I seem to be spending all my time watering these days, which eats into the time I have to do things on the plot, with a lot more still to do before I throw in the trowel for the season.
With a lot of effort the green bed has been dug over. It had set solid and I had to jump on the spade to get it into the soil. Half my supply of last year’s leaves has been dug in too as worm enticements and to possibly keep the ground a bit less solid over the next few months. That said, the bed is destined to be a brassica home so they won’t be complaining.
Katie and I have planted out her cucumbers, and the potted cosmos.
My courgettes are really puny again but the squashes are going great guns now. The Black Futsus have about 6 female flowers forming, which would be great. Other than the one fruit which set there are no more Shishigatanis yet, though it is still early.
The chillies are going well, and some of the plants are wearing netting bags to isolate the flowers for seed-saving. The Padron peppers have already been harvested twice and there are Lipstick and Tsygansky Baron peppers on their way. Tomatoes inside and out seem to be thriving – apart from one of the Crimson Crushes which is resolutely feeble. There is a huge amount of fruit on the greenhouse tomatoes, and finally some of the Sandpoint tomatoes appear to be turning. My 100s&1000s is going a bit bonkers on the shelf, and it is really hard to water, given that all the tomato plants are encroaching on the mini-path up the centre. And I am delighted that the Dancing with Smurfs toms are really dark blue!
Pretty much everything is doing well and not always as late as I thought given the cold start. The sweetcorn tassles and silks are starting to show. Spuds are great and bang on time. Kent Blues are now drying nicely for next year’s seeds. I picked 2 aubergines today, which is far earlier than I have ever had them before. I have also had great fennel for the first time, with some really large bulbs.
The onions from seed mostly look splendid and are not minding the reappearance of horsetail amongst them. Blackfly is still awful on the top plot, but nearly non-existent on the bottom one. Climbing beans are doing well, especially on the munty frame, where they are nearly at the top of the back section and are flowering already. Lazy Housewife is really not that lazy!
Note to self for next year – the red gooseberries start to go pale and yikky when they go over, so I need to stay on top of the picking. And the redcurrants ripen in approx 2-week sequences, one after the other. Rovada is the latest and just ripe now.
On #92 I’ve started digging over the saffron bed and sifting it to get all the bindweed out. I’m having the same problem with solid ground too, not helped by having accidentally chopped off a bit of my thumb with secateurs. I want to get it done and planted up this week and if the promised rain would just arrive that would help enormously! It had been forecast to rain all day tomorrow, but that’s now been replaced with heavy cloud.
We had the site inspections last weekend and I asked what is happening with Andie’s half which has been on hold for over a month now. The asbestos has been tested and it’s now been agreed that soil samples will be sent off to check contamination levels.
I am crossing all fingers that it will come back as within acceptable levels and the plot can continue to be used as I am not sure what the options will be otherwise. I’m so disappointed for Andie, as it’s a horrible start to allotmenteering and she has worked so hard to get her side up and running.
In the evenings at the moment I am mostly making jelly. Today was blackcurrant – 5 gleaming jars to go with the 5 redcurrant jelly jars. Blackberries are ripening nicely at the plot, so that’s next up. Can’t wait.
Categories: Diary 2015