Swarms, vandals, and skip-finds
My brand new extra large trug has only had one outing this summer. Previous years saw my trug bulging so much every month that the handle started to crack. Disappointments have been many, not least a plague of flea beetle and reckless vandalism by local kids. But at least there is something for the trug as spinach has been great, lemon courgettes, broad beans too, and a cucumber looking very respectable.
It has been a bad season starting with the French climbing beans failing to germinate in the green house and requiring a second batch. Even now out of the 18 planted only nine have started to climb. Two sorts of potatoes have simply disappeared. The foliage was there one week gone the next. My carrots and parsnips also failed miserably. I mean how can carrots fail?
Six courgettes plants looked great but now only one looks healthy. I tried a new variety of Mange Tout ‘Delikata’ as these promised to be delicious as young mange tout and, if left, develop into fat peas. But the pods were stringy and the peas bitter.
The tomatoes at the allotment have been good, the ones in the greenhouse not. But squash is thriving after the flea beetles invested the flowers. Sweet corn surprised me by only growing 2 foot high but the cobs look nice and fat.
Not one cauliflower is fit for consumption and so I have condemned the whole lot. With all this going on the allotment has many empty areas, over 40% of the yield down compared to last year. In fact if I hadn’t put pockets of flowers around the place it would look pretty boring.
The cut flower patch has been slow and plagued. A few cosmos made it, sunflowers and cornflowers is all I have. A puzzeling batch of godetia grew from a packet of love-lies-bleeding. And the biggest flower success? Leeks in the compost heap!
But some a happy events did happen. I made two herb racks for birthday presents and had fun wrapping them up. Plus I found and old concrete planter in a skip and spent a lovely time planting it up on my potting bench using succulent offsets that I have been nurturing. That made me very happy.