What happens when you don’t visit your plot for three weeks

I’ve been bad.

Very bad.

Since my last post about the allotment, which was three weeks ago, I have not been up there, which is a bad time of year not to go to your allotment, as I may not have (successfully) grown that much, I still had some stuff needing harvesting, but ugh, just been so busy.

Anyway, this was what happened to the courgettes.

Notice the two giants? I removed them (although I won’t be eating them) to try and encourage the plants to produce a few more last gasp courgettes, as there are a few flowers left, even though the leaves are starting to die off.

And this is how Apple Tree Senior is doing.

As you can see something has been enjoying my apples before me (anyone know what precisely has been causing those holes?). The tree itself looks awful, pretty much like how it looked when I inherited the plot this time last year (minus the apples, which must have been harvested early). There are still some harvestable apples (although they’re covered in baby snails and snail poo), although when I harvest them, most don’t come off at the stalk, instead you pull an apple off and a bit of branch comes with it to (that doesn’t sound normal). I harvested a few, not wanting to take all of them as I have no idea how long this variety (as I don’t know what the variety actual is) keeps for, I still don’t know even if these are cooking or eating apples, so if anyone recognises them from the photos . . .

A big part of me is now hoping Apple Tree Junior does a little bit more than just stand there clinging onto life, as I am not happy with Apple Tree Senior, it just doesn’t seem right for the tree to be bent double like that and look in such bad condition by the time it comes to harvest. I am guessing (as I don’t know what sort of apple tree it is) that it’s some sort of tree that has been spliced onto dwarf root stock, but I don’t think a tree that size can obviously handle that heavier a crop. So if Apple Tree Junior manages to grow into a productive tree, I have a feeling I know what will happen to Apple Tree Senior.

Apples and lone reasonably sized courgette

As for everything else, well not even the birds wanted to eat my limited supply of raspberries, so I have a few rotting raspberries on my bushes at the moment. My aubergines and squashes are definitely not going to produce anything now (grrrrhhhh). My leeks are quite thin and my cabbages quite eaten (although not as much as next door) and I have beetroot to harvest. Oh and my one and only cucumber, that looked like it was doing quite nicely has stopped growing and turned a funny colour . . .

So what’s next for my allotment over winter? I had planned on getting a Rocket winter salad garden but they’re already sold out. I may still sow some green manure but other than that I need to concentrate on digging over (although at least it should be easier than last year) and hopefully finally clearing the last bit of plot and doing that building work that needs doing, so I can start next spring with a clean slate.

In the meanwhile I’ve gone back to having an organic veg box delivered . . .

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6 thoughts on “What happens when you don’t visit your plot for three weeks

  1. I feel bad for you. You live in an internet world, but you don’t know what kind of apple tree you have, and you don’t know what to do with large eggplant (there is nothing wrong with them, you know, you use them just the same). Do you know that you can just cut the bad spots off the apples and use them for anything? Make an apple crisp first – that will tell you if the apples keep their shape or turn to mush, and it will be tasty either way. It is normal for some of the wood to come off when you pick the apples – it has happened to me lots of times. Please Google “Square Foot Gardening”. It is super-easy and cheap to set up, virtually no weeds, lots more productivity, never have to turn the garden again. You are too busy to mess around the way you have been. I would guess that your senior apple tree needs to be pruned. Find someone in your area who has done it, and will teach you. And the fruit is too heavy for the tree because you didn’t thin it in the Spring. None of this stuff is rocket science. Look it up online or in the library. And do the Square Foot method, so you don’t have to hurt from weeding next year. And I probably sound rude, but if I were there, I would give you hugs, and you would know that it was meant with love.

  2. Hi Jennifer

    Thank you for your comment 🙂 I wish the large veg in the picture were eggplant (I tried to grow eggplant / aubergine this year but it didn’t work, I don’t think the summer we’ve had here has helped), they were courgettes / zucchini and I don’t like overly large ones, I think they taste too mushy.

    Thanks for the tip about the apple tree, I didn’t think about pruning it, I will definitely do that next spring, my dad’s a gardener (I sadly am not really) and will know how to do it, so I can get some tips from him, just have to drag him across country first 😉

    I will look up Square Foot Gardening to.

    1. Sorry I messed up the vegetable name. I must have Googled the wrong word! You will probably want to prune in the winter – spring is too late. Where I grew up, they did it in February. And you could always send your dad pictures from every angle, and he could tell you which branches to remove. Have a happy day:)

  3. save the giant courgettes! they are so useful and just as delicious. i found an out of print cookbook, The Zucchini Cookbook by Paula Simmons, at a tag sale this spring. it is full of wonderful recipes – most of which require the larger version of this prolific veggie. lots of cakes and sweets, soups/stews and casseroles. i took the 3 giants in my garden, seeded, shredded and stored them in the freezer for chocolate zucc cake and quiche during the winter.

    1. Almost exactly what I was going to say – seed and shred – zucchini muffins, bread, brownies, cake, add to tomato sauce, good stuff!!

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