Autumn is here

Last week was the autumn equinox and I celebrated with my first apple harvest from plot31. The apple tree was already on the plot when I took over and  isn’t labelled so at a loss as to which variety it is other than its red and green and it isn’t a baking apple.

As I understand it, the tree is quite old and has been on about five different plots before ending up on this one, following its previous owner each time he vacated a plot. Last year it only produced about 6 apples and I suspect it has some sort of fungal or bacterial disease leading to me making the decision to take the tree out and plant another at some point this year. However, I took over the other half of my plot to make a full one and it was waist high in weeds so the apple tree plan went on hold, and it seems to have been worth holding off for this year as there is a bumper crop. I will however, still replace this tree in time, changing it for a bramley or a similar baking variety as we will make more use of baking apple variety than a variety designed to be eaten fresh and they will store better.

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The plot this year has been ok, not brilliant but not terrible. Last year I couldn’t even get into my greenhouse without being clonked on the head by a tomato, this year however hasn’t been half as good. I only managed to harvest 1 medium sized trug full plus about 4 beef tomatoes and they are now all harvested (compared with last year where I was harvesting well into the end of September and each week was going home with a paper bag full and I was even giving them away). Another issue I have had was other people watering them. I went away for 10 days in summer and the guy on the plot next door was watering and feeding my toms for me twice a week just as I do. However, another plot holder who happens to be my interfering next door neighbour took it upon himself to water them – EVERYDAY. The result – masses of fruits split and went bad, including my precious brandywine beef tomatoes which I had never managed to grow before. Very annoying.
I know some will think ‘oh he meant well’ or ‘he was just trying to help’ but this isn’t the first time he has taken it upon himself to make his presence known and constant comments and criticisms if someone doesn’t do something the way he does…anyway.

My brassica bed was doing well, and my wire wool collars seemed to be doing brilliantly at deterring the slugs. Then, one evening I nipped up after work and noticed the nets had been removed. Initally I thought a bird had got in there and someone had dropped the net on one side down to release it, but as I got closer I noticed that the wire wool collars had been carefully removed from a few of the cabbages. Not much I could do to protect them from the slugs so I replaced the net and returned the cage back to its former self. A few days later I nipped back to the plot to harvest some leeks and this time the net had been taken down again and all or the wire wool collars removed AND someone had even had the cheek to harvest some of the swiss chard whilst they were at it…hungry work is theft. By the time I got some more wire wool collars by the weekend the slugs had been in and munched there way through half of the brassica’s, leaving holes in the hearts of all the red cabbages, a few of the greyhouds and even had munched some of the centres of the purple sprouting brocolli.

So, thats it for the brassica bed, or what’s left of it. It is very disheartening when things like this happen and worse when you don’t know who has done it.

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