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Rain, Beans & Dorset County Show Beckons

When we lived on the Isle of Man there was a joke that if you could see the mountain it was about to rain, otherwise it was raining. Well this weather is getting beyond a joke. I’m beginning to think it must be the global warming thing. The weather is so unpredictable.

If you think about it, extra heat causes extra evaporation from the sea causes extra rain. Now I’m sure some scientists are jumping up and down shouting ‘Idiot!’ but you can’t get away from the fact that we’ve had years of summers more like monsoons.

It seems that we do get some dry-ish weather and the moment I think I can head for the plot, down comes some more rain. Anyway, we managed to grab a few hours down there today.

Val came with me and she headed for the beans whilst I went for the greenhouses. We filled yet another carrier bag with tomatoes and a few peppers. There’s enough cucumbers nearly ready to keep Tescos going and a load of sweet peppers turning red now.

I trimmed off some more shoots from the tomatoes, they always react to being stopped (having the growing tip nipped out) by producing side shoots like crazy. I also took off some of the foliage to encourage ripening. At this time of year the tomatoes always seem to get tired and a bit sick, so cutting off any yellowing leaves stops the tomatoes from getting the problem as well.

The plants started from side shoots in the home greenhouse, being younger, still look in the first flush of youth although I’ve stopped them. They’ll be producing when the ones in the allotment greenhouse have gone.

I planted out some lettuces in the greenhouse border as well. The way the weather looks it seemed the best bet and the space was there. Some of the seedlings I’d thinned from the modules were doing well in the gravel tray so they got planted as well. It’s amazing how we take all the care and yet some seedlings roughly pulled and dropped to one side just root and grow.

Meanwhile, Val filled two carriers with French beans. There’s probably 3 times that many that we could have picked but time was moving on. When we got home, we prepped and then blanched the beans before freezing them. We’ve had to bring the fourth freezer back into service!

Couldn’t help having another scan of the site, but no sign of our missing cat. In fact, strangely, I didn’t see any cats on the site at all.

Tomorrow we’re off to the Dorset county show where the National Vegetable Society Championship is being held. I wasn’t intending to go but then I thought that if I couldn’t get a few days out then what was the point.

It’s really quite amazing when you see the quality of vegetable they have at the national. They’re not giant vegetables, although 5 feet carrots and parsnips are not uncommon, it’s perfection these people aim at.

I’ll be taking lots of photos and we’ll be looking around the agricultural side of the show as well, so expect a full report on our return next week.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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