SEPTEMBER 2010

16th September. Half way through the month and the weather has turned.

I’ve had some aphids (or whitefly or whatever, who knows, they are little and horrid and eating my plants) in the polytunnel and have had to spray them, and get rid of the last of the lettuce and some kale.

I’ve dug up and stored the first half of the potatoes and am waiting for a nice dry day to do the rest.

I’ve harvested the first of the squash, but I think I’m only going to get about 10 fruits. mental note for next year FEWER PLANTS AND MORE CARE!!!! 

Tomatoes are online and cropping daily. Shame the salad crop is finished. MENTAL NOTE for next year… keep planting salad crops (and other things) right into August/September. It’s hard because when you’re groaning under produce, planting new seedlings seems a crazy thing to do. But that’s SUCCESSIONAL SOWING for you.

Have sowed some more kale plants (these are a winter necessity not a luxury) in the potting shed to isolate them from the pests and will transplant when they are a) big enough and b) all sign of polytunnel pest has gone.

The courgettes are looking like they’re on their last legs, the final four plants are nearly exhausted but boy have we had masses of courgettes. Finally the freezer is full so I’ve had to give some away, and we are nearly sick of the sight of ratatouille, but I’m sure we’ll enjoy the frozen offerings in midwinter.

Outside the leeks are looking good. The Brussels were caterpillared earlier but I think we may get some (I won’t be eating them) and the onions/beetroot that I planted out in the early potato bed appear to be actually growing (more than can be said for the cabbage seedlings planted at the same time) Whether they will come to anything before frost/winter sets in who can say.  But I’m hopeful for some ‘spring’ onions and baby beets come the end of October.

The last of the cabbages are looking a bit pitifully small in the polytunnel and the odd slug manages to get in there now.  There are 3 small green peppers on the pepper plants. As anticipated the plug plants came too late and too small and require more heat than I can give them in the time so that’s a failure really. 

Basically the rest of the month will be tending squash and tomato and getting ready to plant overwintering crops in the polytunnel when there’s space available.

We took the potatoes out on the first dry day – nearly 3 weeks after cutting the haulms back. We got a decent harvest without too many spoils, but the ground was still pretty wet when taking them out and they’ve been drying in the garage for a week. From there they’ve been stored into 4 bags – Big, Medium, Small and  “Not top quality, to be eaten as soon as possible” plus there’s a load in the fridge for IMMEDIATE IMMEDIATE consumption.  I hope the stored ones will last because the ones in the to be eaten as soon as possible bag will keep us going through October at least!!!!  If the others do store properly (ie if I remove them from the garage when it gets cold enough to frost damage them UNLIKE last year) we should be okay till well into January!

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