Out Of Doors

The Voice of the Allotment | September 2021

The rain of the last few weeks has done more good than harm. On farms it has delayed the wheat harvest and caused some loss of grain quality. On our plot it has meant excellent potato yields despite the early arrival and spread of blight and the need to remove haulms to prevent spores reaching the tubers. Picasso, Rooster and Desiree did exceptionally well. Earlies and second earlies had been dug a few weeks earlier. All are now stored away in paper sacks.

Barry’s lush plot after all the rain. Image by: Barry Cuff

July planted vegetables romped away in the wet conditions. These included celeriac, two varieties of leeks, Spring cauliflower, savoy cabbage and Cardinal purple sprouting broccoli.

Our squash patch became a jungle with some plants trailing between the sweetcorn and raspberries. The lack of sun during the wet spell has delayed the ripening of the sweetcorn. Last year we picked the first cobs on the 20th. With a sunnier spell of weather now (25th) we will be harvesting the first cobs at the beginning of September.

Our Moonlight runner beans continued to give a profusion of pods, many of these being given away to friends. The Safari dwarf French beans were not so keen on the lower temperatures and ceased to produce but could pick up again with warmer weather.

By the middle of the month all our currants had been picked and we started to harvest raspberries.

With about half of our plot now cleared of crops we have a lot of bare soil.The leeks were planted into part of this. More has been sown with Autumn cropping salad leaves and roots. These should produce through till early Winter and possibly beyond. The remainder will be sown with rye and Phacelia for green manure.

The rain has meant phenomenal weed growth especially where the lines of peas stood.

Gallant Soldier is yet another alien plant accidentally foisted upon Britain by Kew Gardens, Surrey in 1860, the year it escaped from there.
Claim to Fame: Along with Shaggy Soldier and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) this plant has the fewest outer petals of any member of the Daisy and Dandelion Family, totalling a meagre five.
 Image by: Barry Cuff

It had been difficult to remove them without disturbing the pea plants. Some had gone to seed. The worst being Fat Hen, Many-seeded Goosefoot, Gallant Soldier and one very large Thornapple.

We appear to be the only plot on the site to have Gallant Soldier which we think we imported in soil on the roots of plants from a relations garden in Bournemouth.

The last week of August and the beginning of September is forecast to be much drier and we are looking forward to our first sweetcorn and cauliflower.

By: Barry Cuff

Sponsored By: Thorngrove

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