John has finally dug all the way down to the end of the plot. That’s no mean feat! As any fellow allotmenteers out there will testify, digging over an entire 250 square meters, without using chemical weed killers and without a rotavator, is not easy. It’s taken 16 months to get to this point, so it’s a little celebratory moment. This bottom section will be devoted to garlic and over wintering onions.
John (as well as digging the plot) has been on a leek planting frenzy. We now have 10 rows of them – at least I think so, I’ve lost count.
The first 4 or 5 rows were sown by me in the early spring, both an early and late variety. The rest have come from our local market, where they are now selling huge bundles of them for £1. That’s too cheap to turn down.
Luckily we both agree that leeks are just about the most versatile of vegetables, a firm favourite of ours, and we never seem to have enough. I think this year will be different.
This is the celery. I haven’t really done much with it since planting. The weeds don’t get much of a look in, and there’s no damage from any pests or diseases. So far, so good. It could do with a bit of rain though. Although it’s a self blanching variety the stems still look very green to me, and I’m tempted to wrap some cardboard tubes around them anyway for good measure.
The beans are starting to fatten up nicely, so I’m saving these now for the beans inside the pods. Bring on the winter casseroles!
The chrysanthemums are just about ready to burst into flower (despite the bindweed wrapping around them).
We’ve also got a mixed row of marigolds and calendulas, a refreshing citrusy blend of lemons and tangerines. I don’t use them for anything, they just help to attract the bees, deter the carrot fly and more than anything, brighten up the plot.
We’ve also harvested all of the potatoes now. These are the maincrops Picasso. We decided to pull them up after they caught some of the blight from the tomatoes, they seem to be unaffected though.
I’m also harvesting loads of autumn raspberries at the moment. Squirreling them away in the freezer. Perfect for making fruit smoothies, pureeing to pour over ice-cream, adding to breakfast muesli, or if I get enough to add to the blackberries I might think about making jam. A prospect that daunts me but is a challenge waiting to be faced.