Welcome to Lesley Upton’s allotment blog, where she explains what fruit and veg she is growing on her allotment in September. Here she looks at the spring onions, beetroot, carrots, squash, potatoes and leeks on her Berkshire plot
I’ve been really pleased with the produce from my allotment over the past year. I’ve had success with broad beans, strawberries, lettuces, carrots, potatoes, sweetcorn, runner beans, French beans, spring onions and beetroot. Not so good were the onions (not one was worth saving), garlic (I kept three out of about 20) and peas (they were swamped by weeds because I didn’t pay them enough attention and the pigeons got to them). The cauliflowers didn’t do too well, either. Maybe I didn’t water them enough.
Growing well, though, are the Brussels sprouts, parsnips and cabbages.
Spring onions and beetroot
I grew ‘Guardsman’ spring onions this year, instead of my usual ‘White Lisbon’, and I’m really pleased with the results. I must have picked about five bunches over the past couple of months – and they have quite an intense flavour. I’ll certainly be growing them again next year.
The ‘Boltardy’ beetroot also grew well. Many people at the allotment said it was a good year for beetroot, whichever variety they sowed. I’ll stick to my tried-and-trusted ‘Boltardy’ again next year, I think. My neighbour certainly likes it!
Carrots and squash
For the first time ever, I had a crop of carrots grown in the ground. Normally I grow ‘Early Nantes’ in tubs or plastic containers, but this year I also tried sowing them straight into the ground. And I was so pleased with the crop! Pictured are just a few from a row I sowed next to the spring onions. I seem to have finally found the soil they like to grow in!
The butternut squash should be ready next month, so I’m making sure they receive plenty of water. I’m always caught out by how far they spread – and this year is no exception. I’m trying to ‘train’ them to grow in a particular direction!
Wow! What a year for main crop potatoes. The row of ‘Picasso’ potatoes I planted back in March has really come good. In fact, I have never grown potatoes so big. There are definitely quite a few baking potatoes in what I’ve dug up so far, and other people on the allotment have said their potatoes are a good size, too.
The ‘Desiree’ variety were good, but not so big. I’ve grown both varieties for a few years now and will continue to do so.
So far, the leeks are the best I’ve ever grown – apart from the leek rust. The bright orange pustules on the leaves are a dead giveaway, and I think the humid conditions a few weeks ago might have contributed to it. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot I can do, but remove the worst affected leaves and make sure I don’t compost them.
I won’t be pulling up the leeks until October at the earliest, so I hope they don’t get a lot worse. I haven’t had leek rust for a few years now – last year it was leek moths that caused the damage!
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