Globe artichokes look really punky when they're in flower; all spikes and purple mohican. Should really have cut the buds off before they flowered and eaten them: It would have helped the plant too, which was taken from a cutting this year and used up energy producing the flowers, which otherwise could have been used to establish it into a healthier plant for future crops. Then again, bees and other insects appreciate the flowers too.
Smugly self-sufficient in vegetables and fruit so far this month: Daily harvests of beans, lettuce, sweetcorn, spinach beet, tomatoes and raspberries. Lots of windfall apples about and potatoes, marrows, onions and garlic in storage. Basil, chillies, parsley and coriander still growing well in pots. The freezer is now full up with blackcurrants, redcurrants, strawberries, apple, gooseberries, plums, rhubarb, peas, broad beans and sweetcorn. Still need to visit the baker and the dairy though.
Getting regular small harvests from the new autumn fruiting raspberry canes, planted six months ago. A job to keep them vaguely weed free and watered as the plants establish. The yellow variety, 'Autumn Gold' are just as vigorous and tasty as the red.
Spinach beet always seems to grow well here; better then spinach, which often bolts and runs away to seed from being too wet or too dry. It's not quite as tasty as ordinary spinach, but better than chard, which also has quite tough white stalks.
Some of the plots at the allotment already have bare soil, some meticulously weeded, others covered over and put to bed for the season. It seems a bit premature, when beans, lettuce and spinach still thrive, leek and brassica seedlings need space to establish for the winter and it's worth planting a crop of garlic and broad beans while the soil's still warm.
Much better harvest from the second, later crop of french beans, (aka cobra beans or climbing beans) mostly due to improved watering, weeding and feeding and a sunnier position. Ambitiously planted out some final late seedlings, but there may not be enough daylight to see them to fruition next month.
A little late in clearing ground and planting out some kale seedlings that have been nibbled and pecked a bit, although hopefully they'll recover as they're a useful winter veg. These are a dwarf variety, not the best, so it's worth sowing as many as possible. Trying a final late sowing now to use up a packet of seeds before the expiry date.
Along with all the usual stuff, harvested some celery today, some of which was showing signs of celery leaf blight (a virus that hangs around in the soil and makes the leaves wilt and die) and needed removing. The rest is fine and although the stalks are thin, they're full of flavour and good for cooking with. Spending more time in the kitchen than at the allotment now, cooking or preserving all the goodness.
It took ages to get lettuce growing earlier in the year, when it was too wet, cold or dry for the seeds to germinate and there were lots of slugs around to nip off any that did emerge. These are the first to do well from direct sowing into the soil; others were sown in modules and transplanted or harvested. Hoping some. of which there are about half a dozen varieties, might survive through the winter.
Crikey! September again and the accompanying panic and melancholia at the passing of the summer and shortening of the days. Still, plenty to harvest in reward for all the work months ago, when the days were lengthening. Trending (?) this week; sweetcorn, french beans, lettuce and windfall apples.