Catching up with things on the plot

After a busy few weekends in Norfolk, Suffolk and West Sussex there hadn't been much allotment time recently, so it's been good news that we've had some (a lot of) rain in that respect. On Sunday though we took our hoe, the late developing courgette plant from the greenhouse and headed over to the plot to find out how it'd coped.

The short answer is relatively well; there were some successes and some disappointments, and of course there were plenty more weeds, many of which are now on the compost heap.  

I've had mixed success with my sunflowers this year, but some are huge with stems easily two inches round. No flowers yet, but I'm hopeful and I can't wait to see how it turns out.   

A sunflower in the making on my allotment

The giant tomatoes from dad have benefited from the rain, and as well as bushing out through lack of pinching out, finally have flowers. I'm not that hopeful for ripened fruits, but it would be nice to see some - maybe if we have a good autumn I'll be lucky...

finally some flowers on my tomatoes

Actually I'd be happy if it was a green tomato chutney kind of year. At least that would mean some fruits! 

Our tiny apple tree has got the right idea though, and is back on track for a plentiful harvest now that it's settled into its new spot. We've also done really well on raspberries this year too, picking more than we could eat and freezing about five takeaway tubs full. 

A better crop of apples this year on the plot

The rhubarb is having a resurgence, and I'm not complaining. 

a resurgence for our rhubarb

The strawberries, which had fruited well a month or so ago are also doing well in their new spot, with plenty of visible runners. I've moved these alongside the edge of the new path which cuts across the end section of our plot. The plan is to have both sides of the path edged with strawberry plants, and as you can see it's off to a good start.

the strawberries I moved are doing well

The borlotti beans are starting to redden, and if I'm honest I'd hoped to see more of them by now. 

The borlotti beans are starting to redden

There's plenty of runner bean flowers too:

more runner beans on the way too over at the allotment

The globe artichokes in the crab apple tree were looking scruffy so I took my knife to the leaves - and the compost heap benefitted. 

artichoke leaves on the compost heap

The rosemary bush which I grew from a cutting from my old and knackered bush in the garden is looking very healthy, and I'm hoping to propagate more free plants this way too.   

admiring my rosemary bush which was grown from a cutting from an old bush in the garden

The crab apple tree is laden with fruit, so it looks as if there'll be plenty to pick and make jelly from.  

the crab apples are doing well again
the sky was darkening as I took photos of the crab apples

As I was photographing these final few shots I became increasingly aware of the colour of the sky - ominous looking isn't it? 

the artichokes continue to climb through the crab apple tree towards the black skies

But I wanted to check on my lichen before we left, that was doing well too.

checking on the lichen and wondering about that black cloud

So mostly positive; the disappointments included losing my final cucumber plant, so no home-grown for me this year, and losing a couple of our squash plants too. The onions continue to be a disappointment, or rather that should be the foxes that have interfered with my onions, continue to do so and I've been left with very few onions, with most smaller than a ping pong ball. Maybe I'll give them a rest next year?

We also hatched a new plan to reward our raspberries, which currently grow amongst long grass, and plan to move them as we cut the canes down into a new spot in order to help us tame that part of the plot without damaging the raspberries long term. It's also a plan for more digging, so it's now a case of finding time to do that...

It's definitely still all go on the plot. Let me know your successes and disappointments this year, as I'm curious to know if they're similar to mine or not. 

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