The end of Summer

We have reached the end of summer and have dived head first into autumn! The crops are almost coming to an end; the courgettes, runner beans and cucumbers have thrived on our allotment. We will certainly be growing those next year.

The only thing we have left at the moment are our little pumpkins! I’m not sure how many will be ripe enough for Halloween. We have eleven in total. I will probably use the smaller ones in cooking and give away the larger ones… with the exception of one! The leaves were attacked by mildew, but this happened because I planted them far too close together. We live and learn. A mistake I won’t make again. The vines have started to die back, although I am not sure if this is because of the mildew or because it is just that time of year! A lot of people on the allotment have perfectly healthy vines, but I have seen several plots with vines like ours. Perhaps it varies depending on the variety. They will ripen off the vine, so if a frost is forecast I will cut them off.

Before the weather changed, we were able to finally finish painting the shed. I had left the back panel unpainted, purely because we had a lot of stuff stored at the back of the shed and didn’t have a place to put it. Tom managed to get the guttering erected. We had heard that heavy rainfall was forecast, so it was a race against time. We wanted utilise the excess water whilst we could… turns out we just didn’t have enough containers for it. The first water butt was full on the first day of the downpours. We were given another which was full the day after. I don’t know just how many butts we could have filled, but at least we know the guttering works!

The terrible frosting has finally been removed from the window, Tom purchased a little metal scraper which did the job perfectly. I can’t take credit for that though, I ended up planting up the window box instead [but I can take credit for the finishing touches, as seen below!] The shed is so much lighter inside now. We have also placed the chillies in front of the window, to protect them from the cooler temperatures. They absolutely love it in there!

As mentioned in a previous post, the tomato plants died back [from what turned out to be blight] and the plot was left almost empty. The only thing that remained was the cucumber. I purchased some small fruit bushes from Aldi of all places. They were just 69p each! The larger blackcurrant bushes were reduced to £3, I purchased these from a garden centre. The ground was dug over and compost was mixed in to replenish the nutrients.

Fruit bushes; blackcurrants, gooseberries and raspberries.

The potatoes have been harvested and the ground will need to be dug over and compost added. The lettuce we planted ended up bolting, but we have left it in the ground for now as it has been too boggy to remove them. Hopefully, the constant downpours are coming to an end.

Summer feels like such a distant memory now, it hasn’t even been a month since the days became cooler. I have never been one for hot weather, but I already find myself yearning for warmer, longer days at the allotment.

One evening at the allotment.