I sprained my wrist while I was on Magic Plot 7 last Thursday. Bloody hell*.
Not before an excellent day's work however, which consisted mainly of digging out the deep-rooted grass, creeping buttercup and assorted weeds from one of the allotment paths. One down, which took me about four hours to clear By The Way, three to go. Bloody hell*.
|Plenty of grass paths to be removed|
|One down... 3 to go|
The crop is looking marvellous. Less than a week earlier I had been shown the first tantalising sign that there might just be an un-blighted tomato crop this year as I spied the first ripening tomato, Gardeners Delight, on the plant.
|Just one little tiny ripe tomato plant in the middle of all of this|
This is reason for real celebration which non-gardeners may find rather over-exuberant but which fellow growers will fully understand, for the best part of ten years have passed since the dreaded blight did not swoop at the eleventh hour, cruelly wrecking the tomato crop on the vines just at ripening point. I'm feeling quietly triumphant.
On that previous visit I had also seen the first round cucumber beginning to form on the plant. On Thursday there were three good fruits almost ready.
|The first sign of fruit|
|Less than a week later and there are three good, round Lemon Cucumber fruits|
I've never had much luck with cucumbers but this one is doing phenomenally well with plenty of creeping vines, foliage and flowers. One of my lovely students at HellFarm gave me a few seeds earlier on this year. The variety is Lemon Cucumber from an American company, Hudson Valley Seeds, whose packaging is rather fabulous.
The sweetcorn plants haven't grown any higher but they are starting to make cobs.
The climbing bean frame is suddenly smothered in purple podded bean flowers...
...with a stray red flowering variety amongst them. Let's see what this turns into.
So there will be beans this year after all, just not until September. Bonkers!
The beef tomato plants haven't grown any taller either but they are covered in large, heavy, green Marmande tomatoes. Just a little more sunshine and they will ripen. If the blight stays off that is.....
|Short, but heavily laden|
I'm cropping bags and bags of Swiss Chard, the regular green and white variety and also Bright Lights with its cheerful brightly coloured stems. My root vegetables are extremely late this year; beetroot are just about starting to look of a reasonable eating size but carrots are still very small indeed. There are suddenly plentiful and enormous courgettes to be had.
Check out the size of these! I put the trowel in the photograph to give you an idea of scale. I gave about a third of the enormous one to my friend and neighbour Ross who gave me a nice looking pointed cabbage in exchange. I've made courgette cakes and courgette buns and cooked up pots and pots full of courgette-heavy, rich and tasty tomato-based ratatouille/pasta sauce for the freezer. And I've done it all slowly as I've sprained my wrist. Bloody hell*.
How did I do it? Well, after digging for hours I spent a little time watering and promptly slipped on a wet board of wood, landing on my right hand. Tedious and boring for there are loads of outdoor gardening jobs to do while the weather is good and I am unable to do any of them. Bloody hell*.
*Think Bette Davis in The Anniversary.
Love A Heavy Crop