I am almost embarrassed to write this blog post this week. We have had such a lazy week and only been to the allotment twice.
We met Michelle early on Wednesday morning to paint the communal allotment furniture. Before we started painting we watered our respective plots. Louis checked out his peppers – they’re doing remarkably well. We now have 9-10 peppers on the 6 remaining plants, ranging from tiny to quite small. I have finally read up on when to pick them so we may stand a chance of having some decent peppers I’ll be able to cook with.
Michelle, Loius and I spent about an hour painting the table, chair and the, I don’t really know what to call it, a sort of box thing that’s currently being used as extra seating. Not gonna lie, it wasn’t pretty! The paint was, pretty much slapped on and we painted over spiders, spiderwebs and dirt but, overall not a bad job and the furniture looks better than it did before we started which was entirely the point of doing it. Next job – the shed!
I didn’t make it down to the plot again until today. Partly due to the weather (quite a lot of rain) but also due to us both feeling a bit lazy and not wanting to go out. So, today I really felt like I needed to make up for my laziness and get some work done. It was threatening to rain (which it did) so I put my wellies on. It felt surprisingly nice to have boots back on again and it also meant I could walk through the courgettes without getting velcroed!
I think I did ok – I weeded, cut back the brambles, put most of the cuttings from last week in the garden waste bin, took 6 bags of rubbish to the tip, watered and fed the peppers and brussel sprouts, hung the onions, drastically ‘pruned’ the squashes and courgettes, harvested the squashes and courgettes and weeded the shared plot. Phew! Quite a productive day in the end.
The squashes and courgettes really were getting out of hand. We’re away up north for the next few days and I know how much they can grow in a short space of time so I had to do some pretty hefty cutting back. I nearly filled my compost bin with the bits I cut off. I hope they’re going to be ok. I suspect it takes more than a bit of vigorous pruning to kill a courgette or squash plant as they seem to be pretty hardy but if I’d left them I could well have come back to a whole plot covered in courgette and squash plants. Next year I’m definitely looking at having them grow up a frame – I really can’t be doing with the stress of worrying where they’re going to go next!
As I was lifting the stems I kept finding squashes hiding underneath. These things are huge – how the hell have I missed them?! I picked 3 Turks Turban squashes (I know what they’re called now) 1 butternut squash and 2 courgettes.
The best thing about cutting back the squashes is I can now see and, more importantly access the sunflowers and gladioli. The shorter sunflower (the one previously squashed by the waterbutt) has a flower on it. The taller one doesn’t yet. My sunflowers are, without a doubt the shortest on the whole allotment. As I look up the site I can see all these amazing yellow flowers towering over everything and then there are my 2 – one of which hasn’t even reached the shed window and the other one is still a long way off the shed roof. Don’t worry though, at only 5′ 3″ I’m used to being the shortest.
Jane came down to have a look at my plot (she has incredibly tall sunflowers!) She advised me to feed the peppers with some Tomorite. I had some in the shed so they had a watering can full of water with some Tomorite in it. I’m hoping this will speed up their growth a bit as they seem to be taking quite a long time.
Something’s been nibbling my brussel sprouts! I have absolutely no idea what it might be but something’s definitely been at them. They all have slug pellets round them and I didn’t see any evidence of slugs so I’m guessing it’s not slugs and must be something else but I have no idea what. This is just like the kale!
Speaking of kale. My friend, C. who I was having the kale competition with, sent me this photo this week.
After telling me her kale had been eaten (the same as mine) hers has only gone and grown back!
Mine’s gone completely – hidden under the squashes. C. you have definitely won, hands down, the kale competition.
The carrots and parsnips seem to be doing ok. It all looks a lot clearer without the squashes trying to crowd into the carrot bed. I can’t see any carrot tops so they’re not ready yet. Looking forward to making carrot cake when they are ready.
I decided to try and hang the onions up to dry. I saw a Youtube video showing how you make them into a plait by looping them in and around eachother and it all looks very nice – yeah, I didn’t do that. I just cobbled something together using some garden twine looped over a very convenient piece of wire already attached across the shed (possibly put there for this very purpose. Either that or a booby trap for anyone trying to climb in through the window?) It may not look as pretty as the plait but I guess it will do the same job.
The courgette plants on the shared plot were looking a bit worse for wear. Lots of the leaves were dead so I removed them. They’re now all in my compost bin – it’s pretty full after all the squash stems and now the dead courgette leaves but, after cutting back the brambles I can, at least get to it.
I nearly forgot Rhubi! Nothing much to report – a few weeds removed today but, generally she’s doing ok.
We’re off up north for a few days to visit my sister and her family tomorrow. It’s my sister and brother in law’s 18th wedding anniversary today. I’ve told them I’m pretty sure the 18th is home grown vegetables (well, that’s what they’re getting!)
We won’t be back down south until Thursday. I’m just hoping the courgettes and squashes take the hint and stay in their beds til then.