to them. Best of luck for next year’s crop. Thanks for reading our guest blog!

    • Big warning for all who grow Tender or half hardy plants too …they have given out a change in weather for after this weekend (25th Oct) it is going to get much colder, get those tender plants protected everyone


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