Allotment Adventures: Drought

It’s been a while, I’ve not really had the energy to write about the plot because I’m exhausted by all the watering. We’re in the driest July since 1911, and London and the South East has had just 11% of its average rainfall.

It’s dry, the beds are dry and the paths are cracking. Fruit is small, things are wilting and while I have lots of established plants, the soft fruit is having an amazing year, things are finishing already, we’ve got all the plums we’re going to get (about 4kg) and the leaves are already falling, in July. That’s not normal.

Some of my bigger tomatoes have blossom end rot. It’s caused by a lack of calcium, the fruits can’t get calcium because there isn’t enough water and the RHS says that you shouldn’t let soil dry out. Which is really difficult at the moment. So from the weekend, I’ve committed to daily watering, and will hope that’s enough. We already have a hosepipe ban on the allotment and it’s really difficult to keep everything moist when it never rains and I’m are hand watering with two, 10 litre watering pots. It takes about an hour so it’s a big chunk of time, especially on days when I’m in the office. Anyway I shall persevere because I want tomatoes. We’re nearly there with the gardeners sweetheart, there will definitely be tomatoes for my birthday!

Hang on little tomato

There will also be patty pans and straightneck squash, but there probably won’t be courgettes. There seem to have been some confusion and instead of courgettes, I have some kind of winter squash, the crooknecks seem to be patty pans as well. I have no idea what happened, whether it was labelling (I did it wrong) or the seeds I sowed weren’t what they said they were (someone else’s fault!) but I’m too far along in the season to do anything about it so bonus winter squash!

Not a courgette plant!

There will also be cucumbers, beetroot and potatoes. The potatoes have all been earlier that planned, we’ll replant four pots of potatoes in the hope we get more but this year it feels like we did the perfect amount. The beetroots are having a fantastic year, I think it’s because I didn’t thin them! Cukes are on their way.

We’re not having a great bean year, because of the heat and the drought, I’m going to pull them up next week and sow some more. Harvests have been a bit stop/start this year but we’ve got something every week and I’m still working through our onion harvest! The last of the carrots came up this week too, I sowed some more and we’ll see if I can keep them wet enough to germinate!

I’m glad it’s not my first year, it’s difficult but not as disheartening as last year when it was so wet. Global warming leads to unstable climate, this is where we are!

All things considered, it’s looking pretty good!

About nicdempsey

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