Allotment Blog August 2007

Weekending 05.08.07

Visited the allotment on Monday. I pick more fruit ( plums, raspberries, and blueberries), dug up the last of my new potatoes and a couple of roots of my second early (anya). I gave the greenhouse a good watering and fed my tomatoes and picked my first 'Bigboy' tomatoes and ate them in a cheese sandwich and they were beautiful.

MangetoutPicked mangetoutMy mange tout peas need picking again so I will do that on my next visit which hopefully will be Tuesday or Wednesday.
My next visit to the allotment was Wednesday, and I picked about 10lb of Mange tout I then picked some more fruit the same types as Monday. The greenhouse was watered and fed, including my outdoor tomatoes. Then I had a good look at my Brassicas and noticed some caterpillars in different stages of development see tips and tricks. So these will be dealt with on my next visit to the allotment.

On Thursday I did some gardening jobs around the house, and then I processed my mange tout for freezing, using the same method I used for broad beans and peas see tips and tricks.

LeeksSweetorn and ParsnipsThe leeks that I had problems with the other week are now doing fine as the birds have left them alone, so I have now removed the bird protection. Illustrated by the picture on the left. As you can see from the other picture on the right my sweet corn and parsnips are coming along fine.

Saturday I visited the allotment spent about an hour carefully inspecting my brassicas for caterpillars and butterfly eggs. I found plenty of eggs but no caterpillars. So I squashed the eggs by rubbing them against the leaf with my fingers.
I then spent time picking tomatoes and cucumbers. I also picked my early Apples some more plums, raspberries and blueberries.
I watered the greenhouse and gave a general tidy up around the allotment.
There is still plenty of weeding and picking to do but I will leave that until my next visit, as I am quite busy at home at the moment and also over the next couple of days.

Weekending 12.08.07

It was my birthday on Monday so we went away for a few days to celebrate another decade passing. The sixth by the way. A great time was had by all down in West Sussex.

I returned to the allotment on Wednesday and had a lot of picking to do. I picked all the usual suspects for this time of the year i.e. Peas, Beans, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Beetroot, Lettuce, Courgette's. Also the usual fruit. I finished by feeding and watering the greenhouse, and called it a day.

PlumsThursday I prepared the picked vegetables for freezing using the same methods shown in tips and tricks, after giving some away to the neighbours. I then produced another recipe using up some Courgette's, tomatoes and potatoes see recipes.

Friday I went to the allotment and finished harvesting my Mange tout, clearing the plants and composting them. The majority of peas are over sized so I will make a Pea Soup with them and freeze, for those winter nights, see recipe Green Pea Soup. I also picked plums which I will turn into Plum Tartan see recipe Plum Tartin. I gave the greenhouse a Water and a good clear up, of old cucumber plants, tidied up my tomatoes and lightly dug the beds.
I then prepared the Vegetable and tuna pasta dish for lunch and the Plum Tartin for sweet, see recipes

Strawberry cuttingsSaturday very hot at the allotment today, I was given some strawberry runners (Cambridgeshire favourite). from my pal Ricky Armstrong. So I will pot them up at home ready to plant out later this month. I then gave this year's strawberry bed a good weed. It was too hot to do much more so I picked some raspberries and returned home.
For lunch today we are having Cod baked on Roasted vegetables so I will give you the recipe see Baked Cod on Roasted vegetables
I potted up the strawberry runners and then made a batch of Green Pea Soup from the over sized mange tout See Green Pea Soup recipe. We will have some of the soup for tea, the rest I will portion into paper cups and freeze.

Weekending 19.08.07

PlumsTuesday was a wet and windy day and because I did not go to the allotment Monday I knew I had to go today. My first job was to clear my plum tree of plums, I completed that task after also eating about 15 of them. I then picked a large quantity of runner beans and courgette's. Decided to also clear my main crop peas, which I did. I picked a few tomatoes gave the greenhouse a good watering and called it a day.

Wednesday I stayed at home and did some freezing and cooking. I spent all morning preparing and blanching Peas and Runner beans for freezing . After lunch I cooked down a large batch of Courgette Provencale ready for freezing see this weeks recipe Courgettes Provencale. I am writing this while I am waiting for the courgettes to cool, ready to be portioned up and frozen.

Pickings apples Beans and potatoesI went to the allotment on Thursday to dig up my second earlies "Anya". I dug up the two rows of Anya there was about 10% affected with blight so I will need to keep my eye on the ones I dug up just in case they are also affected. More runner beans were picked and will be prepared for the freezer. Picked another type of eating apple to store and some cooking apples that I will stew down and freeze for the winter. The Greenhouse and outdoor tomatoes were watered. I then called it a day as there were a nice group of clouds forming. ( but nothing came of them).

Friday stayed at home and stewed down the cooking apples and portioned in to used yoghurt pots as Dutch apple and plain stewed apple, and added them to my freezer stock. I also prepared and froze down more runner beans for the freezer. I spread out my Anya potatoes on the garage floor to dry out well.

Saturday revisited the allotment and cleared my potato foliage what left of it, and the weeds and stacked them up, ready for burning later. Then I dug my "King Edward" potato crop, there was some slug damage but a lot less than expected, and the odd potato with blight. These potatoes were also spread out on the garage floor to dry, ready for checking and sorting.

Weekending 26.08.07

Potatoes drying out in garageMonday took a trip to the allotment. I spent the morning lifting my last rows of potatoes "Desiree" very little slug damage and also a little blight was present. My garage floor is now completely covered with potatoes, I will leave them there for this week a check to see if any have blight before I store then.
I then pulled up my main crop onions one or two had white root but the rest had very good root structure which is unusual as we suffer badly for white rot on our allotments. Finally I picked some more eating apples and returned home for lunch. Stiff from bending. Picture shows potatoes and onions drying out in the garage at home.

Tuesday went out for the day so no visit to the allotment.

Wednesday went to the allotment mainly to pick. I picked plenty of runner beans courgette's and eating apples. I gave most of the picked produce away to the neighbours. The allotment is in dire need of care as there are weeds everywhere and the grass is getting quite high. I am getting a little behind in my chores. So I intend to have a good clear up this Thursday and Friday.

Well the plan for Thursday and Friday did not happen as the weather turned very wet and windy so no visit to the allotment.

Saturday I had some other items to attend to so again no visit to the allotment. Although I did sort through my potatoes and onions and prepared them for storage, So at least that job is done.

Went out for the day on Sunday so I have again put off going to the allotment. Lets hope I get well motivated for the tasks in hand which I will tackle next week.

I have updated my bed plans with harvesting dates. I have also produced the Calendar for September.