Friday, September 02, 2005

Time for a Holiday and Late Blight but Plenty of Colour

As we edged into August I had to plan for leaving the plots alone for 3 weeks whilst we went away. The ground was reasonably damp so I was happy enough on the watering front but I made a special effort to clear as many weeds as I could before we left.

The harvest has also been going on very well, some great Cauli and Calabrese have made it into the freezer and the French beans have been cropping well.

I have grown 2 varieties, Opera and Kinghorn Wax. We did not like the texture of the Kinghorn so I have left them to pick as dried haricot beans for storage. The Opera though have been fantastic and again we have frozen plenty.

The January King cabbage look very good and parsnip, tender and true, should also see us very well in the winter. We have also just started to harvest dried borlotti beans, the red pods look very striking indeed.

The other main crop now ready is the sweet corn, around 60 plants. The cobs have been lovely and uniform and flavour is very good. Eating plenty fresh and also freezing plenty for later in the year.

As I have cleared the lettuce I have been following on with leek seedlings, Lyon, Argentan and Musselbrough.

On the flower from we have been picking bunch after bunch of cornflowers. These last very well and have lovely soft colours. The chrysanthemums are just starting to open too and I am very please with how they look. They will provide colour right up until frosts arrive. The real winner has been the ruby sunflowers though. They look stunning in the house and have been a real hit. Finally the asters are now ready and provide lovely long stems easy to arrange.

But it has not all been good news. Just before we left I noticed the first signs of blight on the Sungold tomatoes. I picked them clean and removed the plants. I did the same with Alicante as well. The green fruit was washed and taken home to ripen, most have been OK but we have lost about 30% of the crop.

The other two varieties, Ferline and San Marzona seemed to be OK but I sprayed to be safe. Upon return San Marzona were also effected and I again stripped the plants and removed them. The yield is huge and I hope they ripen well. So far so good. The Ferline still look OK but just a couple fruit effected. I have left these to ripen on the vine and they are a very good size. Fingers crossed!




San Marzona


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