Monday, 18 September 2017

I found an allium seed head on the free shelf at the allotment, which was growing "grass" in amongst the seed heads.

So I carefully extracted the "grass" which looks like baby leeks...

and potted them up....

So, hopefully, that's my next years crop on the go for free!  Result!

Friday, 15 September 2017

 The one surviving Crown Prince, diminutive but still bigger than last year's specimen

 Pear Invincible: a beautiful of only four, but it is the first crop.

Pear Loffelbirne: lots of heavy fruit.

Apple James Grieve: almost ripe and ready to pick.

Purple sweetcorn: lots of cobs but way off being ripe.  The weather forecast is predicting warmth next week which might help, but I have a feeling it it won't..

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The temperature is dropping, it was 10C this morning at 9.30am. Time for the tomato plants to go...took off the last few fruits.  I'll think of something to do with them, don't know what yet, no more chutney though, I know that much.

I took off some sideshoots of the marmande and poked them into a pot to overwinter on the kitchen widowsill.

It was worth doing this year, there were fruit on earlier than usual with the Marmande, and from the very bottom of the stems to the tops.  Quite often the fruit trusses don't grow until the plant is quite tall so the bottom foot or two of stem is unproductive space.

I don't think I need to keep shoots of the Shirley or Garden Pearl as they both flowered early anyway.

I haven't taken the outside tomatoes down yet, it is a bit too cold and wet at the moment, but they won't be long.

There is no sign of the Jalapeno peppers turning red so I 'll keep them for a while.  If I can find some space I will bring them into the house when it turns cold.  It did well this year if a little leggy. Just wish I actually liked chillis.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

The weather has turned autumnal all of a sudden, grey skies, spatters of rain and a bit breezy.  That did not affect the annual allotment show, however, and we managed to raise a few pounds for the association plus a good burger for lunch.

The show went by without any contributions from me this year, sadly, I've just had too much on, my kitchen is being painted so I have nowhere to put anything at the moment.  Space and time are needed to spread everything out to decide whether there is enough good quality stuff to put in the show.

Truth to tell, I just haven't done all that well this year, the harvest was okay but nothing to write home about.  The early drought set back a lot of the early crops and when we did get some rain there was little sun and low temperatures.
My corn has cobs at last, but unless we get a couple of weeks of sun and warm they won't ripen.
I've never known my sweet peas to die mid season before, and two sowings of mange-tout and peas have both been non-starters
The broad beans weren't as prolific as usual, but it was a different variety than usual so it might not have been just the weather causing it.
The climbing beans are producing more than enough for home consumption, but that is mostly the runners (Czar), the french beans have been nowhere near as productive as last year...very tasty though (blue lake).
Unusually, the winter onions were affected by basal root mould, I suppose because the mild winter we had last year didn't kill off enough bugs.
The beetroot has been so slow to grow I haven't had any worth picking even now, although I might get some eventually.
There's been some good things though...

  • the blackberries have got loads of lovely big berries
  • the runner beans as I said earlier.
  • the potatoes in bags were nice, tasty and clean.
  • the tomatoes have done really well this year though, I've had loads.  I've made soups, passata, pasta sauce and ratatouille and still had enough to give away to friends and family.

Dropping a shelf down in the greenhouse mean't each tomato plant (Shirley and Marmande) had room for another truss, and the Outdoor Girls did well in the blowaway outside even though the door has been rolled up since June. The Outdoor Girls are nicely flavoured and quite productive, but very straggly plants, I'm never quite sure how to deal with these bush varieties that fall about all over.  If the branches are left on the ground, the slugs and snails get them but its hard to tie them up because of all the stems.

All in all not bad so far.  Still to come (hopefully) sweetcorn, celeriac, beetroot, apples and pears, more potatoes, more beans (depodded) and maybe a teaspoon of saffron.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

I haven't been able to upload photos for the last week or so since I had an update to windows 10.  Don't know why. But now I have discovered how to upload direct from my camera, so I will be able to catch my readers up ...all three of them.

This strange caterpillar was spotted crossing the path at the allotment.

It is a hawk moth caterpillar with false eyes on its back, in the second pic, the real head is tucked under, presumably because I frightened it when I picked it up to get a better photo. This is only the second time I have seen one.

My biggest tomato. (Marmande)

It has been a good year so far for toms. Nothing much else mind.