Saturday, 25 July 2009

Normal Service Has Been Restored

Enough of my trials with the red ants (the bites are much better, thanks for asking....), let's get back to matters vegetabular (have I just coined a new word?)

It's been chucking it down here since I last went (and got all bitten) so as there were some bits of blue in the sky today I thought I'd best grab the opportunity to get down the road to do some weeding and harvest some stuff. The last pictures of the plopment proper were on 8 July which is some time ago now. So, behold the jungle that has appeared since last you looked:

All the new potatoes have been dug up now and, delicious though they were, the yield was quite staggeringly poor. In the vast majority of cases, I only got 2, maybe 3, spuds per plant! Barely worth it. I'm hoping for much better things from my Desiree main crops.

I'm growing quite a few new things this year that I've not tried before - Butternut Squash is one. You grow them like cucumbers, up poles, but I believe pollination is a bit tricky - it says on the packet that you can aid pollination by using a paintbrush or just sticking your finger into one flower and then into another to act as a surrogate bee or bug or whatever. I've found, though, that I've only so far had one flower open at a time! This is just an experiment, though. We'll see what happens.

Another veg I'm growing this year for the first time is the Pattypan Squash or, to give it its more formal title, "Early White Bush Scallop Summer Squash". Originally grown by native Americans for hundreds of years, it's now very popular in modern American vegetable patches but little grown over here. You grow them just like courgettes and I started by sowing just three seeds but all three germinated so I didn't bother sowing any more (I only need to grow enough to feed the 2 of us and if it's anything like courgettes....need I say more?)

But, look, I harvested my first squash today! Well, okay, so it was the only one on the 3 plants but I'm hopeful there'll be more! In the picture the squash is next to (some of) today's harvest of Cobra Climbing French Beans and another new arrival, Yellow French Beans.

My courgettes are coming along:

As are the cucumbers:

The Calabrese/broccoli:

And the Sweetcorn is starting to develop its flowers (or what passes for flowers in sweetcorn-world):

The two rows of Resistafly Carrots seem happy enough, but it's hard to tell until you dig some up, so we'll see later if they stand up to their billing:

The lettuce hedge is as succulent as ever. One thing I can say for my plopment is that it grows terrific lettuces. Just after I took this picture I tasted a few of the leaves from the salad bowls (frilly bright green plants in the picture) and, sadly, they were starting to bolt (I'd suspected as much) and the leaves were so bitter I had to spit them out, so I removed them. Fortunately I'd brought with me half a dozen new lettuce seedlings so they got popped into the vacant space.

The fox trampoline was starting to look a bit full and as I'd not weeded underneath the mesh since planting the brassicas in there, I figured it was time to do it.

And this is showing just how big the brassicas have got (I think we're looking at mainly Savoy Cabbage here and possibly some Brussels Sprouts):

The Cosmos that Sylvia planted when she had the top of my plot has flowered beautifully this year. I decided to leave them as the colours are so vivid.

And, finally, this year's competition on the site is for the best scarecrow (last year was tallest sunflower and the year before that was something to do with sweetpeas, I think). Anyway, I have enough to be getting on with without having to think about designing and constructing a scarecrow so won't be entering, but other people on site are and scarecrows are gradually appearing. The competition is going to be judged sometime during the week of 10-16 August (which is, apparently, National Allotment Week) but this one went up this afternoon (all 10ft of it!) and I think it's fabulous - such an easy design and so effective! Bit early for Hallowe'en but what the heck, I wish I'd thought of it now!!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you like the scarecrow, we had a lot of fun with papiermache! I can't beleive it still hasn't leaked....makes putting the chickens to bed on dark winter nights a bit sinister though!!


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