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Late summer down on the plot


By balcony


Late summer down on the allotment & in spite of the dry weather everything is coming on apace! Where to start? I have taken so many photos & it’s no longer possible to follow a route as I did in the first few blogs. Now they will be presented higgledy piggledy!:-)

Lets start with the greenhouse & the tomatoes I put in growing bags about a month ago. Now they are about waist high & have lots of fruit on them as well even though I thought the bees might not come into the greenhouse. As a precaution I have been knocking them around every time I enter the GH, mainly when I water them.

You may have noticed the 4 plants in pots, they are for our Harvest Thanksgiving Day at church. Gerry asked me if we had any plants we could put in pots & take to the church & I found 2 that were small still on my balcony. So I potted them up. I dug up 2 from the allotment that were planted late & were not doing well. I planted those up as well.

I’ve posted several photos of Gerry’s Artichokes on different blogs, well now the first flowers have opened & this is how they looked on July 27th.

Here is a close up photo of one of the flowers. I had to be careful as I pulled it down to my height as it might have broken otherwise.

For those of you that are following my experiments with interest here is a photo of the Garbanzo beans with their seed pods. I think there are 2 or 3 seeds in each pod. I had to almost lie on the ground to get this picture! LOL! They only grow about 30cm (1ft) high!

On July 23rd I lifted 2 rows of new potatoes & ended up with this bagful!

The next day I dug up another 2 rows but these all turned out to be red! I think there were more that in the first 2 rows I dug up for myself. These were for Gerry. I collected them all in this bin lid to take into the shed.

Here is a photo of the 2nd tub of Blackcurrants I brought home. I thought I would show you how much they weighed & that the photo would be different from the usual ones! The scales measure kilos & grams as well as pounds & ounces.

I have done a similar photo of the 2nd tub of Gooseberries!

Here in front of the microwave oven you can see the tubs much better than when they were on the scales. I don’t expect to get a 3rd tub of Black Currants as when I picked the 2nd I found a lot of the berries were drying up & were shrivelled & dry. yet there are still plenty of Gooseberries! The White Currants were of no use so I just left them on the bush. I think on an earlier blog I said there were Red Currants as well – well I made a mistake & there is only 1 White Currant bush & 2 Black Currant bushes.

I have just pulled up some of the Beetroot a lady on another allotment gave me. I think there are about 16 Beets here & there are 5 or 6 times that number in the bed! I did weigh them but forgot to write down the weight. But I’m sure they weighed well over a kilo (2lb & a bit). I sowed some seeds of my own about the time I was given these. I didn’t hold out much hope of success for these but I’ve only lost about 4 or 5 plants!

Gerry’s miniature Sunflowers are looking very nice! They have just started to open in this photo. Shame he planted them between higher ones

Here is a photo of some Gladioli flowering near the Asparagus. Between them you can see the Lentils I first planted (nearest you) & the Beetroot (further away), some of which I later pulled up. The Sunflowers you see here in flower are self sown ones that pop up everywhere on the allotment. I left some in to flower, others I pulled out as they were in the way (Weeds!)

Yesterday I pulled up all the remaining Beetroot & then levelled the soil with the rake.

Today I lifted the last 2 rows of potatoes that Gerry had planted in the main potato plot. There were 6 rows but the other 4 I lifted last Friday/Saturday (23rd/24th July). I only took 1 photo of 1 plant because the spuds were ENORMOUS, (Haven’t uploaded it to the computer yet), especially compared to the others in the other 5 rows. For some reason the majority of the plants had much, much bigger potatoes than the rest of the plot they were in. Yet the soil was just like sand as I levered them out.

On Friday, 30th, I took dozens of photos of the allotment! I will upload a few more here so you get a “snapshot” of what the allotment looks like at this moment.

To begin with here are 3 pictures of Gerry’s squashes now that the potatoes have been dug up & the rows made into seed beds for Lentils, Pinto beans & Garbanzo beans. There are 4 plants but only 2 have fruits at their far ends at the moment.

My Experiments : The Lentils now have seed pods, though you may find them difficult to see as they don’t stand out very well, not even after I increased the contrast at the time of putting the titles on the photos in Picasa.

But in this photo of the Garbanzo beans (aka: Chick peas) with higher contrast the seed pods are very clearly visible. There are 2 or 3 seeds in each pod I think.

The Pinto beans have no pods at present, only a few flowers. A few of the plants are beginning to climb up the supports but I don’t know how high they will reach. Time will tell!

