Saturday, July 29, 2006

As soon as your back is turned......

I've been away for a week loafing, golfing, and touring about Northamptonshire.

I went down to the plot for the first time today since I got back, tidied up a bit, and did some watering. A lot of runner beans and climbing french beans are now destined for the freezer. This is still after "Jim the Sweetpea Baron" next door, -who has kindly been watering for me - has had his share.

Last week the two Dills pumpkins were about the size of a large cereal bowl. Now, five days later, they are bigger than a medicine ball. I had forgotten the camera of course, so snapped this one on my phone, including one of my mitts in it for a size reference.

It's going to be a big old bugger I reckon......(I have sausage fingers if it helps to gauge the scale)

The heatwave seems to have broken here today, so pray God we get some rain tonight.

P.S. The reluctant sweetcorn belonging to "The New Girl", that Dennis and I previously pontificated about, seems to now be flowering OK....That is, as far as I can tell from sea level, as it's about 10ft high and rising....What has she done to it?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hotter & hotter........

A couple of absolutely blistering days here this weekend. I managed some allotmenteering on Saturday morning, and some golf on Sunday, which was without doubt the hottest round I've ever played. (Meteorologically speaking that is... golfistically speaking it was merely tepid.)

Just a few pictures to update on things I haven't photographed recently. I was going to shoot another short movie clip, but after all the stills I took (to whittle down to this lot) there wasn't enough space on the card, so that will have to wait.

The pumpkin patch has been completely overrun by Dill's Atlantic Giants, so the other pumpkins and the courgettes are fighting for elbow room at the moment. I'm trying to keep to just two fruits per plant for now, and then further reduce to one each later on. It's a constant battle to keep cutting off new ones though, and to prune the plants back at the borders with the edging shears!

The runner beans, and climbing french beans are doing really well, the sweet corn is just about to start setting cobs, while the onions & shallots are drying off nicely in the sun. The latter have done very well, and I have a scarily large net full of them, even after giving quite a lot away. I think the weather has just really suited them this year.

Have a look at these two rows of cabbages.... Apart from the fact that one is a red variety and the other a green, according to the packets they should be about the same tight, pointed size and shape. The green Hispi are behaving admirably, but the red Kalibos are growing big and open, with no sign of any hearts forming. Why this should be when they have been treated identically I don't know.... Nature can be weird sometimes.... And annoying.

Lastly the sunflowers. About two months behind everyone else's due to being a 2nd try, they are now really starting to get going. None of them should be much more than 5ft tall in the end, so I think they will catch up quite quickly. Flowering supposedly lasts till the first frosts, so there is plenty of time.

Apparently I have to go out and do pub quiz this evening....assuming I didn't entirely fry my brains round the golf course that is.... A good excuse for a bit of dampening down methinks!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Under Starter's Orders.......

The Runner Beans are off and running!

I was able to pick a small handful for the first time today. In a fortnight's time I'll be swamped.

Everything else on the plot is growing like crazy too. I'll try to remember to take the camera on

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rumbled ................

Down to the site this morning “sans camera” unfortunately, to potter about a bit and sow a few seeds.

Having pulled the last of the Early Nantes carrots, I sowed another two rows, again in the salad bar, as well as some more radishes. Then after pruning the Triffids, and lifting a few more new potatoes, I decided it was time hoick out the late lamented broad beans, and dig over the soil ready for something else.

I had no sooner started, than Dennis arrived and began digging as well.

If there’s one thing I hate more than digging (well two things actually) it’s digging when it’s rock hard, and in competition with someone else.

Just as I was beginning to have had enough, Mrs. Dennis phoned, and he told her he would only be another hour and a half at most….. I wimped out at this point and started bagging up my sun-dried shallots with an air of great concentration.

Shortly after this a very nice, chatty, lady from “the far side” appeared and asked our advice on sweet corn. Hers are refusing to flower, and as a “newbie" she was concerned she might be doing something wrong. Dennis reckoned it was just a matter of time, so I agreed, nodded, and did my best to look sage. (Actually, having had a sneaky peak at Plot 48 since, I’m sure we’re right, as the offending plants look healthy and vigorous enough in all other respects.)

It was a this point however, that “the new girl” as I’m obliged to call her, - not having bothered with any introductions, - mentioned that she is a regular visitor to DFV, and was very complimentary about my plot and blog.

I haven’t really let on much about the blog to my fellow allotmenteers at RC, but I suppose it was just a matter of time before I was rumbled!

This raises the possibility though that her sweet corn may in fact never come to anything, and I shall be revealed as an ignoramus on my own website…… Naturally I did the only thing possible in the circumstances to guard against this, and bribed her with a bunch of carrots.

Rest assured however gentle reader, that I shall not let this new found fame go to my head…...Oh no!…..Certainly not!….....Not I !