Summer on the plot

It’s a good time of year to be on the allotment. Nearly all the of the available space is planted and the hard work is done. Weeding and watering are now the main tasks and, taking the typical British weather into account, we haven’t had to do much of the latter. It’s nice to be able to potter around on the plot without a long list of jobs waiting to be done.

We recently harvested some of the red onions and garlic that we planted late last year and have laid them out in trays to dry out in the shed. In time we will string the onions. Although it’s a time-consuming task we’ve found that they will last for many months if this is done properly so it’s worth making the effort. The garlic looks to have worked well this year – we’ve certainly got enough to see us through to the next harvest.

Of course, the soft fruit has gone into overdrive of late and there are no complaints about that. We’ve had exceptional amounts of red currants and black currants in particular. There are also plenty of raspberries of strawberries. Experiments in making puddings with them continue, but mostly they are eaten raw – often straight from the bushes. Some will go into the freezer and be turned into jam later in the year.

Another success, so far this year, is the sweetcorn. It’s already a couple of feet high and looking strong. The current warm, humid weather is just what it thrives on. No doubt the badgers have been round for a first look at it in order to plan their raid later in the season. Hopefully they won’t get it all this year.

In another ten days or two weeks the first of our salad leaves will be ready for picking. These have always worked well in the past and this year we seem to have been left alone by the slugs which definitely helps. From experience, once the salad leaves start growing we’ll end up with far more than we can eat. Must remember to plant more sparingly next year.

On the subject on slugs, they seem to have disappeared for the time being. That’s excellent news for us as they were abundant earlier in the season and we lost a fair few plants to them. No doubt they will be back next year, but for the time being we can enjoy a slug-free summer.

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