I thought that the load of wood chippings would last for a long time. How wrong was I!
After doing the main path on the allotment I started on another one, this time between one of my plots and my friend’s. This path wasn’t very good – our site is on a slope and some paths tend to become uneven, one side much higher than the other. In the end it was quite simple – I managed to shave off the higher side, turned the turf upside down and filled the lower side. Then the whole path got covered with the beautiful wood chippings. Immediate improvement!
It is true when we say – it is not what you know but who you know. As it happens I know a guy who is a tree surgeon and he has some wood chips from time to time. Tuesday was the day he brought a truck-load of it to the allotment gates and myself and Frank worked ever so hard to transfer it to the right places.
I think it is just about the right time to harvest my beauties, I don’t want to lose them to frost. All of them did well, Tromboncino, Zucca Hubbard, Zucca da marmelata and, of course, my Maltese pumpkin
I know the latest is the ‘no dig’ policy but you can’t beat a spot of digging. I had a whole day of it yesterday, loved every minute. It certainly beats going to the gym, doesn’t really cost anything, just put your back into it!
I am happy – I have reached the, for me, impossible. I have managed to grow a long, large and straight carrot – well, almost.
Almost perfect. As I always say – my Grandad was a very good gardener but he never grew carrots. The soil on his plot was rather stony and he rather concentrated his efforts on growing soft fruit and cucumbers.
I love growing them on the allotment, they attract the bees and other insects and anyway – they look great. Especially if they manage to grow tall or have huge faces, like this one. I had to cut it and bring it home, in the past the squirrels found it and before I knew the seeds were gone.
This beauty wasn’t the tallest but had the biggest face – 39 cm! Enough seeds to grow a field of them next year.
…is here again. Even though we didn’t have much rain my harvest was great. I kept picking courgettes all the time, then carrots started. Now tomatoes are something else – I haven’t had a harvest like this yet and all of them are growing outside, in net cages. Amazing. I made passata, tomato soup, bottled chopped tomatoes for the winter, you name it and I made it. Even though beetroot didn’t germinate very well, I am picking some great ones, my Asian pears are delicious.
My little greenhouse on the allotment is well worth the money – never had so many cucumbers!
For the first time I managed to grow aubergines – I have a couple of plants in the greenhouse in the back garden and I have fruit on them! For the first time.
One evening on a walk we saw some black grapes hanging over a fence, we picked some and the result is delicious jelly
The only downside of it all is that I don’t have enough hours in the day. I’m feeling my age too.
The icing on the cake are my figs.
I bottled them in red wine, ever so tasty!
I was rather concerned that the biggest squashes might fall off, that the stem would break under their weight so I decided to rig up some support.
All it needed was a piece of old green netting for the big round one and two old onion nets and all is we.. It would be a shame if I lost them now, after all the effort….
Despite the very dry period my monsters seem to be getting bigger. One of the Zucca da marmelata fruits increased so much I had to create a support for it, I don’t want to lose it too soon, before being fully ripe. I hope it’ll hold it.
There is one more monster but I don’t think I shall try to do anything, hope for the best.
My very own Maltese pumpkin – well, one of a few – let’s see what he’ll manage.
..and talking to my plants certainly works. If a certain member of the royal family can do it, so can I.
There are two schools of thought as far as looking after tomatoes is concerned – take the leaves off or don’t. I go with the first one and it seems to work.
To be honest, I was feeding them with a mix of seaweed extract, comfrey tea and the liquid from my wormery. On top of than I topped the soil in the grow pots with Farmyard manure and soil improver from B&Q. Something must have worked!
The squashes are climbing well up and along the structures I’ve constructed for them, they have also been fed with the seaweed extract and some Fish, blood and bone.
And of course, all of them get encouragement from me!!