Week 30 Year 2: More Harvest Feast-ivals, Clearing (blighted) Tomatoes and More Over-Wintering Onions on the Plot…

Another busy week, down the Plot at Fulham Palace Meadows Allotments with unseasonably warm weather keeping the Allotmenteers busy.

This Week’s harvest.

So more vegetables collected from the plot even though the weather is turning. My Rainbow Swiss Chard is still growing well. (The leaves are very tall although a little tatty but these were grown for their beautiful bright colours). I love the almost luminous purple/ pink contrasting with the dark red and summer yellow stalks). A few onions have been collected from the temporary greenhouse and will be used at home cooking.

More Runner Beans (Scarlett Emperor and Enorma) which are still growing: if only I could enter them now, into a “longest Bean competition“. They are getting more stringy so when preparing them for cooking, I am finding I am losing more of the skins and outer edge. The French Beans (Blue Lake) are still doing well, with more flowers coming but as the nights draw in, I expect these will only last a few more weeks. But always a good crop (well, last year they did well and in my second year, they’ve done well again!).

My last squash (Patty Pan Polo) has been picked and I now need to research as what to do with them. They were mentioned on Gardeners Question Time (Radio 4) in terms of how productive they have been this season but I couldn’t share that experience myself, as I have only produced three squashes (two Patty Pan Polos and one Patty Pan Kermit).

My last Squash

My Tomato Greenhouse has been cleared. (As Assistant Secretary of the Fulham Palace Meadows Allotment Association, I sent out a Newsletter which primarily outlines relevant by-laws and guidelines for Allotmenteers as well as sharing recent and planned events on our site and relevant to the plot holders. In the note, it advised that blighted crops (potatoes and tomatoes) should be removed and destroyed as it does have an impact beyond the boundaries of your own plot). Therefore, it was important, before the monthly inspections that I had removed mine. I managed to take a few tomatoes for eating but they have been a disappointment. A greenhouse (next year) will help bring them to fruiting and ripening quicker, I hope. Yellow Stuffers have done rather well (although I have yet to stuff them and use them like any other traditional tomato: in salads and pasta sauces).

And finally, I have planted all my Over Winter Red Onions on the plot. These have been placed next to the White ones, planted last week, again, in neat rows.

Red Onions (purchased from the Allotment Shop).

The former Strawberry Bed was cleared a few weeks ago (after lots of harvestings of strawberries: so many last year that I made jam. And more Strawberries this year. I know you should renew the plants every three years but this is the only part of the plot which wasn’t cleared when I took it on so it was timely to address this).  I added manure and ash into the soil, when I was pulling out bind weed.

Using short bamboo canes to mark  the rows, and a longer one to keep a straight line, they look very neat. Spacing was a little hip-hazard with a few extra ones planted in selected rows but these should grow and I will be able to use them, as they get bigger; next year.

Red Onion Planting in Week 30.

And progress with my Watermelon, with the fruit getting oh-so-a-little-bit-bigger:

My first Watermelon

And my only surviving Pumpkin:

As I lost another one (probably to Pigeons and /or Parakeets)

Another Pumpkin gone!

But that’s life on the Allotment. Back to the weeding…

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