Friday, July 23, 2010



I found more leek seedlings! I planted them as white onions! what a dork! anyway I took out a row of Ratte potatoes (not such a bad yield, I got a carrier bag full!) and put in the leeks.
I had a good cleanup, weeding the squash, peppers, aubergines (more bloody grass), staked another tomato, cleaned up the edges. Now I just need to do that for the other half of the plot!!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010


Last sowings

Well, in an attempt to have some kind of winter crop, I have made a last ditch effort to sow some seeds. In the cold frame are:
Must water them a lot!!!
More rain today. The top soil is still dry but underneath I noticed it was rather cool and moist so at least some water has soaked down.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Gooseberry chutney!

I finally found something different to make with the gooseberries, and that was chutney!
How I did it (this only made 2 jars but that is fine with me, they don't eat much chutney in my house):
about a large cupful of gooseberries, topped and tailed,
2 small apples, chopped,
3 onions, one brown and two red, chopped,
a small green pepper chopped,
1 small cup of sugar and another of cider vinegar.
spices: pepper, paprika, some mustard seeds, a few coriander seeds, a large pinch of salt. A little chilli powder and a clove of garlic, chopped

Put it all in a large pan, simmer for a looong time until jammy and well reduced. It was a lovely pinky red colour (they are red goosegogs), and was fruity and acidic and spicy. Mmmm can't wait to taste it with some cold meat.

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A little more rain

finally a little rain this morning. Not a lot, but it was actually running down teh gutters so I assume that the ground at the allotment at least got wet. The ground is really parched so it's certainly very welcome. Not sure it will continue though...
Yesterday morning I netted the broccoli as I am sure they had already been nibbled by pigeons or other birds. bastards.

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Monday, July 19, 2010


Taming the toms

The tomatoes were still jungle like, so I spent a goddamn long time on the weekend pruning them again, and stringing them up. The cherry tomatoes got the treatment this time too. I am growing Gardener's Delight, I can see why they are called that! They are now over four feet high, and there are litterally dozens of flower trusses on them as well as lots of green fruit that should soon be ripe.
The Marmandes and Moneymaker are also marvellous this year. I have not tasted the Moneymaker yet but it is certainly prolific and the fruit look healthy so far. I spotted the Tigerellas starting their fruit too, little stripey tomatoes! So cute. The other cherry tomas are also doing well, I have Totem and a variety called Pannovy and they are more manageable, the bushes are smaller.

The pumpkins are going great guns: the butternuts are a great success, each one has several fruit! And the Trident blobby pumpkins are fruiting too. I also noticed the first baby Hooligans, they already have a distinctive pepper-type shape. I think it will be a successful year for Winter Squash.
Other work on the weekend:
A lot of picking! Beans, yellow courgettes, the last of the gooseberries and a continuing crop of strawberries.
Some weeding of the aubergines and peppers (they are starting to fruit).
A lot of watering!
Some planting and sowing:
Planting out some broccoli and sowed some autumn carrots (Frubund variety, a freebie from RHS) and the last of the French beans: yellow wax and more green beans. I need to sow more this week of the kale, late beetroot and spring cabbages and caulis and all the late salad veg, the others have been attacked by something and the seedlings are all eaten up!! Boo hoo!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010



Yesterday, somewhat spoiling several Bastille day fireworks displays, we finally had a good heavy downpour. I hope that the allotment has profited from this, as it has been bone dry.

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Monday, July 12, 2010


Drought conditions continue

Yep, still no rain. And the potatoes are suffering a lot, most of the foliage has died, even on the maincrop... Not sure what I will get in the way of potatoes this year...

Anyway, apart from that, some regular watering has kept the rest going. The baby pak choi have struggled on, hopefully I will be able to start harvesting leaves from them in a few weeks.

I checked the root veg and they are still hopelessly small. Must water a bit more. I got one beetroot, a Cheltenham Greetop, so a long beetroot. It's all alone but it looks very nice. I shall grate it raw in salad I think, hardly seems worth cooking it.
The pumpkins are going great guns - on the butternut pumpkins, there are already several small fruit forming!

I must keep adding some compost and watering. The non-bush types are starting to throw vines down the edges of the lottie. I love how pumpkins take over everything!
This is a Qld Blue:

And this Trident variety is running for dear life!

Tomatoes - well, I had a bit of a prune, as they were really getting thuglike.
On the right there are the tomatoes, on the left the beans:

And the tomatoes...

They need tying in again too. But already by eliminating part of the foliage, I could see more light and air getting through to all the plants, which will do them a world of good. I tried to remove the bottom leaves and I chopped off quite a bit of leaves to give them some room to breathe (note to self, plant much more spread out next year. Or maybe not be too ambitious in the number of plants! 30 seems too many!). The aubergines and peppers got a little weeding too, they are being suufocated with couch grass :-(

Still harvesting raspberries and strawberries (and made 4 pots of jam from the leftover gooseberries! so a good fruit harvest in my opinion).
Beans are in full swing, although they are a little stringy (wonder if the weather is to blame?). Green Fin des Bagnols and yellow Kingwax.
I got loads of yellow courgettes and finally a green one. The green ones seem slower. Must try some different varieties of green ones next year, I just got some ordinary "Diamant" type from Lidl.

The potatoes are puzzling: I lifted another ratte - the spuds are healthy but very small... The foliage has all died. I don't know if they will swell further but as rain is expected I am going to leave them for a while yet. I have not dared to try the maincrop, they also look very unwell.
Finally, I got around to harvesting most of the onions, except for the odd few I planted with the carrots and strawberries for pest control.
The onion plot just before harvesting (Gave me a chance to weed it too!)

I got an absolutely terrific harvest, several kilos, 3 big boxes full!

And the onions are very swollen and healthy looking, even the Red onions were excellent this year.

The echalotes are great, really big bulbs. It was a good idea to invest in a good variety (jermor drumstick variety).

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Monday, July 05, 2010


The heat wave continues

Still pretty hot out there this weekend, I have to water a lot as the ground is really hot and dry. I ended up gardening in shorts and a sports bra as it was so hot!!! Oh well, give the neighbours something to gossip about.
There is lots of bindweed everyweher, it's most frustrating. I need to do some more heavy scale weeding. Maybe during this week, my kids are on camp (yippee!!!).
Work done this weekend:
Space made in potato patch, compost added, two short rows of Pak Choy planted.
Echalotes harvested by my daughter, they are spectacular, a really terrific harvest this year. Now I need to get some manure this week and dig that over and cover it up.
A little cursory weeding, round the courgettes and strawberries which are plagued with bindweed.
Lots of watering, although we are getting a sprinkling of rain this morning, it's nowhere near enough, it will just freshen things up a little.

A few kilos of early potatoes, about 5 kilos, that is starting to get to the end of them now, they were ravaged by my vole (read "vile") that I thought was so cute but was really eating me out of house and home. I should take my cat down there next time.
A good punnet of green beans, the first ones, wonderful.
Several courgettes
Strawberries, raspberries
my gooseberries! AT LAST! without them being eaten by other creatures. I plan to make a small amount of jam and some puree, there are only red ones! Which is odd as I planted green ones originally ???

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