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

Saturday, August 22, 2015

August on the Plot

 These last few memories are going to be precious. This is one of my Country Taste beefsteak tomatoes. Really lovely, smooth tomatoes.  Coming along nicely.
 These Gardeners Delight tomatoes always seem to grow in a double string of pearls. Just perfect for one mouthful!
 Meanwhile, in the greenhouse these Joe's Long chillis are weighting down the branches of the plant.  I'm getting near to the time when I will measure them to find my longest chilli to enter into the Guinness World record attempt.
 Just a small one here, this is a variety of Pumpkin Rouge Vif D'Etamps which turns a gorgeous Autumnal, dark orange colour.
And for the first time, I am growing melons!  Minnesota Midget melons are a small variety which have a short growing season, so they seem to be doing OK outdoors here in the UK.

Everything just seems more precious than usual at the moment.  I am savouring every last minute of the joy of growing fruit and veggies.  In the next few weeks I will have to say goodbye to more than 30 years on this patch... I'm coming up with an alternative plan... so Matron is not going away...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bountiful Harvest

 This post is written with some sadness.. 9 years of blogging about my allotment.. more than half a million page hits (I can't believe it!) and a world full of friends. Things are about to change.  The aforementioned allotment is actually at the end of a very large garden, my Mothers garden.
 It very much looks like this harvest may well be the last at this location.  The house is being renovated to be rented out as we speak.  Care home fees must be paid for.  I have never been without a patch of land to grow my own veggies.. and that time is coming.
But fear not my faithful readers!  There is much to blog about! Even if it is a growbag on a balcony, or a tomato in a pot, Matron will strive to keep you entertained.  When the next few weeks or months is done with I will set about finding a REAL allotment!Let's hope the waiting list is not too long.  Growing veggies is a way of life for me, so is blogging.. now!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Five a Day

 Well, this is the time of the allotment year when everything is coming along in gluts!  There is no need to worry about getting your 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.  One very useful lesson I learned is about choosing which seedlings to plant out.  When the advice says sow 2 or 3 seeds in a pot and plant out the strongest.. THIS IS GOOD ADVICE.  Being a bit of a scrimper and a saver I planted 3 Defender courgette seeds in the Spring.  One came up strong and healthy, the other two took ages to germinate and always looked spindly.  Nevertheless, I planted all 3 out and guess what?  The other two plants continue to be a waste of space. Never really looking happy and not producing very much at all.  Note to self... Choose the healthy seedling and get rid of the time wasters!
 Lovely Sungold tomatoes in the greenhouse are ripening every day.  This really is my favourite tasting tomato.  I've tried lots and lots of others... this is the best tasting.
 This is another good variety of beefsteak tomato called Country Taste.  Beautiful round, nicely shaped tasty tomato.  This is the one to have with sliced mozzarella, olive oil and fresh basil leaves.
 Meanwhile my greenhouse chilli Joe's Long is getting longer.  I am growing this as part of a competition to get in the Guinness Book of Records for the World's longest chilli.   Being organised by Joy at Sea Spring Seeds, it is worth having a go !
 Lovely greenhouse cucumber Dalizia is cropping well, but I have another attack of the dreaded spider mite in the greenhouse.  I thought I had conquered them last year with my greenhouse hygeine measures and with some natural predatory mites.   Oh well, lesson learned!
Meanwhile these Rouge Vif D'Etamps pumpkins are plodding along.  Keeping them watered and fed with home made comfrey liquid.  Note to self... keep bucket of smelly comfrey juice out of reach of thirsty Labrador!!!