August 2012



August 1st

 Well,I've been a bit busy this week so I managed to do a video of the state of play as of August the 1st inbetween rain showers.

Things still ticking over,but the Marrow is going bezerk.

Video below,click to play,cheers.

August 10th.

At last a bit of sunshine !!     


The second sowing of peas are now flowering just as I've finished picking the first lot.

I hope they pod up before September though as we get mildew badly here and you can set your watch by the time....Sept 1st every year.

My garlic is still growing strongly so hopefully this couple of days of sunshine can help swell the bulbs.

I've got some huge Solent Wight planted so I'm looking forward to a few giant bulbs.


The second sowing of Lettuce and beetroot are almost ready as the first ones have now been harvested and the transplanted leeks are doing OK but a mile behind where they were at this time last year.


For some strange reason this year given the cold sun-less weather I have got the best tomatoes ever.

I've no idea why but I did sow a little later than last year and they were planted out when the really cold weather had passed.

The cherry types have been coming thick and fast and the Shirleys are huge and just starting to ripen.

So all in all so far tomatoes a big success.


My strawberries in the tunnel are all but finished but have been a huge success from the bare rooted plants,I've got a few still coming outside but these have suffered from the wet and most have gone mouldy.

I've got a few more lettuce and some greyhound seedlings going in the tunnel.

Even if they don't make big plants at least there'll be something growing outside during September.

Over on the Exhibition Show Veg side things are a mixed bag.


The parsnips are way behind last years and the long carrots are quite pathetic but the Stump carrots don't seem too bad.

I'm definately putting the poor long ones down to the seed as I used a different type this year.


In the polytunnel though the carrots are a different story,2ft tall leaves and massive roots,so the poor showing outside is purely down to the cold and wet.

One thing that I'm really happy with is the Giant onions I put down for seed.

As you can see the heads are huge and fully pollenated by the insects and have literally thousands of seeds forming per head.


On the Giant Pumpkin front I have managed,at last to set 2 pumpkins.

They both seem a bit mutated though so we'll have to see what happens.

The plant's getting on for 30 feet long and 10ft wide so it should have enough energy to grow big if it doesn't mess up.

Whatever happens this is definately my final pumpkin growing attempt as I have to admit that you just can't grow a whopper outside this far north with horrible cold weather.


On the other hand,marrows seem to love the wet cool weather.

This one is just 24 days old and weighs approx 40 pounds so next year I'm gonna grow a load of these.


And finally my show Onions were all harvested this week as it's just over 3 weeks to my 1st show and 5 weeks until Harrogate.

Overall I'm pretty happy with a set of 3 at 4lb 12oz and another 3 at 4 lb 8 oz and a load of smaller sets for collections,top trays etc.

Anyhoo I did a vid of the harvest.

Click to play,Cheers.


August 18th.

Summer's nearly over and it's still pissing it down up here.

I decided to harvest all my Garlic today as most of it was blown flat the other day in the Summer Gales.....jeeeees !!

I grew some Solent Wight for the first time both Autumn planted and Spring planted to see if there would be any difference.


I was very happy with the size of the bulbs after such crappy weather and they're the biggest I've grown.

The strange thing was that the Autumn planted ones were much smaller than the Spring planted ones so for me as I get the cold snap garlic needs in Spring there's no point whatsoever in Autumn planting as I get bigger ones from the later plantings anyway.


I chose a few of the best shaped bulbs to dry out for a couple of my shows in a few weeks.

I also decided to harvest a few of the enormous Banana Shallots and try to dry them out in the polytunnel to store later.


Another thing that seems to be doing OK is my 1st attempt at producing my own onion sets.

These are Kelsae and will hopefully produce big 4-5lb onions next year without all the hassle of early sowing seed under lights in November, if I can be lucky enough to let them grow a little larger,dry the little bulbs out, and then keep them stored over winter without them sprouting prematurely.

We'll see.


My second sowing of Beetroot seem to be doing ok but I'm not expecting very big ones,baby beets will be fine and anything from the plot in September/October is a bonus for me.

One thing that seems to keep growing all year is the Kale,It just never stops,I think just 3 plants is more than enough rather than my 8.


Over on the pumpkin saga finally I have managet to set a fruit albeit way too late.

As I've said before I'm never going to grow another pumpkin but this time I really mean it.



Over on the marrow plant I have this thing growing which is around the 50lb mark after less than a month,this is a photo from earlier in the week and it's grown much bigger since.

So from now on it's marrows for the crazy veg,they seem far easier and more suited to our climate than pumpkins.


Over in my totally neglected tiny greenhouse which I haven't even visited for a week I just found that I had a small squash growing and a decent cuc.

I just planted all my spare stuff in the borders and forgot about them,seems to be the way to go.


My brussel sprout plants are the best I've grown but as usual it appears that the sprouts are blowing.

This is one thing I just can't grow.

I know they need hard firm soil and planting in firmly etc etc...I do all this in my heavy soil yet my sprouts always blow.


Anyway to end on a more positive note the big show onions are drying out nicely and hopefully I should have a few decent sets and most importantly a set of 3 for Harrogate.

Here's hoping.

Anyway I did a couple of vids of the Garlic harvest and one about the state of play with my Tomatoes,peppers and chillies.

Vids below,click to play,Cheers.


August 25th.

Well,I have found one thing that's grown well this horrible wet dull cold "Summer" and that is the Kale.


They seem to grow like triffids and it's so simple to harvest by just snapping the leaves off and they just keep on growing more from the middle.


Given the poor weather this year for some reason I've grown my best ever tomatoes "Shirley" as they don't seem to mind the conditions.

The size of the tomatoes and the trusses are ridiculous.

Had a decent crop of Cucs too this year but they're now starting to run out of steam and I'm down to my last few.


Harvested all the reject show onions now and I've planted some cabbage and lettuce in their place to hopefully get some spring greens and small lettuce into October.

All the garlic and the banana shallots are on wire racks drying out well.


The purple beans are slowly flowering and have a few tiny beans developing but they don't seem to be a heavy cropper like the Cobras were.

I decided to pull up my two giant swedes as they'd gone to seed.They must have been about 20 pounds or so but I'm not sure that they're edible.


As my first show is next weekend I've been drying the large onions out to get them ready for tying.

I'm pretty happy with them and they're a decent size.


I've got plenty ready to be tied and should have enough for my 3 shows this year.


Over on the show carrot and parsnip front the ones outside are pitiful as they've just been drowned all year,however the couple of beds I decided to do inside the tunnel produced this random pulling the other night.

It's huge,dead straight and the best one I've ever grown.

If the remaining 30 inside are similar I should do well with them and from now on growing inside is the only way.


And finally the giant marrow seems to have just about stopped growing as the skin has hardened.

I'm estimating it's about 55-60 lbs now given the measurements but we'll see when I decide to chop it off.

Did a vid of the pumpkins and marrows,click below to play,cheers.


I've got a YouTube channel full of various vids here : AllotmentDiaryYoutube

And I've got myself a Facebook Page click the link if you're interested,Cheers.


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