Allotment Adventures: Garlic disaster

We tried again with garlic this year and we failed again. They got rust, they got white onion rot, they got allium leaf miner and noticing that everyone else had pulled theirs up, we took ours up. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either but we aren’t going to grow garlic again unless and until I can grow it in a polytunnel, the results aren’t good enough to justify the effort (especially considering that it’s not that much effort). We also de-raspberried the bed and Ma (because she did it so well last year!) will sow chard in there sometime over the next couple of weeks. It’s a bigger bed as I’m hoping to have more to pick over the winter. Last year’s bed we picked every two to three weeks in midwinter but I’m hoping to have enough plants we can pick every week all through winter.Ma picked the last of the broad beans and pulled them up, they were utterly infested with blackfly so it was time. In the next few weeks I’ll plant the leeks out in that bed and the one next to it.

While Ma weeded. I thinned the carrots and beetroot, neither crop is ready yet but the beetroot greens are great as a spinach/chard substitute and the carrot tops make our first pesto of the year!The autumn raspberries are fruiting but have taken a bashing from the bloody pigeons! So we put net over the raspberries and the blueberries. I sense a fruit cage in my future! Especially as I bought another blackcurrant plant this week, so yes I need to find somewhere to put them until the autumm/winter.On Saturday on the way back from West Ealing, I bumped into a friend from the allotments, who said she didn’t really have a concrete reason to but she was feeling a bit disheartened by the plot and I knew exactly what she meant. Nothing is really wrong. All my tiny tomatoes are still alive, the peas, salad, carrots and beetroot are doing well. Things are growing, and ok yes I’ve lost a courgette plant but I have a spare that can go in that space and I do have six other plants that seem to be going well. It’s just that there seem to be aphids all over the plot, it’s so dry and it seems like I need to defend everything from the pigeons or the foxes and I’ve lost 5 winter squashes and the cucumbers are looking very unhealthy!It will all be ok, and soon it will stop raining…


About nicdempsey

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