For the last few months I’ve been making daily trips to the allotment whenever possible. Primarily this has been to make sure that all the plants in the greenhouse have had enough water and to check all the plants out in the plots have survived the elements. It really seems like the first half of the year has flown by.
Now that most of the plants are out in their final positions (I’ve only got the find homes for the tomato plants) it feels as if I’m playing a waiting game…which vegetable is going to crop first! On each trip to the allotment I spend the first 10 minutes or so assessing the progress of all the vegetables, and in my head I recall how they looked last time I was there (usually the day before). It never seems as if any of my plants are growing!
I love checking out everyone else’s plot progress on their blogs and I’m practically addicted to Instagram and it seems like everyone else’s vegetables are light years ahead of mine, so much so, I’ve had to check the seed packets to make sure I’ve planted everything at the right time.
Drastic measures were called for. I decided that I’d not visit the allotment quite as often this week, as a kind of experiment, to see if the vegetable progress would be more noticeable. In the last 7 days I’ve only been to the allotment twice. Both just to check the plants were still alive, the weather here’s been rubbish this week so they haven’t been short of water.
Good news. On my visit today I noticed a massive difference in almost all of the vegetables.
These were the broad beans 3 weeks ago
These are the broad beans today
I didn’t think it had only been 3 weeks since the beans started appearing but I had no idea they’d grown so much. I think they’ll be ready for picking in a couple of weeks, perhaps earlier if I can’t hold myself back!
Same with the peas. I’ve been watching the foliage of the peas climb higher and higher but I’ve not been able to see any flowers at all…until today!
Pea flowers. I can hardly hide my excitement! These are on my shorter variety, Hurst Greenshaft which are double podded and are a slightly earlier cropper than my main crop variety, Alderman. Hopefully this is a sign that peas will be following shortly and I can finally make Raymond Blanc’s pea risotto from Kew on a Plate.
I’ve also spotted my first flower on my Buffy Ball squash
I’ve been swatting up on male and female flowers on squash and pumpkins and on closer inspection, this appears to be a male flower. The female flower will have a slight bump behind it as the bump will eventually turn into the fruit or pumpkin. Feeling very proud of my plant anatomy knowledge I checked out the giant pumpkins. There’s only a flower appearing there too!
How fantastic is this? It seems to be a female flower, so I’ll have to keep a look out for some male flowers too to ensure successful pollination and those enormous pumpkins.
The tomato plants have started flowering, the onions are starting look bigger towards the base and the bean plants are twirling up their canes now too.
It seems like the allotment’s been waiting for me to look away before unleashing it’s growing potential. If someone could just pass the message onto the strawberries, that would be ace.