Recently, I posted my thoughts on 2015, and why I felt it had been a tough year on the allotment. Nothing seemed to click, and even the vegetables that I have never failed to grow struggled.
Squashes, French beans, and even beets were down on numbers, whilst the blackfly took out my broad beans and had a good old scrap with the runner beans.
However, all was not lost, and this is a cheery allotment blog. Redressing the balance and reminding myself that no year is ever a complete disaster, here are 5 veg that were good this year and brought me great joy both on the patch and in the kitchen.
What can you say about the good old courgette plant? Allotment life really wouldn’t be the same without the courgette glut and the annual hunt for new ways to cook the seemingly endless stream of fruit.
This year was no exception, but I think I’ve found a way of getting just about the right amount of courgettes: grow one plant!
Just one solitary plant produced enough courgettes for a family of three, and no wastage or dodgy recipes.
One courgette plant, the future! Manageable harvests and more room for other crops.
My tomatoes avoided blight this year, despite two of the four plants growing almost like ground cover. The vines got intertwined with strong trailing cucumber plants and by the time I’d spotted this they’d decided that they didn’t fancy growing upwards.
I thought this might mean poor air circulation and dampness around the fruits, but this can’t have been the case as I’ve had a decent crop of Moneymakers and Marmande beefsteak.
In fact, the clocks change tonight and I’m still harvesting…
2015 was the best year so far for the allotment blackberries, and I’m now a full-blown cultivated blackberry convertee. I know there’s a magic in collecting from the hedgerows, but if you’re after bigger, tastier and juicier blackberries without the effort of wandering around the parks and footpaths foraging, cultivated wins hands down.
(all that said, it does seem a great year for hedgerow blackberries…)
I BEAT THE CABBAGE WHITES! My triumph of the summer!
After successive years of decimation by caterpillar, I netted thoroughly from the very moment my seedlings went out and kept the protection on until only a couple of weeks ago. Using bricks to keep the netting firm against the ground gave no holes for the butterflies to sneak in, and although the plants came out a bit squashed they’ve soon recovered and are ready for harvesting.
Pink Fir Apple Potatoes
Despite only planting 5 tubers in a short row, I harvested half a potato bag of pink firs which I think is a great return. I’ve found these nobbly little potatoes to be really reliable and productive, and if you’ve only got a small space but want to grow spuds, these are definitely the ones to go for.