April -July 2007


Oct-Dec 07

March 07


Sunday 22nd April 2007
I think I should formally sign off for a while. Having spent the past two weeks off work, one of them in hospital, I had better come clean and admit that my poor allotment is just not going to get much TLC this season. I am currently growing a human instead, with a due date of November, and itīs causing all sorts of  havoc with my system, specifically something horrible called hyperemesis which is very extreme morning sickness. Basically I canīt stop being sick. So food is not something I think of often, and itīs so debilitating that I can do nothing except sit about like a pudding or sleep. So there you have it. Entries will hopefully resume at some point when the sickness subsides. Meanwhile, I hope everyoneīs gardens grow well, and I shall be back as soon as my proto-child lets me!

Monday 25th June 2007
I am almost at a stage where I might be able to start irregular updates again. I was off work and unable to do anything physical until the end of May in the end, and then eased back into the work fold as the sickness finally started to subside. I lost all my lovely seedlings though, as I couldnīt even manage to water them at one stage. I am now at a point where Iīm eating every couple of hours or so but only being sick every few days, so a huge improvement. I wish I could say the same about both my poor garden (now a jungle of grass) and allotment plot. I went up (with assistance, in case I fell) on Saturday, for the first time since the last proper entry. Yikes. I have spires of seeding vegetables everywhere! The spinach is most enthusiastic about this - great green masses, but closely followed by the purple sprouting broccoli (Sniff! Missed it all...) and the impressive parsnips. I shall be able to try some serious seed-saving, thatīs one positive!! Some carrots remained to seed as well, and the verina leeks are also looking very pompommy, which is great as Iīll be able to use those, given the loss of my only supplier. Even if they were F1, Iīm sure some of the saved seeds will give me interesting plants! The potatoes which Iīd managed to get planted are looking rather nice, and so four of them got dug up by my Dad even though Iīd no clue which was planted where. (Iīd written the plan on a paper way back when, so no chance of really knowing now, apart from the close-together ones are earlies!)
Garlic was disappointing - tiny bulbs, most of which have no foliage as itīs rotted in the (still) torrential rain. No surprise there. No Bramley apples this year (thank goodness! I canīt quite see myself being capable of picking them with bump) though the Spartan looks good again and the Early Windsor is covered for the first time. Greengage bit of disaster as the support has broken and itīs trying to collapse. Fruit coming on rapidly - picked large punnet of goosegogs from the dessert one. Couldnīt get to the green ones - too overgrown. Couldnīt get into orchard either for same reason and Dad had a job to pull the remaining unrotted rhubarb. But at least we are getting something despite ignoring it all for (crumbs!) three whole months.
I also owe Chris a massive and public thankyou as sheīs cleared one smaller bed, covered another with weed-suppressing fabric and popped in some lovely-looking tomatoes. I shall get green tomato chutney after all! Though if this rain continues, itīll be a battle to get even green ones before the blight hits.
Anyway, I am hopeful that given a seating pad or stool, I shall be able to come up and park myself on the wood edging and weed gently from a seated position without straining anything. The long-handled Wolf tools should come in very handy here. I have a nice bump appearing, so canīt bend properly any more in any case!
The potatoes tasted lovely (for once not floury). Red Duke of York and a small early white with red eyes. Er. Think it was the Osprey I planted there! Very large number of tubers from two plants, so I shall leave those rows be so they can bulk up a bit. But they do very nicely as a small early. That means somewhere thereīs 6 Charlotte and 6 Royal Kidneys. Surprise spuds this year!

Wednesday 11th July
The news from the UKīs veg-growing community is not good this year. Things just arenīt growing with the cool, rainy weather. Courgettes are apparently rotting before pollination and potato/tomato crops are collapsing due to blight. The supermarkets are forecasting price increases of 10%. I guess I couldnīt have picked a better year to not do much...because even if Iīd been 100% it would have been a battle.
On the upside, the consensus is that bush soft fruitīs not been so good for years. It likes cool and damp (raspberries a case in point) so at least not everything is a washout. From my current situation, I seem to have saved myself a lot of stress by not actually planting much! But the potatoes were there, and I didnīt want to lose what little I did manage to plant, even though I have been summarily banned from digging by Sir and just about everyone else. So I twisted his arm and up we went. Blight doesnīt seem to have got us yet, though some of the spud plants have died back and Iīm not sure if that is why. The remaining plants look fine, nothing like the tomato attack I got last summer, and Iīd have expected all of them to be affected if one or two were dead. Sir dug up enough new potatoes to keep us going for a couple of weeks. Then I set him on the raspberries (on the grounds that if I picked them, Iīd eat half of them before getting home...) and went to see what the redcurrants were up to. Two large containers later I still hadnīt managed to pick over the Jonkheer van Tets, which is horizontal under the weight. The Red Start is not far behind but not quite fully ripe yet. Got a handful of huge blackcurrants but decided I was to tired to pick more and I needed to sit down. So decamped to the dessert gooseberry and picked a punnet of those too. They are over-ripe really, have got so sweet they taste like sherbet, and are a pain to pick thanks to the netting I never got a chance to reposition, and which is anchored in place by the new shoots and thorns... Found that Chris (bless her) had cleared the garlic bed, and had also shoved sweetcorn in another. There are some fantastic folk in this world. 
 The other main fruit crop I look forward to is the blueberries, and they also seem to be doing very nicely. The newer one is covered and growing some of the largest berries Iīve ever got. The older one which I left unpruned has a few berries on, but the really good news is that the one I cut back to a stump is indeed regenerating, with 4-5 new shoots from both the stump and the base! Excellent news: I shall hopefully be able to bring it back into production, and then do similar with the other old one. The two that are still at home are also doing remarkably well, given theyīre only 18" high!

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