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Garlic, Potatoes, Leeks and Slugs

Had a few days of summer for a change so I declared a holiday and pulled the plug on the computer. I was beginning to feel that moving to the wettest part of the UK was not the wisest move we ever made but when the sun does shine, it’s glorious.

Black Krim Tomatoes

Like a lot of people, the greenhouse tomatoes were being very slow to ripen but a few days of sunshine has kicked them off. A friend of ours from the forum had sent us some Black Krim tomato seeds and we’ve finally got to taste them. They’re very dark which is a little off-putting but the flavour is excellent.

I’ve stopped the tomatoes now, the cordons are up to five trusses and I want to concentrate their energy into developing those rather than lots of small green tomatoes at the end of the season.

Tomato Sideshoots

Once you stop the tomatoes, they tend to go a bit berserk pushing out sideshoots so I’ll need to go through them twice a week from now on, snapping off those shoots. Some years back I visited a commercial tomato producer, Flavourfresh, and was told that snapping off sideshoots was better than cutting them off as the wound healed better. Seems to work anyway.

Had to step up the watering regime in the greenhouse but I don’t mind that effort when we are getting the results. A little glut of cucumbers and our first sweet pepper means we’re enjoying a lot of salads.

Garlic

Outdoors we’re getting mixed results. The Solent Wight garlic has come up and seems good. I think I left it a week later than ideal as some of the bulbs were starting to split, but nice size cloves and they’ll keep us going.

Calabrese & Slugs

The calabrese heads have developed so we’ve cut those off and hopefully will get a small second flush. One plant died for no apparent reason and one was attacked by a mob of ravenous giant slugs and keeled over. I’ve never known a year like it for slugs.

Despite scattering pellets (Growing Success, wildlife friendly) they just keep coming and coming. All my brassicas in pots being grown on to go into the beds have been killed except for 4 sprout plants. These were in 6″ pots sitting in a gravel tray that had filled with water.

It’s got me wondering about creating a growing in pots bench with the legs sitting in pots of water as a moat to keep the slugs from getting onboard. Next year nematodes will be used. They may be expensive but they are very effective.

Runner Beans

The runner beans have finally taken off and are nearly at the top of the poles. No sign of flowering yet, but there’s time. The dwarf beans don’t seem to have done anything. I suspect slugs…

Potatoes

The potatoes are another story, blight. From half a bed (roughly 5′ x 4′) we’ve ended up with about a carrier bag full. Another bed has gone down with blight so we’ve cut the haulm off and are just hoping there’s a decent crop when we dig them up.

Planting out Leeks

The bed which had the first early potatoes had had fertiliser added (fish, blood and bone), levelled and left to settle. So, ready to plant out the leeks. I start the leeks in large pots or decorative troughs and plant out when they’re pencil thick.  This year they’re very slow and quite small.

Anyway, dibbed the holes using my cut down spade handle, dropped them in and watered. I suspect that many of them are too small and won’t thrive but you never know. After thirty years I’m still learning and certainly this move has been a learning curve. Different soil conditions (rock!) and weather (monsoon) but I’ll find the ways needed to make it work for me.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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