Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Allotmenticity - Tuesday 31stJuly

"The early worm catches the bird!!!" I made an early start the other morning, and there sitting on my shed was the Kestrel. I crept down the next plot and managed to get a few shots. It just sat there and looked at me before finally flying off. "Brilliant!"
I'm keeping up to date with weeding and I've sown some more Spinach and Coriander in the bed where the peas were. A lot of the Lettuce are starting to bolt now, so they are bulking up the compost bins. I opened one yesterday to be eye to eye with a little mouse. I'm not sure how I feel about this as they can be a real pest although I don't really want to spend time trying to catch it.
I'm in the process of reshaping the plot. I want to demolish the old shed at the top and make a space to put the car and also redesign Compost Corner as it's pretty old and all the original pallets have rotted. I plan to use some of the wood from the top shed to build the sides although most of it is bound for the tip. (Pics to follow)
I read a piece in Celia Brooks-Brown's blog about the green Tomato-like fruit on her Potatoes. She wasn't sure what they were. Well exactly the same thing happened to me the other day and I asked my neighbour Ken as I spotted the above on some of his spuds. The answer is leave them alone. I found this explanation on another website:

"Occasionally gardeners are surprised to find small, round, green, tomato-like fruit on their potato plants. These fruit are not the result of cross-pollination with tomatoes. They are the true fruit of the potato plant. The edible tubers are actually enlarged, underground stems. Normally, most potato flowers dry up and fall off the plants without setting fruit. A few flowers do produce fruit.
The potato fruit are of no value to the gardener. Potato fruit, as well as the plant itself, contain relatively large amounts of Solanine. Solanine is a poisonous alkaloid. The small fruit should not be eaten. Since potatoes don't come true from seed, no effort should be made to save the seed."

So now we know! Oh and the purple cabbages in the row of Greyhounds appear to be Red Cabbage. Obviously the seed packers at Suttons have the occasional lapse of concentration or maybe the odd joke with the punters. So I've got half a dozen Red Cabbage for next year, provided they manage to avoid the phantom Cabbage stripper. I've stepped up the Nettle Stew spraying and watering and so far it does seem to be having a positive effect, especially on the recently sown Broad Beans. They're following the early spuds as a catch crop and are really dong well.

I've picked some of the Rocket and Mustard Greens I got in one of the mixed seed packets given to me by Mrs Moose. They are so tasty, especially the Mustard Greens. It's like have a spoon of Colemans on a green leaf!

Well it's time to make a move. I'm borrowing a Volvo estate to take the wood to the tip today. I've had my bowl of porridge so I'm ready to rock.

Captain Tongo reporting for duty,

Over & Out!

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