Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer Holidays

The first of Ollie's Sunflowers have just ripened. This time I managed to save one before the squirrels stole them! You might notice that the bottom side of this flower has a few bites out of it already! So I decided to save a few seeds for next year and wondered if the chickens might like the rest?

Chicken Pattie and Chicken Joloff are coming to stay with me for their Summer Holidays while DaVikka is away on business in Kenya and Uganda.

These chickens will eat anything! They polished off a small handful of blackberries!

A bit curious at first about the sunflower head, but soon started pecking away!

Meanwhile elsewhere on the plot.. I'm not really that impressed with my F1 courgette 'Soleil'. In my opinion, their texture is much more dense, hard even and they are not particularly prolific either. The skin is actually quite tough when compared with my usual green courgettes 'Defender' and 'Black Forest'. Worth trying new things all the time because new improved varieties are sometimes better.... but not this time!

San Marzano plum tomato seems to be ripening well. I've not grown a plum tomato before, but as some of them end up as sauce anyway I thought I might try a drier, meatier cooking tomato for a change.

We had our first good downpour of rain a few days ago. London has been as dry as a desert for months, and despite the ocasional watering with a garden hose, it is not really ideal for leeks. I gave them a little weeding, attention and watering to give them a boost. These are an F1 variety called 'Oarsman'. I have not grown these before but they were recommended to me by a nice man from the National Vegetable Society... so he should know!


At 10:53 PM, Blogger Bangchik said...

Still not a single bird came and disturbed sunflower seeds in my little garden... It is nice to see tomato ripening well.. ~bangchik

At 12:59 AM, Blogger Annelie said...

Beautiful pictures of harvest.
Really love your furry cucumber. Hope you get some more next year.

At 3:13 AM, Blogger Kalena Michele said...

Chickens are too cute. Very beautiful sunflower seeds. I'm trying to figure out a quick and easy way to remove the shells from the seeds.

At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Marian(LondonUK) said...

I am glad your San Marzanos are ripening. I grew a few and the plants are huge but so few fruits ripening. Maybe I am impatient for them! Love the Chucks. A friend has just adopted 4 ex-battery hens. 3 years old and their first time in the great outdoors.
Marian (LondonUK)

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

The sunflowers look perfect (except for the nibble bites!). Those leeks look like they are progressing nicely despite your dry summer.

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi Matron,We will have lots of sunflowers to save seeds from, yours seeds seem to be black and shiny compared to the ones we had last year is this the type of flower or how was it ripend?

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

My chickens love fruit too. In fact, they love big slices of courgette - you might 'use up' your unsatisfactory ones like this.

Very dry here too. I just can't water enough.

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Greenmantle said...

I prefer the yellow variety of courgette specifically beacuse they are a bit denser and less watery. Much better for grilling or frying in my mind. But Soleil has disappointed before now. "Jemmer" is better as I recall.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Hi Matron. I don't feel its been a very good year in the garden to be honest. Everything seemed to start off with great promise but then sort of ground to a halt. I took some sunflower seeds of a bird table last spring and they have grown really well, I haven't measured them but they must be at least ten foot tall so I am going to do like you and save some seed from one of them. Rob.

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

I have grown oarsman leeks quite a few times and they have always worked well for me.


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