Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Sunday, December 07, 2008

End of Year Report - Plot A (misc.)

Plot A was legumes last year, & so should have been brassicas over winter, then the short season miscellaneous crops this summer.

In reality, the only brassicas that we had over winter were some curly kale plants. I love curly kale (we’ve grown a flat-leaved kale this year, but I’ve found that I prefer the curly kale) & the few plants of a dwarf variety were not nearly enough.

We had 7 varieties of tomato, & interplanted with five squash varieties. Overall, the tomatoes were not great – although they were better looking plants than last year’s (which were planted out late & leggy), I didn’t keep a good enough eye on them with regards to side shooting & staking. In retrospect, being rather more ruthless about only allowing a limited number of trusses to set would have been a good move too.

The blight did for them in the end, but we did have some ripe tomatoes which was an improvement on last year! Of the varieties grown, the heritage broad ripple yellow currant cherry tomato was prolific & tasty; the alicante & harbinger good looking but not over tasty & the paul robeson black beef tomato was juicy & good, but in general the beef tomatoes were disappointing.

The squash were much more successful! I discovered that there are many different varieties of squash, & we grew winter squash – pumpkins & similar, whose skins cure & harden & keep well – & they are proving very tasty too.

One of the plants had to be ditched as it had a mosaic virus, but the rest thrived – the most prolific in terms of growth & number of squash was the pomme d’or which must have yielded over 50 tennis ball sized fruit which are creamy when cooked.

The red kuri is another rambling squash which had about 4 orange 8-10” round fruit on each which are fleshy & sweet & make brilliant soup. The buttercup & redmolo squash are more compact bush varieties, which means that they are a lot less unruly than the ramblers, however, they have had fewer fruit.

Next year, I’ll make sure that we have a courgette plant or two – I’m not entirely sure why we didn’t get round to these this year – & we must also try a cucumber or two, these two crops can take some of the room that the tomatoes took this year – I’ll try growing tomatoes at home in an effort to finally thwart the blight...

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