We’ve finally had some serious rain. A great all-banging and all-flashing thunderstorm in the night, along with lots of very heavy rain, and the rain has been on and off all morning. My water butt at home was empty and is now overflowing, so I’m hoping the allotment butts will be equally replenished. Phew.
I’m glad that we decided to pull the onions up at the weekend. It seems a tad early for spring planted sets, but the tops had gone over on most of them and I noticed one bulb was starting to rot at the top. If they get too much moisture after they’ve finished growing they are liable to rotting.
So they are now drying out in my lean-to. I use a metal rack propped up on a few old flower pots, and they get placed upside-down so that the moisture still left in the green stem doesn’t flow back into the bulb and rot it. Once the stems have completely dried out they’ll get stored in a meshed onion bag, and used over the coming months. You can string them together if you like, but I’ve never had much luck doing this. Just don’t store them in a plastic bag, they need air to circulate around them, and light or else they will start to sprout.
The harvest isn’t quite so good this year. Maybe the cold spring was to blame, but there are lots of small bulbs, and lots of very elongated, or squashed looking bulbs. Never had this problem before. John thinks that because it was so dry of late, they gave a final push down to find water. Maybe.
But what is odd, is that the potatoes have a similar look to them, many with a pointed or a bulbous shape at one end. Maybe it’s coincidental, or maybe it’s the weather to blame as usual. The one bottom left looks like a blubbery little seal with a smiley face.
Our first earlies have had lots of slug damage unfortunately, they’re not the greatest, but what I do have I’m making the most of.
I have a basket full of smaller potatoes for using in salads in the short term, while any larger ones have been peeled, chopped, blanched for 5 mins and then coated in crushed garlic, herbs and oil. They were then spread out on sheets for freezing. It should provide me with a handy bag of herby, garlicky spuds ready to go straight into a hot oven, just as soon as I can cope with the prospect of a hot oven. It’s still very muggy despite the rain, we’re never happy us Brits!