The allotment in September.

It seems ages since I wrote about the allotment. There is not much to do in high summer apart from the odd bit of hoeing, some picking and lots of watering of tomatoes and to be honest being rather blue eyed and freckled (and bald!) I tend to become a bit of a hermit as more than twenty minutes in the sunshine and I start to glow. So hubby tends to do the watering early in the morning while walking the dogs and we just drop in and do a bit as and when. But autumn is here, hoorraah, my favourite time of the year, the stifling heat has gone and now we are into the warm and pleasant days of an Indian summer, the very best time of the year.

So let us have a little walk around.

You have to see my greenhouse, it is rammed full of tomatoes.

Picking tomatoes is like entering a rain forest of tomato plants, highly amusing and just wonderful.

We are growing a few varieties but slowly, year by year, the green house is being over taken by one variety. A small plum variety called Aviditas. According to Dobies it was the best tasting tomato from their last tomato trial out of 206 varieties and I would have to agree with them. I think this is the last year that we will grow a big slicing tomato, the flavour is just not anywhere near it. If you like piccolo’s, you’ll love these, the piccolo is slightly more acidic, this is much sweeter and slightly bigger in the mouth. They are perfect cut in half on an open sandwich or with some cheese on a cracker, they cook quickly, so say if one was doing eggs for breakfast and popped these in a pan with a little butter, wait a few moments before adding your eggs, they will be ready when your eggs are. The plants we buy are grafted onto a stronger root stock and are well worth the money, they are prolific and they don’t have a tendency to split.

If I could find them I would grow piccolos as well, but I have to say they are not as prolific, I think this is the second year we have grown Aviditas and everybody that we give them to loves them. I think if you grow them once, you’ll always grow them.

The runner beans and french beans have done well and are just coming towards as second flush as we head into autumn. I also planted a few more broad beans which have set fruit and should give us a final crop in a couple of weeks. Sadly the peas and mangtout are just about finished now.

Swede, carrots and parsnips are coming along. The swede took fine, the carrots are coming along for an autumn crop and had to be sowed three times before taking! and the parsnips have been sowed twice and we only have a few plants. You win some, you lose some.

The beetroot is still going well though, we have plenty coming through.

The corn is coming along, some of the cobs are ripe, I tested this one and the kernel produced a milky sap and I have to say it was delicious. I don’t know why the kernels don’t form right to the top.

And I sowed a second crop of sweetcorn, whether they will come good in time remains to be seen. Fingers crossed eh.

Pumpkins and butternut squash hide beneath big leaves as they quietly get on with their job of growing.

The brassicas do much better protected from the pigeons. We have rainbow chard, cabbages, kale, purple sprouting, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. I need another cage really to space things out a bit.

The savoy’s are coming along, just starting to heart up,

And the kale has done amazing. That should last us all winter.

The apples have done really well and our fellow plot holder who knew the last owners tell me that this apple is a very good storer, which is good to know.

And the pears have done really well too.

And lastly my leeks, in a little late but doing well even so. We still have half a sack of charlottes, which are delicious when roasted, so if we have any left they will go really well with these leeks.

A little bounty to go home with after a little light weeding. I hope you enjoyed your ramble around our allotment.

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