Saturday 12th August 2006 - Weather: wet and windy at 7am!
Well, set the alarm for 6.30am and by 6.45am my flask was made and I was all kitted up for a couple of hours work on the plot. I knew it had been raining in the night, but when I looked first thing, it had stopped. So, opened the front door...and it was coming down in sheets! GGRR. Okay, quick re-think. Found my raincoat, grabbed a hat and headed off for the plot anyhow. By the time I arrived it had stopped raining and the horizon looked bright. Now, really, honestly, I am not complaining about the rainfall. No siree! My allotment is now so dry that I decided to dig the spuds whose foliage had long died down, and the ground was dry as deep as I could dig! In places, the soil was dust like. Even after the rain we had, enough to half fill my water butts, the ground was bone dry after just a couple of centimeters as you can see (hopefully) in this photos. The ground on the left was untouched, the ground on the right had my valour spuds dug out. So very dry. So spuds - I dug valour, sante, desiree and lady christl. Valour was very disappointing. Very low yield of small spuds, but no damage, and we had them with out Sunday salad today, and they were very tasty. However, I don't know if I will bother with those again. The others were all excellent - good yeild, no damage, pest or disease and some whopping big tatties! Can't yet comment on flavour.
After all that digging, I was exhausted so did some light picking for a while. Picked a couple of handfulls of runner beans, couple of cucumbers, a few tomatos, and my first dozen corn on the cobs! Very pleased with my corn plantation after last years complete failure. These were sown in pots by the children and planted out in late spring. They have really grown tall and each plant has at least 2 cobs, some have 3 and I spotted at least 3 canes with 4 cobs! Plenty for the freezer. The minipops have also been a great success as daughter number one doesn't like big corns, only babycorns, so they are a must for next year.
It looks as though we will harvest around 8 melons - cantaloupes I think. And there are at least 3 watermelons, which will have loved this rainfall.
The cardoon and sunflowers are in competition who can get the tallest. I am thinking about taking some of the cardoon home in the autumn for the garden as it is so spectacular.
Saw Old Jack, he was over picking runners for his Sunday roast. He told me that a couple of people had given up their plots as they didn't have the time. I am sure they will be snapped up as there are 8 people on the waiting list. As one of the plots is next to mine, I hope it will be used as the weeds are slowely but surely heading my way!
That was it - step daughter needed collecting and son had a party, so I was home by 11am, just as the rain came in again. Looks like the forecast for this coming week is wet and windy. Glad of the wet, not so keen on the wind.