rainy day harvests

August 31, 2010 at 4:55 pm 10 comments

Since coming back from our holiday when I’ve been free to garden it’s been raining and when I’m not free it’s dry!  So I’ve had to resign myself to occasional allotment dashes between rain showers to lift and pick vegetables and fruit.

Sadly the thorough soaking of the soil has come too late for the spuds and while it’s easier to lift them now the yield has been disappointing on the whole.  Bottom of the class were the Sarpo Mira main crop potatoes.  Just this small handful from 3 plants.

Disappointingly small doesn’t really cut it as a description.  Cherry tomato size?  No not even that big! The largest is just about worthy of being called a spud.

At the other extreme the red varieties of potato have fared better with my old favourite Robinta coming up trumps again.  Jacket potato anyone?

I’ve cleared my onion beds and gathered together a very sad and sorry collection of bulbs.  I went a bit dibber happy when planting sets in the Spring and pushed them too far into the ground in my haste to replace my failed overwintering onions.   Only 6 out of 100 sets survived the snow or slugs or mice depending on whose theory you listen to.  The moral of this gardening story is if the tips of the onion sets aren’t peeking out of the ground you’ve planted them too deep!

I’ve collected a couple of poppy heads from the gorgeous lilac multi-petalled poppies and I’m looking forward to next year when I shall cast them to the wind and see what happens!

This I hope

Entry filed under: allotment tales.

making rhubarb relish the sun has got his hat on

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Hazel at the Hill  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    On the bright side, Nic, those beet look fab!

    With regard to poor potato harvest, do you have sandy/ freedraining soil, by any chance? It would explain why the potatoes have suffered through lack of water, and why your carrots are so excellent!

    I had 8 egg size spuds apiece from the Accent that I dug up the other day – not the best crop, but nothing to complain about really. I’ll compare notes with you on the Robinta when I dig those up in due course.

    I’m with you on the onions, as you know – I won’t put red onions in to overwinter this year (they were particulary poor), and I’ll save the space to try sets in the Spring instead.

  • 2. Cheryl  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Gorgeous!! I wish my beets had turned out like that!! Those poppies are sooooo lovely.

  • 3. Peggy  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Nic, you win some and lose some on the allotment! I am looking for a tomato/spaghetti/pasta sauce recipe that I can freeze as we have eaten about as many of them as we are able to! I have tried online but most of them are American which give measures in cups and canning ! Any ideas would be welcome!

  • 4. Rachel @ Suburban Yogini  |  August 31, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Our tomatoes are big enough but are still green. I just can’t see them going red now. I may have to make green tomato chutney and salsa verde….

  • 5. Tom  |  September 1, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    While the potatoes were a bit pitiful, the rest of the crop looked mighty fine. I know the feeling about the rain. I waited all last week to clear my side walk where a large limb had fallen, but it never stopped raining. So, there I was sopping wet, cutting up limbs.

  • 6. Margaret  |  September 1, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I think I have allotment envy looking at your produce.

  • 7. allotofveg  |  September 1, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    I know where you are coming from with the weather – lovely again today whilst I’ve been at work-lovely colours in the photos and beautiful poppies. I spotted carrots too, next year I will grow carrots!

  • 8. Nip it in the bud  |  September 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Hazel – beets have been my star turn this year and yes the carrots are good too. Our soil is freedraining and the dry spell just made it too hard for the potatoes to root down. Varieties that can cope with drought have done ok but I’m glad I planted so many varieties now.
    This was the first year I’ve tried overwintering onions and like you I won’t be doing it again in a hurry.

    Cheryl – what’s been your star you in the garden this year? Your carrots were doing well weren’t they?

    Peggy – how lovely to have a tomato glut. I’d make passatta from roasted tomatoes as it’s more concentrated and versatile and takes up less space in the freezer. Will send you a recipe by email

    Rachel – green tomato chutney – no bad thing in my book. In fact I first started allotment gardening precisely so I’d have green tomatoes to feed my chutney addiction! Enjoy x

    Tom – sounds like an unpleasant task rain or no rain. May the September sun shine on your back for the rest of your gardening chores

    Margaret – the raspberries are especially good and are saving us a fortune!

    allotofveg – carrots rock for home growing – nothing beats the taste of them plucked straight from the ground. The last few days have been lovely and sunny which created a whole heap of other photos to sort. Beautiful sun dappled allotment harvests to post next me thinks :o)

  • 9. Simon  |  October 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I know what you mean about the potatoes or rather the lack of them and now with the rain stopping me harvesting the slugs are eating away to their hearts content (do slugs have a heart?)

    • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:33 pm

      good question! They certainly have no compassion for us gardeners when it comes to their munching havoc. My main crop potatoes fared better for the august rain.


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6 years ago today I took my last waddle to the allotment to pick green veg for a vitamin packed last supper.  I knew baby was on his way but had a feeling he wasn't going to be quick about it.  It's his birthday in 2 days time and I'm so excited for him, my darling Whopper (he was 10lb 2oz and my bump in this picture is 48"!)
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