Monday, 6 August 2012

Storm Sandwich

A day of mental weather on Sunday meant that two slices of allotmenteering had to fit either side of a big meaty filling of a pretty serious thunderstorm.  Not for the first time this year, chunks of Newcastle found themselves underwater.  Things were fine down on the plot early in the afternoon and when the sun came out it was red hot.  Then it got muggy as hell, we were treated to a ferocious thunderstorm and then the heavens opened.
A storm brews over Fenham

No danger of putting up our recently purchased polytunnel up today; that might have to wait until next spring when we've got plenty of stuff to put in it.  We sat out the deluge in the shed we share with our plot mate Toni (@Tonii_M) for a bit, sitting among the tomato plants drinking plasticky tasting coffee (I like coffee out a flask- it reminds me of long road trips and holidays), and keeping up with the Olympics, but eventually had to head off home til the storm passed.

Sat in the shed, we noticed that Toni's aubergine plant is fruiting which is pretty cool.  The greenfly seem to love it, but the aubergines are in the post.

When not getting completely soaked, we managed to get a fair bit done. I noticed some of what I'm pretty sure is blight on our first early spuds, so we dug the rest of them up.  If we were Irish, and the year was 1740, this would be pretty serious.  Happily enough, neither of these is the case.  There is also signs of this on our other spuds s they might need to come up soon.  Gonna have to read a bit about blight and see what we can do about it.  I've noticed it hitting some other people's crops quite severely.  The tops of these spuds certainly didn't get composted.

Blight? Shite!
We hauled up the rest of the broad bean plants.  Damn shame to see them go; they're nice looking plants and  they've been really productive.  Sigh.

Where once the broad beans thrived
Managed to get a decent bit of weeding done, not least attempting to strike a bit of a blow against my old nemesis, bindweed.  This stuff is just unreal.  I pulled up a flagstone to discover an underground network of roots; the more I pulled up, the more kept coming.  And to think that if you leave just one bit of root it'll be back.  Gutting.  Felt good to hit them at home though.  See you next time, bindweed.

A worthy foe
I planted loads of peas which will hopefully grow for pea-shoots, and then left the plot with plenty spuds and broad beans, a few onion tops and some cooking apples courtesy of our fellow allotmenteer Pat, all of which we put in a nice wicker basket in order to imbue our efforts with a sense of faux-rustic whimsy, because, after all, you just can't beat a sense of  faux-rustic whimsy!

Harvest time


  1. Well despite the weather it sounds and looks like you had a great day on the allotment. I love to get down the plot and get stuck in working but sometimes it's nice when the rains cam and you get the chance to take a breather.Looks like a nice shed you were in...I tend to sit storms out in my greenhouse as I can really see what is going my shed is poke and full of tools which doesn't leave any room for me!!

    I had a look at the photo of the flood you linked to. Pretty impressive downfall. Hope everyone was safe!

    You were right not to compost your potato tops...this is a really good site to read up more on blight and the 'whys' and 'wherefors' of it. Hope it helps.

  2. Bindweed really is a nuisance especially when it manages to know around loved plants.


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