Monday, 2 July 2012
Allotment update. Gah!
I'm finally starting to face up to the fact this is a bad, bad year for growing. Between torrential rain and scorching sun, and thanks to weeds thriving through the mild winter, we still haven't cleared enough earth to plant out our sweetcorn, beans, sunflowers and squashes, and they're languishing and potbound at home. Grass is taking over everything and slugs are eating everything else. We've had the worst asparagus crop ever, and the spring hail that blasted blossoms off fruit trees and bushes is going to mean a pretty poor fruit crop too. All my cucumbers and gherkins (at home) yellowed and died for reasons unknown - I suspect they just couldn't take the prolonged cold, wet, dull weather - cutworms (or something) mowed down 90% of my broad beans, and my shallots have inexplicably gone straight to flower without swelling to any kind of decent size.
At least the potatoes are doing okay.
The garlic is looking good and the onions are doing all right, albeit with rather liberal applications of (organic) slug pellets to try to keep it that way.
And despite a lot of slug damage and a few weeds as always, we're picking plenty of strawberries, which are always a joy.
We've achieved one of our allotment goals at least - we've finally planted up the corner patch we hardly ever use (hard, root-filled soil) with some artichokes, perennial cauliflowers and heritage kales - all planted through weedproof fabric to try to keep things under control...
I'm gradually covering it with stones to protect the fabric (it's gonna take a while!), and plan to plant some sage between the brassicas to try to keep caterpillars at bay - apparently cabbage whites hate the smell. I'll believe it when I see it...
At home, our tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, herbs, mangetout, chard and French beans are doing all right, I've resown a couple of cucumbers, and I might actually manage to grow some aubergines this year - they're loving the extra warmth of the plastic greenhouse - so all is not lost.
But I'm gonna have to accept we're just not going to get everything done on the plot this year. Sigh.
at 7:01 p.m.