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***Summer's End (not quite) down on the plot (2nd Part)***


By balcony


Summer’s End down on the plot (2nd Part)*

It now seems I jumped the gun rather with this title as the last few days have been very warm & very sunny!

Here is a new photo that you haven’t seen before. It’s a close up of the Fig trees Gerry planted last year. They are now producing their first fruit.

They have the strange habit of making small fruit one year which ripens the following summer! So the fruit you can see here won’t be ripe till the summer of 2011!

As the apple tree under which we have placed our shed is a cooker the apples are falling off continuously. They have been doing this all through August. Many have collected here, some naturally, others because the guy on the plot next to ours kicks them out of his way when he needs to get into his shed. It occurred to me the day I took this photo that the place was like a “cemetery” for apples!

I’ve picked up many of the least damaged ones & have taken them home. I’ve made purée from them & then frozen it.


I’ve started to pick the Garbanzo & Pinto beans & Lentils but they aren’t giving much to pick! I’m not too worried as this was an experiment after all!

This photo is of the Chick peas (Garbanzo beans) I brought home on Saturday 28th August. These were the majority of the plants from the very first small sowing.

The majority of the pods only contained ONE seed! Some were still green & only a very few were actually mature enough to be picked. Even though I left them in some kitchen tissue they haven’t dried & are now going mouldy, as you can see in this photo:

This is a photo of the first Pinto bean pods I’ve picked. These pods are from just one plant I think. Unlike the Garbanzo beans, I think these can be considered a success!

These first few pods have produced quite a few beans! Again, like the garbanzo beans, some seeds were ready for picking while others were still green ( white in this case!).

Each plant produces many pods, you will have seen them in previous blogs, so just one plant may produce up to 500g (approx 1lb) of beans!

This pile of dead rubbish is in fact the results of the very first Lentils I sowed. I took them home to take the seed pods off the plants but was very disappointed with the result of my efforts even though this was just an experiment.

Here are the lentils again, this time after I had removed the pods from the plants but before cleaning them:

Last photo of the Lentils, now cleaned!

Here they all are together side by side:

In this last photo you can see just what they should look like & the bags we get them in:

Hope I haven’t bored you too much with all these photos of my experiments but I thought you might like to see the results.

With the Lentils I’m not sure if I’ll bother next year, the results have been terribly disappointing. :( I’ve spent more time on them than on the other two & they must work out as the most expensive Lentils in the UK! (I spent more than an hour removing the pods from the plants & more than two hours removing the seeds from the pods & all to obtain an ounce or two of which a lot are probably not even edible! :( )

On a more positive note I will certainly grow more Pinto beans next year! But Chick peas (Garbanzo beans) I think need a more humus rich soil & probably deeper as well to get any meaningful return.

I’ve finally decided to make a start on the new Strawberry bed. This is at the furthest end of the allotment & nothing, except for grass & weeds, has been grown there in years.

I found a roll of black plastic sheeting & decided to use it. I got enough out of it for two strips the width of the plot. :) No more weeding next year!!! :)

I cut holes in it & put the newly rooted runners in through them. You can see just how well they have rooted in the photo below:

This is how it looks at present. The end without plants, at my feet (not actually visible in this photo) is awaiting runners that were too small to plant out yet awhile. I’ve put them in small pots & will keep them in the greenhouse until the end of the month.

Here are a couple of photos of Gerry’s squashes. They are almost the size of footballs:

Gerry’s artichokes are coming to the end of their flowering season now. Soon the fluffy seedheads will show themselves:

We have had several selfsown sunflowers with multiple heads, here is one alongside the sweetcorn bed:

The Cosmos near the shed are flowering very well &, together with the Gladioli, add a touch of colour to this rather drab corner of the plot:

As the Raspberry bushes are now blocking the view down the allotment from the shed it occurred to me, when I was sitting outside the shed door eating a sandwich & looking around me, that I could take a different view of the allotment. Looking to my left I could see the Gladioli, the tomatoes, on the half allotment as well as the runner beans & Gerry’s rows of sunflowers. So I thought I’d use that view instead:

Well that brings me to the end of this second part on the allotment. I hope you weren’t to bored with the views which I’ve tried to make diverse. Please leave your comments below as I like to hear your opinions. :)

In a couple of weeks time I’ll be back with a new update.

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Previous post: ***Summer's End down on the plot (1st Part)***

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It is interesting to see your results. I have wondered about trying to grow pulses. I threw out some chick peas once which promptly sprouted in the garden. They were quite attractive plants. Maybe I'll try again next yeer. Everything looks great on your plot.

