On a more positive note

garlic flowerSo I had a cathartic moan in my last post about all the disasters so far on the plot, and I was reassured when many of you joined in with your similar tales of woe. Thanks, you all made me feel so much better!

Onwards and upwards, I’m pleased to say the plot is now filling out nicely, and there are far more things doing well than not. After 8 years of allotmenteering, at least the failures keep teaching me valuable lessons year on year. I’ll learn from them one of these days!

Here’s what’s happening down on plot 37.

1st potato harvest

The Charlotte potatoes are being harvested and eaten by the bucket load at the moment. We’ve harvested one full row and cut the tops back on the 2nd row just in case the brown blotches on the leaves were blight. So far, the only damage to the tubers are that common affliction known as ‘human error’.

winter squash

The winter squashes are looking good. The Buttercup variety has languidly spread itself almost the full length of the bed (which is roughly 4.5m), and has now started to creep between the sweetcorn, with these little round fruit all along the one stem. The other variety ‘Sweet Dumpling’ is so far living up to it’s name, and has formed a smallish neat rounded plant, which has yet to really spread at all. Also no fruit yet, but lots of flower buds. So alike and yet so different, I guess that’s family members for you.

courgette plants

courgette harvest

The courgettes, despite their mildew, are doing what courgettes do best, and reproducing like rabbits.

hairdo on sweetcorn

The sweetcorn is putting on a show with a fabulous hairdo. Liking your style there!

carrots germinated

The slugs have obviously had their fill on my lettuce already and have been generous enough to leave me some carrots. I’m afraid I have resorted to a very light sprinkling of organic slug pellets. I don’t like using them, even when they claim to be organic, but these are desperate times. I certainly wouldn’t use them once plants have got themselves established, but just while they’re young and vulnerable to attack. Slugs can wipe out an entire row overnight, and I think explains my inability to grow carrots in the past.

1st baby cucumber

I have some tiny, wee baby cucumbers. Sorry, I don’t know why I find these so adorably cute. Just me then?

sweetpeas

And finally, the sweetpeas just keep on coming. Again, two very different varieties here – the red/purple variety is called ‘Matucana’ and produces an abundance of small flowers on very short stems, but the smell is incredible. The creamy white one (I’m afraid I don’t have the packet anymore, so I don’t know the name) has much larger flowers (beautiful when fully open) and on much longer, thicker stems, but hardly any scent at all. It seems you can’t have it all, but I think I’d choose scent over stem length any day. A sweepea with no scent, what’s the point?

If anyone can recommend a good variety to try next year I’d love to know.

 

4 comments

  1. Love the little cucumbers too, although I’m woefully short of them this year. I had to sow carrots three times to get a reasonable number in my bed. I think one good sized slug can wipe out a whole bed of seedlings overnight. Good to see some success stories though. I have courgettes as well. I think they exist to give us hope in the vegetable garden!

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    • Yes, you can always rely on the courgettes if nothing else! My carrot seedlings are my third sowing too. I’m sure I end up spending more on carrot seed than I would just buying them in the shop.

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  2. A nice plotting post and lovely pictures. Enjoy the Charlottes, they’re my favourite potatoes and like you I’ve started lifting mine. Good luck with the carrots, they’re something that I’ve never managed to really grow. Shame about the sweet peas having no scent as most varieties sold now do have one. Cupani is very fragrant.
    Happy gardening. xx

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    • Thanks Flightly, yes I looked at Cupani on the Sarah Ravan website, they look very similar to the ones I’m growing this year. Enjoying the Charlottes thanks, they’ve become my favourite too.

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