Friday, September 14, 2007

The long wet summer

Well what with school hols haven't been around much lately - or rather, I've been around the allotment more than ever, just haven't had time to write about it!

It's been the longest, wettest summer any of us can remember. Everyone else seems to be complaining about it - is it just me who's having a bumper year?! My tomatoes are coming off the vine by the bucketload (literally - stewed up 2kg yesterday and picked another 1.5kg today). The beans have been beautiful, long, straight and full of flavour, I've had hundreds of courgettes and the longest cucumber in history (well, OK, slight exaggeration - but in my gardening history, at any rate!) And I've even grown calabrese successfully for the first time ever.

The only slight negative has been the blight that hit my crop of second early potatoes. But even that I'm putting down to the particular susceptibility of that variety (Kestrel). My first earlies, Red Duke of York, were fantastic, though you wouldn't expect them to get blight in any case. The Kestrel were about 50% ruined - a horrible, smelly, unpleasant job that meant I was eyeing my maincrop, King Edward, with dismay, convinced they too would have succumbed. Not a bit of it: despite the fact that King Edwards have a reputation for small yields and for being disease-prone, not one plant was blighted and I've got two full bucketloads in store in paper sacks in my understairs cupboard. That's from one bed of 4ft x 11ft (I didn't get the second bed dug over in time for two crops, sadly). You can't complain about that too much: I'll be keeping a close eye on them in storage, as I'm still not entirely sure they won't have blight spores clinging here and there, but I was so pleased with them.

Wet summers? Let's have more of them!

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