Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Autumn already?

We had a bit of a clear up this morning. The pruned raspberry canes proved to be too short to be kept for pea sticks. Last year's canes were nearly half as long again. It goes to show what a difficult year it has been and still no real rain. We cut the peas, mange touts and broad beans off at ground level, leaving their roots to feed the soil from their nitrogen nodules. All the tops went for composting. Last year's pea sticks came up without a problem so we'll keep them for next year.

There was a courgette to take along with four nice beetroot and some tomatoes. We now have only about a dozen onions left to lift, the rest are either drying, hanging up at home or we've eaten them. I took the garlic home from the shed to hang up too. It is good garlic, but very mild, if anything a touch too mild.  The sweetcorn cobs are still fattening, both it and the courgettes need more rain. Our sweet peas are still producing flowers, but only just. The red cabbage is just about beginning to produce hearts. Parsnips and leeks look fine, but some of the leeks are a bit small still.

All of this tidying up makes it feel like autumn. Some of the trees around the village are clearly suffering from the lack of rain, with horse chestnut and sycamore both showing yellowing in their leaves. Even a couple of beech trees look yellow, which is a problem because beech trees are known for losing a big branch suddenly if they under stress. The apples on the two small trees near the entrance to the allotment have a lot of apples, many are already quite red, but they are very small.

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