Over the weekend, Ben was saying how much he liked my shed, Ma told him, it was her shed and he couldn’t have it. Neither of them have any respect for my possessions! This year, our third season but only our second year, I have noticed that I direct Ma less and she is very possessive about the shed! We had three and a half hours on Sunday to attend to the plot and we really did divide and conquer, Ma did most of the watering and feeding and I got on with some tidying up.It feels like we’re running out of time, September is the the opposite of May’s ‘plant all the things’ hurry. We’re still in maintenance mode but things are coming to an end, the summer squash has slowed down production (and the leaves are mildewed), the cucumbers and corn are done, and the tomatoes and winter squash are racing the weather to be done before blight or the first frost does for them. We’ve done some planning for winter, with leeks, kale and chard all planted out and in the case of the chard and kale, producing loads but we’ll also overwinter broad beans, garlic and shallots. We’ll close up some beds next month but the plot will be working through winter too.I took a quick visit to the allotment on Friday and picked sweetcorn for Oli and tomatoes for sauce so I wasn’t expecting that we’d pick up much produce on Sunday, which wasn’t quite the case. Although the winter squash seems to have had a new lease of life, I called time on the boston squash (it’s enormous) and cut back the leaves on the sweetcorn so I could see the borlotti beans, they are there and just need time to dry out.Some of the tomato plants were done so I took them up and gave the basil plants what will probably be their last haircut of the year. Note to self, regular haircuts makes the basil grow more, we have lots of pesto in the freezer for winter. I’ve been really pleased with the basil, this year and this year I grew it from seed and didn’t have to buy it from Waitrose and plant it out. However, I do need to work on not having so much of it die off as tiny seedlings. The joy of gardening, is that there is always next season to get it right!It was also time for the cucumbers to come up as they have been limping along for a while. I sowed pak choi, black radish and mustard greens in that bed, it may well be too late, we’ll see. I also gave the nasturtiums a savage haircut. They are all self sown and were rampaging over the tiny butternut squash so I cut them back and gave the 13 little squash some sunlight. I took 1 more uchiki kuri from the front bed but there are three more squash and a small pumpkin that need some more time. Hopefully, by the end of the month, beginning of October, they’ll be ready to come up and we can close the bed.Even though we’re still in the thick of it, we have some lessons for next year already. Carrots will be grown in a bed next year, they didn’t do well in the buckets! We need to really manure and compost the front bed that we made for squash. We didn’t put enough compost in it this year and that patch of soil was open to the elements for the previous two seasons so was lacking and the squash suffered for it. As our plan for that bed next year is three sisters, it’ll need a lot more nutrients to feed the corn, squash and beans. I also want to try more little squash but go back to growing full size butternuts.
Next week, we’ll do all our work on the plot on Friday before we go away, so on the list are feeding, picking and I’ll like to get the bulbs in and hack back the raspberries, digging them up will wait. I’d also like to get the lavender plants that aren’t going into pots in the ground. So not too much, most of the other allotment jobs are marked ‘to do after the holiday!’