Unsurprisingly my tomatoes have caught blight. Despite having 2 years free from this disease, with all the rain we’ve had this year I knew it was only a matter of time. In hindsight I should have sprayed them with fungicide earlier, but I was overly optimistic that they’d be okay.
My plans for lots of pasta sauce and homemade ketchup (which got a big thumbs up from my family last year) are not to be. It won’t be the year of the tomato. I can’t even say for sure I can make green tomato chutney as there are very few actual tomatoes. Lots of flowers but they might not get very far. As you can see on the photo above, once the stems go, there’s not much hope for anything growing on it.
I have cut as much of the foliage back as possible, and sprayed them, but I fear the damage has already set in, and while the rain continues to pour, it doesn’t look good.
And it’s not just the tomatoes, the onions have caught it too. They’re not a bad size, I’ll pull them all up for drying, I’m just not sure how well they will store. Caramelised onion chutney might be on the cards instead of ketchup. That’s the way it goes sometimes. You get what you’re given!
As for the potatoes, the tops have died down on the second earlies, but I think that’s just because they’d flowered and finished, I couldn’t detect any signs of blight on the stems. I have cut them down just to be on the safe side, but my Pink Fir Apple potatoes look green and healthy still.
I have started harvesting the Kestrel second earlies, and they look good. The excess rain has at least given us some decent sized potatoes. A few big bakers in there. And so far, no slug or eelworm damage. So it’s not all bad news!
There’s a strange lack of beans on the lower stems of my runner beans. You can see here where flowers towards the ends of the stem have fallen and failed to produce fruit. Is this the weather? (Blaming it for everything else right now). A shortage of pollinators? Some greedy pest? Not sure, but the further up you go, the better they look.
The purple french beans are looking better than ever. For once I’m not having to worry about watering these non-stop.
The netting over my purple sprouting broccoli isn’t quite wide enough to come all the way down to the ground on either side, so the odd tenacious cabbage white butterfly is managing to find a way in, though not always back out again. And so a thorough check on the back of the leaves is necessary to hunt out the eggs. In fact I only found 3 lots, so not that bad. They are the tiniest pinhead eggs, but luckily they appear bright yellow against the green leaf and stand out clearly. I’m always quite impressed by the perfect alignment of them in a little block. They never lay them randomly.
And finally, a slightly larger, but better looking pest! She is never satisfied with lying on the grass path, but insists on lying right on top of the carrots and parsnips. It’s not like there weren’t any other shady spots nearby. She gets away with too much.
So in the allotment games (sorry, getting carried away with the Olympics this week), the tomatoes have been disqualified, the onions are just about in there, somewhere down the bottom of the table, the beans take bronze (bit of a false start let them down), potatoes take silver, but in gold place is the sweetcorn. It has already produced some good looking husks, a couple at least per plant, and is storming away to the finishing line. It hasn’t put a foot (or leaf) wrong yet. It could all change mind you!