Thursday 1 August 2013

In which I escape the Killer Apples From Above ...

Weather: Very hot sunny day, after plenty of rain. 82 degrees. Light south breeze.

I spent an afternoon chilling on the allotment in the shade, courtesy of a Sainsbury's cheapo choc-ice multipack and a Sentinel newspaper to insulate them in the shade a bit. And a pint-glass of water from the allotment tap. Nice to get an allotment with a strong bit of shade, I must say. But it is shade-by-apple-tree, so there's a literally growing chance of an apple falling on one's head...

Which can be a bit dangerous, once they get beyond about the size they are now. I'm just going to be sensible and start moving the seat further out, so there's no branch directly above me.

My courgettes are huge now and loving the heat and constant moisture. I had to cut about twelve flowers off them, or else I'd have had a glut I couldn't have coped with just by eating them. Big curries take a couple of the big ones quite nicely, chopped roughly. Smaller ones can be chopped up very finely, fried down, then added to a Campbells Condensed Mushroom soup along with a bit of shredded chicken and black pepper.

My strawberries don't seem to like being netted and have stopped making flowers, and thus stopped making strawberries. So I've taken the nets off completely for now, in the hope that the air and sun will make the flowers return. Possibly they need feeding with some more fertiliser.

Some of my potato plants are also struggling. Most are coping, but about three have died back with yellow leaves. I was going to start lifting some young potatoes anyway, so it's not a great loss — as long as the wilt doesn't take my whole crop.

Got some nice oak galls forming on my tiny oak tree. Since hearing this week's BBC Radio 4 wildlife programme I now know that an oak gall can be a home to many different types of useful micro-wildlife. The hairy multicoloured galls are apparently the best, though.

And here's a peek through the hedge at one of the nice sheds at the back of me. A great advert for having a "secret allotment hideaway", if ever I saw one!

Had a visit from a young black cat too, although she didn't stop.

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