Here is one picture of the tomatoes growing in the greenhouse:

My Onions have been lifted & left to finish drying on the shelves beside the shed. I’m very happy with the size & amount of them!

To finish here is the “traditional” view of the allotment from inside the shed, only this time a lot more colourful thanks to the Gladioli now flowering outside! :-)

I really need to make a 2nd part to this blog as there are so many things I’ve had to leave out! But I suspect that will try your patience!

Until the middle of August then.

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: *High Summer Down On The Allotment (July 2)*

Next post: *** Middling August on the plot (Part 1) ***



Super allotment Balcony! You've got so much produce. The lentils are interesting - are you going to have whole green ones or some other sort? The split red ones are my favourites, but I guess you have to take the seed coats off to get those.

The raked over beds look very tidy - all ready for some more planting?

31 Jul, 2010


It is all still amazing, but my favourite pic' is the last one from inside the greenhouse. That plot is a huge amount of work Well done..

1 Aug, 2010


Wow, Balcony, this is terrific! You have really inspired me to finally make the effort to have a veg garden next year. That must be a ton of work. I don't know whether I'll be able to grow as much as you (well, I know I won't), but next year maybe I'll have more than a few scraggly tomato plants and an accidental zucchini plant growing on the compost pile. I am impressed and envious!

1 Aug, 2010


Fantastic produce from your allotment... well done :o)

1 Aug, 2010


Everything looks so good! The chickpeas are doing well, as are the squashes. Loads of onions and potatoes!! The gooseberries and currants look so tasty. I like the "traditional" last pic, and was surprised to see the colour provided by the gladiolae. Yes, I'd like to see pa Part 2 to this blog, please? :-))

1 Aug, 2010


You must have put in a lot of work to get these great results Balcony ... it must be so satisfying to dig, pick & eat your own veg & fruit. I must admit I've never even thought how lentils grow but now I know!
I love the way you've got flowers growing in amongst the veg for a splash of colour ... lovely sunflowers!
Well done you ... you must be pleased with it all. :o))

1 Aug, 2010


Thank you all for your lovely replies, please keep them coming! :-)

Thanks Beattie. I may try growing some others next year! I get my Pulses from the organic section of our local supermarket. as we used to eat them a lot in Spain we've carried on here in the UK. This is the first time I've ever grown them! I shan't be splitting them though!

Felinfan, I see the tomatoes in the greenhouse are your favourite pic! I'll continue to post more photos of the interior of the GH.

Lauram, I'm glad I've served as an inspiration for you to try & grow your own veg! :-) It really is rewarding! I'm now getting to eat the results of all that hard work & to share with others!

Thank you, TT! :-)

Hi David, yes the Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans) are doing well - at least those in this particular picture are! Some of the other little plots are not doing nearly as well. :-( A few weeks ago I sowed some long rows of them & today I planted a few rows where I dug the last two rows of potatoes up on Saturday. I shan't be planting any more beds of them now. They need 90 - 100 days from sowing to harvest. These last I hope will be ready before the first frosts. I think they need more organic matter in the soil to do better. Look out for another blog in a day or two!

You are so right, Fluff! It does take a great deal of hard work - a lot of the time down on my hands & knees as well! Trying to rid the allotment of Bindweed & Horseradish are two of the most ongoing chores! I also spent a lot of time just watering everything - the rains just refuse to put in a showing. :-( Today we had a very light drizzle lasting half an hour or so but that doesn't wet more than the top 1/8th inch of soil!

2 Aug, 2010


Goodness that sounds like a mission! I'll stop complaining about my little patch! ;o)

2 Aug, 2010


Fluff, you mentioned the Sunflowers in an earlier comment. Would you believe that all the Sunflowers open at the present moment come from self sown seeds! You are quite right when you say "a splash of colour"! Some of them are very spectacular! There is one, near the Sweetcorn, that has multiple heads of flowers open & it looks spectacular!!! I'm going to see if I can save some seeds from it for next year! Some of the Sunflowers are very tall with just one single flower at the top of a long stem. They don't look nearly as nice as the ones with multiple heads of flowers.

2 Aug, 2010


I've decided to build a raised bed and grow some lettuces and Asian greens in the fall, thanks to you, Balcony! I also visited a lovely garden today with a wonderful vegetable plot - tomatoes, melons, cucumbers - and that was further inspiration. Unfortunately my space is limited due to the amount of shade I have....the back is sunny but I have 2 large dogs who get into everything, and my budget won't cover a fence. So it looks as if I'll do much of my veg gardening, for now, on the side of the house, which is a mess anyway and is unused space, but at least there's some sun.

