When I was younger, I used to suffer terribly with hayfever. From the start of the good weather to the end I would be sneezing and snuffling whilst rubbing my eyes and feeling thoroughly miserable.
One of the few benefits of getting older has been that the hayfever has stopped being such a bother. The occasional minor attack but nothing like I used to, which is good as I used to have injections for it and I’m sure the needle they used was the vet’s horse needle. One doctor even offered me homeopathic medicine but I explained that I was strictly heterosexual.
Anyway, Thursday it came back with a vengeance. I didn’t have a lot to do on the plot, thank goodness. I took up the last of the three potato plants that had been in the raised bed coldframe. This provided a decent amount of new potatoes, didn’t weigh them but enough for a meal and a half for two.
Weeded the garlic bed and the raised bed with the beans at the bottom of plot 5. They weren’t too bad but keeping on top is the trick with weeds.
Back up on plot 29 the greenhouses got some attention, the tomatoes were sideshooted and tied in again. It amazes me how many people who grow tomatoes don’t seem to understand that you need to remove those sideshoots, preferably before they are more than a couple of inches long.
This process stops the plant putting energy into foliage that is better spent on producing fruit. It doesn’t take long although you need to be careful you are snapping off the right thing. I’ve snapped off the fruit truss by accident in the past.
Incidentally, if you let a side shoot grow to about 6″ you can plant it up and get a new plant. This will obviously be behind the tomatoes grown from seed but that can be useful to extend the crop later in the year.
I watched an NVS DVD with Charles Maisey and he starts his tomatoes really early in the year but brings on second plants from sideshoots. Although he is a champion tomato grower, he doesn’t use any pesticide sprays because his grandchildren eat them. Although some show growers do use every chemical in the armory, many of them eat their produce and like the rest of us, prefer their food without residues.
I took some thinnings from the carrots in the greenhouse as well. They’re between the thickness of my finger and thumb and around 6″ long. Growing in compost, very few are forked and they’re very clean.
The final crop, besides some young broad beans which I couldn’t resist munching as I was weeding on plot 5, was some strawberries.
That was about it for Thursday, so trudged home sneezing all the way and took a good dose of Piriton, washed my face to get the pollen off and managed to eat my tea despite the sneezing. You really can’t beat those fresh veggies,
Friday, I took a hayfever pill before I went down to the site. I’d got to mow the lawn before I went so it seemed like a good idea.
There wasn’t a huge amount to do, just watering and weeding. Ran the hoe around the large bed on plot 29 and hand weeded the raised beds. Trying not to let the side down for the allotment competition judging on Tuesday. Some of the onions on there, grown from sets, had gone over and were out of the ground so they went home. Quite welcome as we’ve run out of onions.
Although I’ve a lot of onions planted on plot five grown from seed, I’m afraid I was very late getting them in and they’ve not put much growth on. We’re on the turn of the year now, the longest day is passed and whilst it is officially summer, the days will be getting shorter. Took up another couple of potato plants. Quite a good crop in terms of weight and quality. No slug damage and they look well. Taste pretty good.
It’s funny how you win on some things but lose on others. If I was a great grower, I suppose I’d win on everything. Just one year it would be nice!
At least some welcome rain is due over the weekend. Goodness knows the ground can do with it. When I dug up the potatoes the soil was not dry but there wasn’t much moisture there.