…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 knew all the lovely topsoil I managed to get from my two ‘forgotten’ composter bins would come handy. It was a bit too wet today to continue with digging so I had to concentrate on maintenance.
First was one path, rather the grass on it, that had to be cut. As it was so high it had to be done with the shears. Ideal job for a chilly morning. There was so much grass it almost filled one composter bin.
Talking of bins – some weeks ago I emptied a couple of them and bagged the contents – beautiful topsoil to be used to top up the raised beds in my lovely greenhouse.
I was late in the season getting the greenhouse but it is all going to be ready for an early start next spring. I know it is wishing my life away but I can’t wait. All my tomato, cucumber and pepper seeds are sorted out and I’m ready……………
It is not just in the summer I can enjoy some tasty tomatoes and cucumbers but also today.
My little greenhouse is very cosy and the tomatoes and cucumber plants are still producing.
The weather is helping – sudden spell of warm weather and everything is doing very well. Of course we have to protect things like cabbages against twin attack from pigeons and cabbage white but it is worth it!
The same goes for sweetcorn – protection not against pigeons but squirrels – they cause havoc on the allotment. I decided to try to grow sweetcorn inside my large cabbage cage and it has worked!
I started growing in my new greenhouse a bit late but my cucumber plant managed against the odds…
…and next year will be great, I can see that now.
Last job yesterday. after harvesting 2 large sacks of potatoes was planting two new strawberry beds. I decided to do it this way, it’ll be easier to throw the net over to protect the crop against the birds.
The main potatoes are harvested but the late ones, to be ready for Christmas (I hope), are doing very well. I had to earth them up and will be putting the fertiliser on very soon.
After a long deliberation I decided that I would like to get a large polytunnel for the allotment. Found the website, the tunnel looked just perfect – 12ft wide and 20ft long. It would have covered nearly a half of one plot. The idea was I’d ask for it for my big birthday next year – or rather I wouldn’t want any Christmas or birthday presents, just a bit towards it. It was a bit pricey, I must admit. All that would have started next spring and I would have asked/begged a number of people to help to build it.
Obviously it wasn’t the right thing for me – I still had my doubts, mainly because of the price. All has been sorted out for me.
Reg had a nice little greenhouse on the half of a plot next to mine. Sadly he is no longer with us and his widow didn’t want to keep it – it was clearly meant to be mine. I bought it from her and after clearing it out and adding some manure to the soil we’re up and running.
I’ve got a few tomato plants, some sweet peppers and a cucumber – that should be climbing up along the wire I have arranged for it.
Outside I have two water butts, both have got a working tap and are elevated on support and have a pipe leading from the gutter to fill it.
There was a propagator inside as well so after clearing the ground on the side of the greenhouse I moved it there – a perfect fit.
I think I will line it with bubble wrap for the winter so we can have lettuce and tomatoes and cucumbers till later in the autumn.
I grow a variety of beans, either dwarf or climbing beans but the only ones I don’t grow are runner beans. Somehow I find the flavour of the others is much better and also when slicing runner beans I found that it irritated my hands.
The blue ones don’t keep their colour when cooked, they turn dark green but the yellow beans look just about the same when cooked. Blue climbing beans are Blauhilde and the yellow are Golden Gate. In my opinion they are much tastier than runner beans.
My french beans are both dwarf and climbing, very prolific and very tasty.
Another splash of colour comes from the greenhouse this time – tomato Tigrella, cucumber Marketmore and lettuce Salad bowl.
My first harvest of french beans. I always grew just the climbing beans – not runner beans, only any other, like Blauhilde or Hunter. Last year I tried for the first time the dwarf variety and was very pleased with the result, I had a great harvest, they just kept producing.
This year I started the dwarf beans in the greenhouse, as I did all the others but I planted them in one of my raised beds (this variety is called Safari). The soil in the beds doesn’t come up to the very top so the plants were nicely sheltered. I even covered them with a mesh, in case the pigeons wanted to have a nibble.
They grew well and the result is today’s picking.
Meanwhile in the greenhouse things are speeding along. The tomato Tigrella is doing great; I can see why it is called this, even though it is still green.
Another great result is the cucumber. These are Marketmore and I had them last year and was very happy with the result that’s why I decided to have another go. I know they’re an outside variety but I was very happy with last year’s result that I decided to grow them inside the greenhouse.
Even though the weather is still quite unsettled and un-spring like I decided to plant my Spagna Bianco beans out. I waited quite a while before I started them in pots in the greenhouse but they grew at an alarming rate and very soon were trying to get out of the greenhouse. I put the whole tray of them in the veranda to harden them so I think they were quite tough when they went in the ground. I didn’t want to take chances so I built a little fleece fence round them, perhaps just for a bit of protection from the wind.
There is also one line of them but this didn’t get any pampering because these are just beside the net tunnel and that seems to keep the wind off them.
The next job was to plant something in the four empty cold frames. I had radishes there, harvested them and now they were ready.
I have grown five bush courgettes, ideal for this, hopefully they’ll just sit there and produce loads of tasty fruit. One cold frame had to have two courgette plants but I don’t think this will matter. If it gets too overcrowded I’ll just carefully take one out and plant is elsewhere.
The last job was planting some more lettuce seedlings in the polytunnel. The first batch are doing very well and the four cucumbers as well. I had one tray of lettuce, one cucumber plant and one ‘mystery’ plant. It looks like a squash, courgette or pumpkin – the label got lost in moving. We shall see.
I’ve decided to take a chance and plant four of my cucumber plants into the polytunnel. It is quite warm inside even though I don’t close the door (well, I can’t, the zip is broken but it is not worth doing anything about it, the tunnel is rather old)
I’ve also planted some lettuce seedlings there a little while ago and they seem to thrive so I’ve got high hopes for the cucumbers. The plan is that they will climb, each is planted beside a pole and as they grow I’ll help them along by tying them to it.
The days are getting longer but not really warmer; never mind, I can amuse myself in the greenhouse.
I have decided that it is just about time to continue with my sowing activities. I had a number of the new egg-shell halves in their boxes – it’ll be interesting to see how the seeds will grow. The greenhouse isn’t heated but it was pleasant enough to work there in the early afternoon.
Less is more – I didn’t always follow this motto but I made a new start this year and will stick to it.
So far I have a few of the following:
Kohl Rabi Modrava F1 – I like kohl rabi, it is getting more known here now but back in my home country it is quite common.
Sweet pepper Corno Rosso and Long red Marconi, Chilli pepper Cayenne
Two kinds of tomato – the outdoor variety San Marzano and Roma VF – I’ve never grown these so it’ll be very interesting to see how they do. They’ll be outside on the allotment but in a net cage – this’ll offer a bit of protection as I found last year with my Tomatillo.
Tomato Tigrella – will have a few of them on the allotment and a few in the greenhouse in the back garden, it’ll be interesting to compare.
Aubergine Black Beauty – I’m determined to grow them, so far I had no luck!
Cucumber Marketmore 76 – same plan here – some outside and one or two in the polytunnel.
Also some flower seeds went in – Rudbeckia Chocolate Orange, sweet pea Tall Spencer and a blue Delphinium.
Not only this but I started chitting some Charlotte potatoes for my granddaughter Eve to grow in bags, her first effort – may it be the first of many. Great to find a kindred spirit.