Summer Flu, Potatoes, Buckets of Beans, Tomatoes

We’re down with a summer flu which is laying us low. From shivering and feeling like the house has been swapped for a freezer to sweating like it’s turned into a sauna. Accompanied by aching limbs, splitting headaches and no energy.

I actually thought the Covid had finally caught us, but we seem to have dodged that bullet still. Cara has the same bug and she tested negative. I think it’s hit us hard partly because we’re older and also it’s the first real cold or flu we’ve had since the pandemic started. Our bodies are out of practice. Anyway, we seem to be improving a little now.

Freeing up the greenhouse door

Greenhouse Door

The family came over and son-in-law Gary fixed the sticking door on the Eden for us. I summoned up enough energy to watch! Fine soil had gummed up the bottom runner so he took the door off, stripped down the runner and cleaned it. Applied some spray-on silicon grease and put it back together. Runs a treat, again.


Gary and grandson harvested some potatoes. The little ‘un, well not so little now, had a great time. He turned the potatoes into treasure, so enjoyed digging up buried treasure.

Harvesting buried treasure

Two varieties were harvested, Casablanca first earlies and Salad Blue. The Casablanca potatoes were superb, little slug or bug damage and just a bit of scab which is a problem here. Reasonably sized tubers as well. Casablanca are my goto first early now.

The yield was high, too. From a 2 kilo seed order, 9 tubers were planted in the polytunnel for a really early crop. The rest went out later into an outside raised bed where they took up two thirds of the 10 x 4 bed. These have yielded around 30 kg of usable tubers.

The kilo of Salad Blue seed potatoes produced a usable 8 kg of tubers and about 3 or 4 kg of ropey chats. They seem very susceptible to slug damage and scab plus very inconsistent tuber size. Interesting colour, very pretty but I won’t bother again.

Sorting Potatoes

French Beans

The climbing French beans in the polytunnel are incredibly productive. Over two days I picked two buckets full of beans. Most were blanched and frozen. Next year I’ll halve the space given over to them which will still be more than enough to keep us going.


600 gram tomato

The fantastic June really got the tomatoes going even if the awful July put the brakes on. Sungold and Black Opal doing well for salads and sandwiches. The Crimson Plum are great for storing, ideal for bottling or freezing. They’re coming in by the 5 kilo at a pick.

Most impressive are the Gourmandia beefsteaks. The small ones run around 250 grams but the larger between 600 and 700 grams. That’s 20 ozs plus in old money!

Biggest disappointment is the Ailsa Craig. They’re always a bit susceptible to greenback and this year they’re really badly affected. Down to the June weather, I think. Next year I’ll try Crimson Crush or Craigella and move on from Ailsa Craig.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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