Back to reality

After 10 days of relaxation in the Portuguese sunshine it was back to the lovely sunshine on the allotment.

Apparently there was plenty of rain but also warmth during our 10 days away and everything has gone bonkers.

The day before we went away I harvested as much as I could, some I gave away and everything else we used, cooked and froze. So you can imagine my surprise (horror) to find 4 arm length courgettes, enough ripe tomatoes to fill 3 litre containers, 14 sweet peppers and a few handfuls of birds-eye chillies.

And that was just the start.

Finally I had a cauliflower, my first ever and 2 tender heart cabbages (that the slugs and snails haven’t munched). The leeks are growing really well too. The rhubarb has made a miraculous recovery and is better now than earlier in the year.

The beans have finally managed to establish and have plenty of flowers, I’m hoping they do better than the peas did. Also the seeds I kept from last years orange pumpkin have grown into the strangest things, all are green speckled, whilst 2 are small and round, the other 2 are oblong and huge.

The flowers have really taken off and have established well, I’m hoping plenty of them self seed for next year. The wildlife is loving the overgrowth, and we have seen lots of baby fish in both of the older established ponds. Also plenty of frogs and crickets.

 

The foxes are making themselves known around the site and are running riot with their youngsters. Thankfully they haven’t dug anywhere on my plot this year but I do have plenty of track marks where they’ve been through.

How did that happen ?

This week I became the proud owner of a teenager ! I’m sure it was only last week I was bringing home a tiny, but very noisy, bundle of joy. I blinked and he became a teenager…

He has been away with his dad for the last couple of weeks so I was looking forward to seeing him but wondering if I was going to get a hormonal, grumpy person back again. However, apart from growing a bunch, he’s still my lovely sweet boy.

For the last few months he’s been saving his money to buy a couple of ‘expensive’ items he wanted. So for his birthday he asked everybody for money to put toward them. And he did pretty well. One thing he didn’t know was that we had organised a holiday to Portugal for him, me and grandma. When I told him we are going to Portugal he assumed it was just the two of us, so I said ‘you have enough money to pay for grandma and still buy your new trainers’ (he doesn’t really) and he went and asked her if she’d like to come with us, which was when we told him she is already coming. Such a sweetie.

When we get home, from our next adventure, we will have a shopping trip where he can spend as much time as he needs, try on all the clothes and shoes he wants and hopefully come home with all the new things and some change (fingers crossed).

I’m leaving my allotment in the capable hands of two fellow plot neighbours, however the weather being as horrible as it has been I’ve asked them to only look after the greenhouse and the weeds can look after themselves !

 

Things are growing

It’s all happening at once. It does this every year but still catches me off guard. The weather this year has been very strange so the weeds are stupidly abundant too. I’m not planning anything after this harvest in order to spend the autumn and winter trying to clear the land (again) and prepare everything for spring next year.

I’ve started planning and organising seeds and planting for next year and which new things I’d like to try.

Anyway back to this year, and now. The tomatoes are finally starting to ripen and we have had our first red tomato, well I loving brought it home so both mum and I could have a bite each (of the little cherry) except before I had chance she had popped it in and chomped the whole thing. It was delicious apparently !

The banana peppers are starting to turn yellow and a few had already dropped off, these are lovely and sweet and I have been eating them raw as a snack. The aubergine has really germinated and each plant has around 5 fruits set on them. I’m thinking this will be enough for our family and might start removing the flowers before they can set any more.

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The pumpkin has run wild and is spreading stupidly everywhere, however it has so many leaves that I don’t think the bees can see or find the flowers to help the fruit set as I’ve currently only got two small fruit, however my neighbour (who I gifted 2 plants) has small contained plants with about 4 large fruit on each !

Finally the french beans are growing and are almost at the top of the canes, they are starting to flower too so hopefully we will get a small harvest from them, which was more than I could hope earlier in the year as they kept getting attacked by birds and mice.

I’ve planted the luffa into the greenhouse and it seems happy and has put on new growth, the cucamelon is still at home but will need replanting soon as they are getting quite big although still no fruit on them yet. The sweetcorn is still very small but covered in cobs, I’m not hopeful with these as they look very strange.

The damson tree isn’t looking very healthy and doesn’t have much fruit on it, especially after last years bumper crop. I’m thinking it might need a big cut back but unsure the best way to do this. The pear tree is doing well and still covered whilst my tiny apple still has it’s one and only baby apple.

I’m going dig out all the rhubarb in October so I can split it and move to a new location which will give us extra growing space for other things.

Any advice, help, ideas and suggestions are always welcomed also any varieties or plants you think we should try for next year. Especially as we are waiting for the next round of thunder storms to arrive and another week of warm but wet and unsettled weather, so will probably have plenty of planning time this week.

Happy growing ….