Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Perfect carrots and our first potatoes of the season

On Saturday I gave some TLC to the plants at the allotment.  I went around deheading and tidying, pollinating and removing dead bits.  I deheaded the flowers in my Dad's memorial garden and removed a few slugs which were hiding underneath the slate edging - the slugs had completely decimated the 2 yellow chrysanthemum plants down to stubs, so I pulled these out to make more room for the daisies and chives.

There's one Atlantic Giant pumpkin in the greenhouse getting bigger, it's about the about the size of a small football now and a pale yellow colour.  Some baby pumpkins in the greenhouse have rotted and fallen off - there's definitely a problem with bees not being able to get in and pollinate them, I'm trying my best to hand pollinate then but I'm obviously not doing as well as the bees would.

One of the Rocket pumpkins outdoors is coming on nicely, and has a few pumpkins on it already.

Chris did some more work on the new raised bed.  He also dug up the row of first earlies, and we got a tub full of small to medium sized spuds.  A couple had rotted but, all in all, they were a great success.  Here's the first few we pulled out:

We pulled up 3 carrots and these had done really well too - we thought they might be small or forked, but they were about 5 inches long and perfectly formed.  I picked our one and only cauliflower as it was starting to turn purple in the sunlight.   I also picked the first of the broad beans.

The courgettes are getting huge - we can't give them away fast enough.

The onions have swelled a lot but their stems haven't toppled over yet.

The broad beans are getting bigger and I picked our first harvest.

We had all the allotment produce for tea on Saturday.  I made a lovely cheese sauce to go with the cauliflower (which turned white again once it was cooked), and we had carrots, broad beans, potatoes and red onion gravy.  Chris had some gammon with his.  It was delicious, and tasted even better knowing that we'd grown it all ourselves (apart from the gammon of course).

On Sunday morning we had a quick look around the flea market and I bought some cabbage and swede seeds from Wilkinsons.  They've have reduced all their seeds to half price, but it must have happened in the last couple of weeks as their stocks were getting low, so I missed out on some bargains there.

In the afternoon I planted out the lettuce and beetroot seedlings that I sowed the other week, and I sowed some more radish and spring onion seeds.  I picked my first successful crop of spring onions.  They're lovely, fresh and crisp with a strong flavour.  Miles better than the shop bought ones.  I had them on a sandwich with some cheese spread - mmmmm.

I took about 7 very stinky bags of rotting weeds to the tip on Sunday - we need to find a better way to deal with this kind of waste, taking stuff to the garden waste section of the tip isn't the right thing to do, but our compost bins need sorting out and relocating.  It's on my 'to do' list.

In the greenhouse at my Mum's the aubergines are coming on well.  Both my Mum and Chris don't like them though, so it looks like I'll have a lot of them to get through unless I can find someone else who likes them too.  Why does noone like aubergine?!  The melon in the greenhouse is swelling.  And I've a couple of small watermelons about the size of ping pong balls.  I harvested the first yellow tomato, and the little Sungold cherry toms are coming continuously now, and are lovely and tasty, but there are still no large red ones.  The weather has been very wet and there's not been much sun, which is what I think the tomatoes need in order to ripen.

A few chillies are starting to appear now.  The peaches are blushed but I tried to pull them away from the plant but they didn't come away easily - so I'll try again on Wednesday night.

On Sunday night I started knitted some booties for Stef and Jo's baby.  And I watched some crap telly (it's the Virgin HD+ box's fault)!

On Tuesday night I harvested all the garlic in the bottom greenhouse, I was worried it might begin to rot so it was time to get it picked.  There's about 30 bulbs, so that will keep us in garlic until next year, as I don't think we'll use much more than 2 bulbs per month.

Finally, Chris spotted something on Google Earth that made us both feel strange.  The Google camera captured my Dad on his way back from the allotment last year before he got ill, his face has been blurred out but it's definitely him.  It felt weird looking at him and the camera has captured 2 or 3 shots of him as it drove down the road.

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