A little photographic tour of our allotment:
Brussels sprouts are doing okay, though bit nibbled around the edges. I think some of those at the bottom are probably ready soon. Not really what you expect in July/August but I did plant them a bit early. I’m worried that they might blow too soon (that’s the term for when the leaves open out from the tight buds they should be – they’re not going to explode, at least I hope not). I think I’ll have to freeze some if I want them on Christmas day.
Courgettes are typically growing quicker than I can eat them. Got 1 yellow variety and 2 green. They all taste pretty much the same though. Refer to some of my cooking ideas here if you need them. As you can see I’ve mulched the bed, firstly with newspaper and then straw, to conserve moisture and suppress the weeds. I planted some upturned plastic bottles (with the bottoms cut off) next to the roots of each plant so I can water straight into where it’s needed.
This alien creature lurking in the straw is an outdoor cucumber, called Marketmore. It’s a slightly prickly ridged cucumber, but tastes just as good, if not better, than the standard smooth greenhouse ones. They just need loads of water.
Talking of alien creatures, look what landed on our allotment. This is a summer squash called Patty Pan. I can’t believe how quickly it’s grown. Not entirely sure what I do with it now? Put it on the side as an ornament, wear it as a hat, or attempt to eat it? It’s apparently quite similar in taste to courgette, and should be cooked in a similar way. And I think you’re really meant to pick and eat them when they’re small. Hey ho. It’s good to grow something a bit different though. That should be my aim each year.
The climbing french beans seem to have been a bit slow, but then I’m comparing them to the runner beans on other plots, which seem to be taking over the site. I see people taking home big carrier bags full of beans and I’m a bit jealous. These are a heritage variety called ‘Birds Egg’. Just got a few tiny ones so far. Come on fellas! I know I won’t be saying that in a few weeks when I’m drowning in them.
I’m also willing my butternut squashes to hurry up, I’ve so far got some flower buds but no fruit yet. Am I just too impatient?
The blackberries on the other hand are doing really well. Just so long as I can keep the birds off I should have a good crop.
Tomatoes are coming on. I did lose about 3 plants from the original 20, but I’ve come to expect a few losses. Those that survived are doing well. This is heritage Salt Spring Sunrise, looking like quite a beefy variety.
Last but not least – the sweetcorn. Not too bad so far for my first attempt at growing it. Though I haven’t done much but bung it in and weed the bed occasionally. Not sure if there’s anything else I should be doing? It seems quite healthy, disease and pest free, which does make life so much easier.
Also still pulling up plenty of beetroot, small lettuces are coming on, brassicas are growing well under cover, autumn raspberries looking good, leeks are in, and still another 4 rows of spuds to be dug up. Phew! I won’t mention the weeds.
A new addition to my household might scupper my allotment plans over the next few weeks – watch this space!