Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Let There Be Light!

 I am just amazed at the number of Beefmaster tomatoes I have this year. A good half dozen of these giants on each plant, and yet more to come. So heavy on the vine that quite a few supporting sticks have snapped under the weight.
 I have been down and cut back most of the foliage to allow the sunlight on to the fruit in order that they might ripen fully.  They don't grow much this time of year, so don't need the energy from so many leaves. The tops of the plants and most of the foliage covering the fruit is now gone. You can see how many tomatoes on just one plant from this photo!
 The same is happening to these Alicante tomatoes. Normally these do better under glass in a British Summer but these have been spectacular outdoors here too. Off come the leaves and let the sunshine do its work on the fruit.
 All of my Queensland Blue squash plants were volunteers this year. They germinated from the kitchen compost I placed around the garden.  Here I put a barrow load in my runner bean trench back in Spring. You can see the runner bean arch on the right of the photo, but this one plant has run riot! I think it is trying to escape into a neighbour's garden. I have cut the growing points off each of the vines to help put energy into the fruit and not the leaves.
 The same applies to pumpkins and squashes. I remove as much foliage as I can in order to allow sunshine to ripen the fruit. In the case of these Queensland Blue Winter squashes, they keep much better throughout the Winter if they can develop a good ripe skin on the outside, sunshine really helps here. They have a lovely dense, dry texture like a sweet potato.
 These lovely Delica squashes from Seeds of Italy were ripe a bit earlier in the season.  These are good Winter keepers as well, so they have been up on a roof in the sunshine for a couple of weeks to ripen the skin and harden them off.
I left a few of these Lebanese Squash to grow large as well. They have a nice creamy colour to the skin, but I'm not sure at the moment if they keep well or not. Generally, the more watery the flesh (like a marrow or a courgette) the shorter the shelf life.


At 9:43 PM, Blogger CJ said...

Wow, fabulous harvest, those tomatoes look amazing. Thanks for the tips about squashes as well, very useful to know. Hope you have a good weekend.

At 10:55 AM, Blogger suburban veg gardener said...

Those squash/pumpkins look great - especially the Delica ones!

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Kelli said...

You've had good outcomes with the squash. I have 2 plants (I thought were courgette until I read the label) that are big and beautiful but have not produced even one inkling of a fruit. They are green tint squash.

At 9:02 PM, Blogger weekendfarmer said...

Look at all the squash! Somehow the volunteers always do better than when you really put an effort to grow something - isn't it : )? Another bad year for me for pumpkins...but had melons. It will reverse next year for sure! Happy fall to you!

At 1:01 PM, Blogger George Geore said...

may i buy some lebanese squash seeds please. i used to have this kind but lost it. my email is

thank you in advance

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Matron said...

George, I'm afraid not - a friend gave me a couple of seeds to try. I'm sure you could google the name and find some,


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