For many of us here in England, we have had an exceptional Summer. Its broke records in high temperatures and in droughts.. And I know my husbands arms have ached from watering our large plot daily during the height of the heat and drought by carrying watering cans back and forth from the water troughs for two hours solid each morning just to keep the crops from wilting away.
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Dahlia’s that give me cut flowers and bundles of joy.
But all of that effort was worth it. Above you can see the Dahlia’s, to begin with they would soon dry up because of the lack of rain. But after several solid days of heavy downpours over the last few weeks, they have opened up and the tiny black flea beetles seem to have left them alone now. But they were covered in them in the heat. To give you an idea how large these particular plants are they come well above my waist in height. And some of their blooms are as big as saucers.
I searched on-line for tips about riding crops of these little pests without chemicals I found several on how to get rid of Flea Beetles safely not using any chemical sprays I found here on the The Old Farmers Almanac Site
From the Old Farmers Almanac Site
- Try this homemade spray to control flea beetles: 2 cups rubbing alcohol, 5 cups water, and 1 tablespoon liquid soap. Test out the mixture on a leaf of the plant, let it sit overnight, then spray the rest of the plant if you don’t notice any adverse effects. Spray the mixture on the foliage of garden plants that are susceptible to these pests.
- Dusting your plants with plain talcum powder repels flea beetles on tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and other plants.
- Use white sticky traps to capture flea beetles as they jump.
- Insecticides may be used early in the season, but are generally unnecessary in the control of flea beetles on adult plants. Be extra diligent if your soil has history of bacterial diseases. Please contact your local nursery or cooperative extension for further advice.
A bucket full of Dahlias and some Gladioli
Taking you from the Top of the allotment plot to the bottom near the sheds you can see you how much digging has been done.. And this year, my husband has done all of this hard work himself.. A couple of hours every morning he is slowly working his way down the plot to the sheds, digging and clearing as he goes..
We just arrived on the plot, walking our way down to the sheds.
The space you see below is where the potatoes were planted.. And the Butternut Squash. It has been a very Poor year this year for our dear old Spuds.. The drought has really took its toll on the yield of our crop. Last year we had four bags of potatoes, that lasted right up until May, and we threw some away which had sprouted.
This year we have only One full bag, so a quarter of only of last years crop.. Local farmers are also saying the same.. So Potato prices I can see will rise as a result. And if our weather patterns are going to keep being so extreme, in droughts and floods, then I can only see more price rises and food shortages coming in the future..
So folks now is a good time to start planning to think about growing your own.. Not only it is more healthier, as it’s not dosed in chemicals, but it’s very rewarding, especially if you get young children involved..
On our allotments the School has a plot and this week each day a different class of young infants have been in wellies and the allotments have been buzzing with the sound of their laughter and chatter and squeals, as they dig out worms and learn about growing food..
Its been really good to see and this year more parents have been roped in to lend a hand at digging. It’s a joy to see.
Here at the bottom were where the potatoes were. On the left you can see the leeks. And in the foreground are two rows of Swedes.
Here we have Beetroot and Rainbow Chard, then Cabbages and then Brussels Sprouts. What you cannot see behind there are Parsnips.
Unfortunately the Cabbage thief stole another of our largest cabbages, Seems they enjoyed the other one that much they came back for seconds.. 🙂 Hope they really enjoyed it.. But at least they weren’t greedy, as we have had whole rows of onions taken before.. The leeks are easy targets too.. So I hope they spread out their dinners by gathering not from just one plot!.. Fingers Crossed!!…
Sprouts and Kidney beans
Kidney Beans and under the cloche are young Spring Cabbage for next year.
Behind the red currant bush are the loganberries and raspberry canes, these have all but finished and this area is the next to be worked on and weeded and dug through.
This is the Red Currant bush that gave us a bumper yield, and made up for the fruit that got lost when our freezer broke.
The butternut squash has done well this year, and we learnt through our mistake last year too.. We didn’t allow enough time for the stem to dry out which resulted in some of they perishing and rotting early, So last year we froze a lot. This year we hope we have stored them right so they can keep as they are for longer.
Butternut Squash, Around 42
This area of the plot has yet to be dug and tidied up, here are lettuce and Carrots under the netting.
The Greenhouse has given us lots of tomatoes and cucumbers this year, and the glut meant I made lots of tomato soup too.
Below you see the sweetcorn and again this was another good year for sweetcorn, and that is now safely stored in our new economical freezer, along with raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries and loganberries and red currants.
Sweetcorn prepared and packed for the freezer
I hope you have enjoyed the plot, next time will be some Autumn pictures of the home garden flowers and what my knitting needles have been creating.
Happy Autumn Gardening!
Until next time..