2 Aug, 2010


Hope you had some of the wet stuff today Balcony ... it poured here today!

4 Aug, 2010


Wet stuff only comes from the tanks set up on the allotment field. You need a couple of cans & a pair of strong arms, as well as legs, to go back & forth for 2 & a 1/2 hours 3 times a week!

Lauram, Glad I was of inspiration for you &I hope you can grow some lettuces and Asian greens later in the year. I wish you the best of luck. :-)

Today I picked several handfuls of runner beans. This the first time I've done this! Gerry has told me on one or two occasions that he has picked some. There will be tonnes of them as only a few plants have started producing them. There are still a lot of plants that haven't even begun yet, apart from a 2nd small bed Gerry planted.

Our 1st Tomatoes are now ripening, they are the Cherry type at present.

We have several Plum trees & the fruit must be almost ready to pick now. One tree has purple fruits & may be Victoria. There are several yellow coloured plum trees as well that are loaded down with fruit. The apple tree has a huge crop as well! If these trees produce so much fruit after such a hard winter as the one we had at the beginning of this year to be followed by a hot, dry summer, what would happen in a more "normal" summer when we usually have a great deal more rainfall than this year?

5 Aug, 2010


Finally been able to see your fantastic efforts with our new super-dooper Broadband! You HAVE worked hard! Isn't it still an almost child-like joy at picking fruit and veg grown by your own efforts on your own land? We go into raptures over a meal that contains our own produce - but then, home-grown always tastes so much better than stuff that's hung around for ages in supermarket depots. More power to your spade, Balcony!

13 Aug, 2010


Hi Nariz, glad you've been able to read the blogs & see the photos we've uploaded! You must be like a puppy with two tails!!! :-D LOL!

I don't exactly go into "raptures" but own grow produce does taste better & you are doing the environment a favour. You also know that everything is organic as you've gown it yourself. I haven't used a single insecticide though Gerry did use some weedkiller to clear away some patches terribly overgrown but we haven't planted anything in them yet! We have used a couple of bottles of tomato fertilizer but there's not enough in a 500ml bottle for more than two times!

One thing I've developed a "taste" for is sun warmed fruit! I have hardly ever eaten sun warmed fruit before now, it has always been cold from the fridge or at ambient temperature. I find everything warmed by the sun to be absolutely delicious!

Look out for my next blog in the next day or two!.

14 Aug, 2010


I'll be looking! And I know what you mean about 'sun-warmed' stuff! I'm amazed that anything actually makes it into the kitchen as I'm nibbling everything as soon as I pick it!

15 Aug, 2010


Then we're just as bad as each other! I picked some yellow plums a couple of days ago & must have eaten at least a kilo of them! I brought home a bag with 3kilos. I also picked 1.5kg of blackberries & must have eaten at least the other half kilo that didn't make it into the punnets! I looked amongst the raspberries & only found about 1/4 kilo of ripe fruit but I must have eaten about 100g while searching!

I also brought home some runner beans but I didn't eat any of them!

15 Aug, 2010


Ooh lovely! Raw runners and French beans are my favourite tipple!

16 Aug, 2010


Never eat runner beans! I find them distasteful. My wife & I were talking about them the other day as she doesn't like them either. We both seem to agree it's the texture, the sort of sliminess they have that makes them distasteful to us but it's difficult to put into words why you dislike something.

We are having Lentils for dinner today. Though we can't make them like we used to in Spain. :-( I pulled up a couple of the Lentil plants yesterday but can't say yet whether will have any seeds though there do seem to be some little pods.

The Garbanzos make plants about 30 cm high & grow about twice that in width. It seems they like a deeper more fertile soil than we have on the allotment. I'm growing them in about 4 different places. One of the first to be planted up, with only about 20 seeds doesn't seem to be much to their liking in spite of frequent waterings. Some of the plants have now died off or are dying, even though they got to produce pods. A few seem to be doing alright. It's a similar story in other parts, some grow well others are dying, even if they are next to each other!

The best story so far I think is with the Pinto beans. The first trial plot has beans now & several other plots are doing very well. It's now too late to plant any more this year but I was wondering if I could sow Lentils for use as a green manure & let them cover the bare ground - instead of the weeds! I don't know if they are hardy enough to resist the winter - I suspect not.

Now that the potatoes have been lifted & other vegetables are drawing to a close we will have ever more "bare" ground. Though if nature is allowed her way they won't be bare for long!!! We all know how she hates a vacuum!

17 Aug, 2010

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