Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tuesday 5th September - Weather: warm but overcast

Yippee, the kids are back at school, so I arrived at the plot just before noon. Very muggy day but the cloud cover hardly broke. I did think it would rain a couple of times. Anyhow, the allotments are looking like tropical rain forrests, so let the weeding begin! Don't know why, but I started by pulling up all of the finished corns, snapping them down a bit and sticking them on the compost heap. Then worked my way along the strawbs. So many weeds the compost heap was soon overflowing! The big cooking apples have started to fall, so as I cleared around the strawbs, I picked up all of the windfalls that weren't to damaged and picked those on the tree I could reach. The other apple tree is good for eating and cooking, but the apples still resisted being picked, so I will leave them a week or two longer.

Took a break from weeding and filled my trug with tomatos again. Tonight I will cook all the toms I currently have at home down and get it frozen before they start going mouldy. Also picked yet more courgettes and cucumbers. Am at a loss what to do with all the cucumbers as they are coming so fast now! Also picked a handful of runner beans - enough for a couple of meals.

The squashes are all coming along nicely, considering a lot suffered in the drought and we lost several plants. I think this monster is called a swan guord. It is getting huge, and I have promised the children they can have one each to carve at Halloween - we like to be different! The melons are also getting bigger and bigger and I don't know if I should pick the biggest yet. I would hate to harvest it only to find it unripe. I guess whilst the weather is still so good, and the plant is still in active growth, I should leave it for the time being.

I have lots of things to sow, hopefully, over the next week and also my curly Kale. They will go on plot number 2 where the spuds were - which reminds me, now the top growth has completely gone on the Edzell Blues and Pink Fur Apples, I had better dig them up before any secondary growth starts, and the slugs move in!

Glad to say my globe artichokes 'Green Globe' are growing again. They have really suffered in the drought and completely died back leaving nothing more than a blackened stem. However, today I noticed that every plant has lovely new green shoots sprouting from the base. Now I feel guilty that I am planning to dig half of them up and shove them on the compost heap as I have decided we don't need that many plants as we don't eat that many artichokes! I will be giving the babies away to gardening friends who want them, and I might bung a couple in the garden as they make such stunning plants. I don't know if the cardoon will make a come back as he is in a similar state to the artichokes. Fingers crossed as I would be sad to loose that.

I have started to put together a spreadsheet listing all my seeds, sowing dates and comments so I can try and keep slightly more organised next year...famous last words! I also plan to sow at least 1 seed of every tomato, pepper and squash plant that I own, and any that fail to germinate will have one more sowing attempt, and if they still fail, I am binning the seeds as every year I seem to have a few that fail to come up. Anyhow, I have no idea if I can add a spreadsheet to my blog, but if I can, I will!


Clint said...

Hiyah Em,
So tell me about those swan guords. Can these be dried and saved? Did you have to grow them in a greenhouse?
Btw...we saw the work that you and Ava have done in your conservatory...it's mahvelous, isn't it. You are going to have so much pleasure from the new arrangement. It just looks really good. But wait!......are those green tinges forming on my skin?
Our best,
Ina & Clint

Emma Jane said...

Hi Clint and Ina, lovely to hear from you both!

The swan guords I believe are inedible and can be dried and decorated - in the catalogue they were painted like swans and ducks! I started them with all the other courgettes and things in the spring - March time - and then they went out onto the allotment in May. There are two whoppers on the plant, one for each of the children. I will leave them to really dry on the plant for as long as possible.

Thanks for the kinds words about our conservatory. I am thrilled with it. He is planning to build me another on the other shorter wall for my growing cacti collection! Problem is, I now have a pile of unused ceramic pots...and the temptation to fill them again is getting the better of me!

If you fancy some of the swan guord seeds, I am sure I still have some I can send you for next year. Also, you little lonicera is looking good. Still small, but I will mollycoddle it for a while longer - I wanna send you a decent plant after the disaster last time.

Speak to you both soon,
with love

Clint said...

oh Boy...would I ever like some seeds! Please.
Say, how many guords did you get on one plant..and did you lety him climb or run over the ground?

Glad to hear the little lonicera is hanging on and doing well.

Well, we've been very busy here the past few weeks with harvesting, freezing-in and jamming...but the end is in sight at last, although my Rakkers just keep going and going--and I lettum! heh heh heh. You see, I prefer them older and thicker (the flavour changes when they are older). We freeze the younger ones in (the normal size) and then at the end of the season, I get to let them grow big and speckly. Ina's mum taught me to do this and she was right!...they are the most delicious thing ever. Ha ha ha...maybe I exaggerate, but I really am crazy about them.

You can tell things are going well cos there are little roadside stands all along the country roads where the farmers (or their children) sell their excess fruits and stuff. I am planning a new page for my website called "For Sale Along the Road". I believe that it will be interesting for us Dutch-speakers and English-speakers alike.

Ok then miss, you guys take it easy... nice chatting with you. I enjoy reading your blog very much. Gotta head out to the lottie now and fix Ina's mum's compi on the way.

Our best to you all,
Ina & Clint