HARVEST TIME…

…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.20180901_192321

One evening on a walk we saw some black grapes hanging over a fence, we picked some and the result is delicious jelly

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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.

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I bottled them in red wine, ever so tasty!

SUNNY DAY

I was reading my notes from last year, trying to see how behind I am with my planting. The result? At least two weeks. Never mind, my activity on Wednesday and today (18th and 20th April) almost caught up with last year.

One more plot finished, of course the same goes for this one as for the first one – the net cages are empty but the greenhouse in the back garden is filling up with seedlings that I will start transplanting as soon as the weather stabilises.

There are parsnips, strawberries, broad beans, globe artichokes, garlic and potatoes on this plot and one pear tree and two apple trees. The fig tree in front of the shed is doing well and my plan is to plant some more rooted cuttings of the fig there as well thus creating a little orchard. Who would have guessed that I would be able to grow and harvest figs!

APRIL

I was beginning to think that nothing will grow and the weather will stay miserable like this for ever.

All seems to be getting better. Even though the day started with a steady rain, the late afternoon improved and I was finally able to go down the farm early in the evening. The clock going forward one hour is, after all, good for something.

I couldn’t do anything there, the ground is very wet. The lettuce needed watering in the greenhouse, they are doing well. After I finished that I did walked around, just to see how things are getting on. And they are!

I did some pruning during the last months of the winter and it shows. I think we might have some fruit this year – if we don’t get any late frost, of course. My two pear trees and the plum responded very well.

The gooseberries are doing well and the rhubarb surprised me, only a couple of weeks I couldn’t see anything.

LATE HARVEST

I managed to get to the allotment in the afternoon, just after one shower and was very lucky to do quite a lot of work. Finished under a very dark sky, the rain came soon after I got home.

The main thing is the harvest though. I picked two large plastic boxes of raspberries and a few of my Chinese pears. They were good last year but are simply superb this year!

The pear tree is about ten years old. It was used to be in a large tub in the back garden but when I started gardening on the allotment I took it there and planted it on the plot. It didn’t do much in the first two or so years but last year it had quite a lot of fruit.

I thought it might have a break this year but the fruit is even better and certainly bigger.

LAST BIT OF DIGGING

The weather forecasters seem to get it right quite often these days; it was a dismal day yesterday, no chance to do anything on the allotment. In order to get a bit of exercise and some fresh air I walked to town, then the rain got really heavy and I returned home looking like a bedraggled cat.

Never mind that, the afternoon was spent in the greenhouse, further sorting out trays and sewing some chilli peppers in a pot to keep on the kitchen windowsill.

Today was a different story – just as forecast, blue sky, some chill in the air but very nice.

There were a few bits of land that needed turning over, nothing heavy, just getting it ready and perhaps pulling some weeds out. My autumn digging must have been good, I didn’t find many weeds, the soil is crumbly, just ready and waiting . Delighted to see loads of worms, I think they know that my friendly robin is after them and they go down like a flash.

All in all I turned the soil over in my latest cabbage cage

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and on the small patch where I’m planning to have parsnips this year.

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There is one more little piece of ground left where I had parsnips this year but that’s a bit too wet, I’ll leave it till the weekend, perhaps the weather will be kind and it’ll dry out.

I also have a number of cold frames, I tried last year to make a hotbed in one of my raised beds using two of them. It wasn’t a huge success, I had some earlier lettuce and radishes but nothing special. I placed them all in a line behind my original net tunnel, filled them with horse manure and they’re ready for action again.

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Just as well I pruned the Asian pear, the buds are ready to open. Hope we’re not going to have too much late frost, I’ve got high hopes for a good harvest. The tree might want to have a rest after a bumper crop last year, we’ll see.

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