Watering and Weeding
Much as I hate to upset people in the south of England, where I understand they try to cope with howling sand storms and people tell tales of magic tubes in the north that deluge clear cool water day and night, that I gave plot five a good going with the sprinkler as I weeded on plot 29. I wonder if it’s true that they intend to rename the home counties Arrakis? (If that makes no sense to you – look here)
The Bunyards Exhibition gave poor germination for broad beans, lots of gaps in the rows but they have come through with a crop. Good long pods, generally well filled and a fair quantity. I stripped the plants and came home with 4 carrier bags full. That took two trips. Most will be frozen and enjoyed until next year.
Like many of the onions, the shallots have been a disaster. Not really worth the effort of pulling. They’re about an inch long at best. Still, better than Jim’s that all died completely with the mysterious onion plague that hit so many on the site.
Pulled the garlic from plot 29 as well, bit better than the shallots but not wonderful. Some good bulbs but some were undeveloped. I think the deluge in May followed by the drought in June hasn’t helped, especially in the deep beds, which tend to dry out quickly.
The pumpkins on plot 29 have gone wild ? they’re putting masses of growth and trying to take over the plot. I got a couple of nice courgettes off the golden dawn plant nearest to the path but then realised the black beauty that is almost hidden under the pumpkin has been busy and got 4 mini-marrows off that!
The sunburst squash has started to fruit as well so one of those came home.
Back on plot 5, the first earlies are completely ready. Not quite as prolific as last year but respectable and the taste is sublime as usual for home grown potatoes.
As I mentioned earlier in this diary, I was set up for first prize but other people went and entered! The results are in and are a bit of a surprise, although a pleasant one.
First was Mick, Emma and Mick’s brother John’s plot. They have a pond, deep beds, greenhouse and summerhouse with decking shed plus some carrots growing in deep barrels. A well-deserved first, especially for the bed that is managed by their little girl with her veggies in various pots.
Second was Steve from plot 2. A traditional rowed allotment, very tidy with a good range and good-looking crops.
Third, Pete’s plot 10, was a bit of a surprise as it is only half cultivated. He’s building deep beds with a wide variety of veggies and has a small pond in a decorative bed as you come on to the plot that I featured in a photo. I think the prize was deserved as his plot is so original and different.
Well done to the winners. I did warn Gaynor that pushing the competition wouldn’t help us win! Hopefully next year more plotholders will enter and my plot will be in better order. This year’s not been good for me but I’ve been a bit pushed for time and allotments do take time.