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*High Summer Down On The Allotment (July 2)*


By balcony


High Summer Down On The Allotment (July 2)

I promised a 2nd part to the blog I posted just a week ago.

Here is a photo of the Sunflowers & Runner beans Gerry planted. They are all coming on fabulously! I was a bit worried that his Runner beans didn’t seem to be setting seed but now it seems they don’t like the heat we have been having. I’ve seen a few pods during this week so perhaps the couple of days of lower temps helped.

Gerry planted some more Runners a couple of weeks ago & now they are living up to their name & running up the canes! LOL! These are in a parallel plot where I had transplanted the Raspberry canes I dug up from the main bed where we put the greenhouse. In the autumn I shall transplant some more canes to that end space & so fill that bed with them, in the meantime Gerry’s beans fill up the space.

As you can see in this photo of my Onions they have reached the point of drying. The leaves had begun to fall over so about a week after noticing that I decided to pull them up & lay them on their sides to complete the drying process. I’m obviously VERY pleased at the size of the onions! The guy from the allotment beside ours, Eddie, commented that he had never had any luck growing onions & wanted to know what I did! This has been my very first time ever growing onions! Beginner’s luck? We’ll see next year.

For the “fans” on my experiments here is a close up photo of what the plants of the Garbanzo bean (Chick Pea) look like. I saw today (24th July) that some plants now have flowers & seed pods.

The Pinto Beans have flowers & are beginning to climb but I haven’t seen any seedpods as yet.

Even the Lentils have flowers & seedpods as well.

Here is a view from the greenhouse of the sunflower near the shed. Since I took this photo the petals have all fallen off. :-(

At the end of the half allotment there is this enormous Buddelia. It’s looking fabulous during this month & it attracts many butterflies, from where it gets its popular name of Butterfly bush, I’ve also seen the many bees that are attracted to it.

During the week 12-15 July we had some very strong winds & the visible result we have here – the Asparagus blown over on top of my Beetroot & Lentils! After a few days I tied some thick twine to the posts at either end of the row & brought it down either side of the Asparagus that way holding it off the other plants. The red Gladioli amongst them have been there for years according to Gerry & flower every year while increasing in size.

You may be able to make out the tomatoes I put in the growbags some weeks ago. Even though there are still some panes of glass missing from the greenhouse it still gets very hot in there. I spent half an hour in there last Tuesday & I was thankful to get out! I felt like I was being cooked alive! The plants have set more fruit than I thought they might. I hadn’t seen a single bee it the greenhouse so I have taken to knocking the flowers around when I go in there to water them. Whether its the bees or me I noticed quite a few tomatoes on the plants today.

If I leave water too long in the cans inside the greenhouse the water becomes too hot to use in the growbags! I now remember to check it before using it – I don’t want to scold the tomatoes’ roots!

The Black Currant bushes (2) are loaded down with fruit! As I noticed a lot of fruit was falling on the ground below them I decided to pick some.

You can see just how many I picked in this photo! When I got home I weighed them & found I’d picked 700g, almost 3/4 kilo (1lb 8oz in old money. Luckily our scales are marked in both systems!)

Here is a shot of the big Blackberry bush at the top of the allotment. It has 1,000s of berries & during the last couple of days I’ve been picking off the ones on the very tips of the branches & eating them! I found the majority of the ones I picked were quite sweet.

The Gooseberry bushes behind the shed are so weighed down by fruit that all the branches are bowed down or out! They are cookers according to Gerry but I find them as sweet as the dessert ones at the top of the allotment & which I have been watering since April. These bushes have never received a drop of water that hasn’t fallen out of the sky! Which means they have been growing practically under drought conditions!

The Gooseberries in this first photo of them all came from the “Dessert” bushes. When I had finished it didn’t look as if I’d even started! The bag contained 1kg 700g or 3lb 12oz.

This 2nd picture taken a few days later was of the “Cookers” But I’m still eating them even now as I write this blog! I got as many as I could in the little supermarket punnet but even so I managed to pick 840g or 1lb 12oz!

Well I’m posting this update & going to finish off my Gooseberries!

Until the last day of the month then when I’ll add the updates during the last week or so.

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Previous post: *High summer down on the allotment (July No.1)*

Next post: Late summer down on the plot



I must go and pick my gooseberries tomorrow. you have a good lot of produce there.

24 Jul, 2010


Your plot has done really well Balcony, you should be very proud of your hard work!

25 Jul, 2010


your allotment is a credit to you, and by the look of it, very productive :-)

25 Jul, 2010


Marvellous ... all your hard work is paying off handsomely! Lots of great produce.

25 Jul, 2010


Well done!!! great to see how the plot has progressed. I picked loads of gooseberries yesterday......took ages to top and tail them..!!

25 Jul, 2010


Great to see how your allotment is coming together Balcony, and lots of lovely fruits and veg!. Please don't get a debate started on crumble mix for your gooseberries, remember what happened last time?

25 Jul, 2010


Thanks everyone! :-) As always your comments are very much appreciated!

Seaburngirl, There are an incredible amount of Gooseberries! They are very sweet as well. I've eaten what seems like tonnes of them! Gerry has given at least 3 people permission to pick as many as they want! I'm still eating them raw at present & I must say they are better warm, straight off the bush than chilled in the fridge!

I very much agree with you, Amblealice when you say "... took ages to top and tail them..." I find that their one drawback, if you exclude the thorns on the bushes!

Thanks, Ian! Yes, my hard work IS paying off - though, apart an occasional watering & a little weeding to the 3 bushes at the top of the allotment, I've done absolutely nothing for the Gooseberry bushes behind the shed. I have done a lot of work on other places on the allotment, most especially the Strawberries. I've spent very many hours weeding & watering them but the return didn't make up for so much time.

The Onions are just the opposite I've spent little time really weeding & watering but they have returned bigger onions than I expected! :-)

Thank you, Grindle & Bernieh, you are quite right when you say it is very productive - it has rather caught me by surprise as well! Being as this is my first year on an allotment things are growing very well indeed. (Can I interest you in 1/2 tonne of tomatoes each??? ;-) )

Dylan do you know of a recipe for Black Currant pie or Gooseberry pie? I don't know what to do with so much fruit! In a week or two there will be tonnes of Blackberries, too! Not to mention all the Plums that are growing on the various trees on the allotment! Perhaps Plums are the only fruit I'm not keen on. But I'll give them a try as I haven't eaten plums in more years than I care to remember! LOL!

25 Jul, 2010


This is all amazing, balcony - much better, and more exciting, than a TV series! Looks like you'd been an allotmenteer for years and years! Wonderful plants and produce! :-))

25 Jul, 2010


Thanks, David, but, as I've commented on here several times, this really is my first year! Beginner's luck? I don't think so as I've been gardening almost all my life & even veg benefits from that experience. Hard work? YES!!! LOTS!!! I look forward to going down there every day!

26 Jul, 2010


I have a feeling you are going to be inundated with pastry recipes

26 Jul, 2010


might be your first year's experience growing on an allotment, but the experience is showing, with great results!

26 Jul, 2010


Thanks again, David, for your comment! Today I lifted my first Beetroots & have just finished cooking them. They smell delicious! I'll see about eating some later for supper! I'll put a photo of them just pulled on my update at the weekend.

28 Jul, 2010

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