2 Sep, 2010


Thank you, MM. Interesting to see they grew for you! They have a very attractive grey/green foliage & a short branching growth that's very attractive.

2 Sep, 2010


Not boring at all is nice to do a follow up,whether the harvest is good or not,and helps others to decide if they want to grow them.You have put a lot of hard work into this experiment,but it has been wouldn't have known what to grow next year ,if you hadn't done this..and when you obviously love gardening,it isn't really a major disaster,just a disappointment...and you have the joy of planning all over you have started already..Lol.You have had some triumphs too,and your flower bed is lovely,and you have all the fruit, swings and Roundabouts,as they say..Happy gardening,:o)))

2 Sep, 2010


Gosh Balcony you have a lot of produce coming up Figs, beans, lovely sunflowers and cosmos too. My sunflowers have grown to six foot tall now but have dwarf heads as I collected the seeds from a dwarf sunflower last year. Thanks for sharing your pics my friend :-)

2 Sep, 2010


Thank you for taking time out to prepare this lovely view of your allotment. I have been following it through the year like many others and have found it very inspiring.

2 Sep, 2010


Great blog Balcony, I don't do veg myself, but it's fantastic looking at your patch. Well done. :o)

3 Sep, 2010


Glad some people don't find my blogs boring! :-) I do what I can to try to make them interesting!

Bloomer, many thanks for your comments. I'm afraid that the Garbanzo beans didn't dry out & had gone all mouldy so I threw them away this evening! :-( These have been a very mixed story as a few plants have grown very well indeed but the majority have been a waste of time & effort. Nevertheless, they are nice plants to look at & I think I will try again next year if I can get hold of some compost to work into the soil. I think both the Garbanzo beans & the Lentils need a deeper, more humus rich soil than I have been able to give them this year.

Richard. I can't take all the credit for what we have on the plot as Gerry planted the Sunflowers. He also planted the Figs last year. The Cosmos come from some seeds that I had saved from my own plants at home & which I started off on my balcony. I took them down to the allotment as I had no more room for them this year.

Thanks for following my blogs, Scotsgran & I'm really pleased you find them "inspirational"!

Well, Littlegs, I haven't done veg till this year either! I've grown a few plants of tomatoes most years but that's about the limit to my experience of growing veg! It has felt so strange having to ask about things when people have always asked ME for advice on growing flowers! Still its been fun & has helped me to get out of the house.

4 Sep, 2010


Fascinating, as always, Balcony. The bean, pea and lentil experiment has been very worthwhile, I think. Many Thanks for sharing this over the summer. I do like the pic comparing your homegrown ones with bought ones!!! Figs, too - marvellous! The new strawberry bed looks great - even better, planted up with your own plants. The apple puree is a great idea, too. I like the new view from the shed. :-))

5 Sep, 2010


Thanks, David, for your great comments & I'm very pleased that you have liked following my blogs. I agree with you that the experiments with the Pinto, Garbanzo beans & the lentils have been worthwhile. The experiment isn't over yet as there are still several "generations" of Pinto beans to evaluate. I planted about 4 more plots, after the original one I've mostly reported on, that one is over bar the actual picking of beans which I shall do tomorrow or on Tuesday at the latest, one at the very top of the plot, another at the very bottom & another two; one where the onions grew & a last row where the potatoes grew. In the old potato beds I also planted Lentils, which are coming along very nicely, as well as Garbanzo beans, a lot of these last ones haven't germinated.

I also planted a few seeds of Tom Thumb lettuces & these have now germinated. But the carrot seeds I planted on the 14th of August haven't shown any signs of life. If they need 14 days or more in which to germinate then I will have destroyed them as I was earthing up a little the Garbanzo beans a few days ago. They were sown in the same bed, in an area where few beans had germinated. But I mounded up the rows the whole length of the rows even where there were no beans.

5 Sep, 2010


Well done, Balcony. It has been a very interesting series of blogs and although your chickpeas etc. were not a raving success, any result at all always adds to one's knowledge and I think that it was good to try.

I like the photograph of the view from the shed/. The gladioli are lovely.
Best wishes and keep up the commentaries.

16 Sep, 2010


Thank you, Felinfan, for your comments. I'm glad you like the view from the shed but as the raspberries form a wall of green in front of the shed I can't show any more. I've substituted that view for a view, very colourful, of the lady across the path's plot which still looks very nice at the moment. At the moment I don't know what I shall use when I write the end of the month blog.

Even the view to the side has changed very much & is no longer colourful. :-(

17 Sep, 2010

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