Thursday, 3 September 2009

Did they fall - or were they pushed?

My runner beans fell over today. Or were they pushed? It was very windy this morning even in our sheltered allotment plot, and gusting strongly directly at the long side of the frame of bean poles which I so confidently predicted when I built it, would stand for the season! Ah well, back to the drawing board...
To be fair, this year's frame has lasted longer than usual, and we had some very windy weather earlier in the season. This time the cross bars snapped - perhaps we should have used some newer bamboo poles, or a sturdier wood may stand up to the weather better next year.
Despite lots of rain yesterday the deeper soil is very dry; we were away over the Bank Holiday, camping in drizzle in Dorset all day on Sunday and hoping the weather here in London would be the same, but evidently it wasn't! The Three Sisters bed (planted with corn, squash and beans) is not doingiving as much as expected, partly because of lack of water. I had a couple of weeks immobilised by a bad back, perhaps they fell behind then. And yet the beans in other areas are still yielding well, and they are also a thirsty crop. Perhaps I overcrowded the bed with plants too close together. It is also overlooked at one end by the sunflowers, at the other by Jerusalem artichokes (now about seven foot tall, still no flowers) leaning over it towards the main source of sunshine through the day.
Anyway, still picking enough veg to sustain us week to week. Today I harvested the second bunch of celery - first last week - it's very well flavoured, except the outer stalks very bitter, and has been good added to salads, veggie medleys, sauces for pasta and chicken stock. Very pleased with it as the slugs and snails don't seem to have made inroads, and this is my first crop of this vegetable. Looks as if we might be able to harvest every week through October.
The tomatoes are nearly finished and courgettes so over - I wish that I'd brought on some young plants in pots back in June in order to have a second crop. Next year...
Today I made sure the rocket seed was scattered in hope of a late autumn crop. There were one or two new plants in the bed already. I should have put turnip greens in as well, but left the seeds at home. I cleared most of the sunflowers and dug over their bed, the plan is to follow them with winter leeks, these are crowded in a row and should have been planted out by now. The autumn leeks which I planted out in late July are looking good, and the winter greens growing away strongly.
This evening we enjoyed runner beans, carrots, shallots (now dried out nicely after five weeks laid out in the garage), garlic, tomatoes and squash with pork chops and mashed potato. All except the last two from our allotment.


Joanne said...

So annoying when the beans fall over. You do well to grow celery I gave up years ago.

Jo said...

We've had some strong winds here too. So sorry to hear that your frame didn't stand up to the gusts.
I'm still getting plenty of tomatoes and courgettes, but mine didn't start cropping until later in the season. I think I'm going to do the opposite to you next year, and get some in earlier so that I get an earlier crop.