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Sunday 08 September 2013


Sunday wasn’t too bad after a very chilly start it was a fairly bright day but without much sunshine the temperature only managed the mid teens.




On the plot we decided it was time to lift our main crop onions and move them into our home greenhouse to dry off and hopefully store well over winter. It was hard to believe that we’d had 17mm of rainfall only a couple of days ago as although the top of the soil was wet it was still on the dry side a little lower down.

This was the first time we’d grown our onions through weed control fabric and it’s been successful at cutting down on weeding and still producing an excellent crop of onions. These were all set off early in cells back on 18 February in the greenhouse before been moved into the cold frame to harden off on 19 April and were finally planted in the plot on 26 May.









Red Karmen



Main bed onions - excellent condition






Main bed onions - excellent condition






Main bed onions - excellent condition






Main bed onions - excellent condition

We always seem to have more problems growing red varieties but I’m really pleased with the size and conditions of our main crop onions. We’ll be lifting our other onions in the next week or so and comparing how they’ve done. We’ve now got to try to keep these onions in good condition through the winter.

Monday 09 September 2013

A Day Off

Monday was a question of avoiding the heavy showers. We didn’t have any rain at home but we did have some heavy rain on our way to RSPB Old Moor. As we arrived at Old Moor the rain was so heavy we thought we’d probably have some lunch in the cafe there and then head back home.

By the time we’d had some lunch the rain had stopped and we decided to have a walk and look around the reserve. The clouds continued to threaten more rain but luckily it stayed away.

Sue managed to capture this heron having lunch too. When I see the size of these birds I’m always amazed that we need to protect our small garden pond from them as they are quite capable of manoeuvring around the obstacles in our garden and helping themselves to our pond fish.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

I Think Autumn’s Here

Tuesday was cool and cloudy virtually all day until the sun just managed to make an appearance in the early evening. It cast rather a strange light over the garden perhaps one that Monty Don would enthuse over but not me. It just smacks of autumn arriving.

After that lovely mini heatwave to start off September it’s all gone to pot a little bit with a couple of night time temperatures well down into single digits and daytimes only into the middle teens.

It’s an early reminder that those tender crops still producing down on the plot might not be doing so for much longer. Hopefully we’ll get through September without any frost to give our greenhouse tomatoes and outdoor vegetables such as Crown Prince Squashes time to ripen and mature.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Dull and a Bit Wet

The forecast for Wednesday was just about spot on predicting rain to start just after lunch time which it did. I suppose the morning wasn’t too bad, mostly dull and cloudy but without any breeze it didn’t feel too bad.

The sun’s disappeared for the last couple of days and the daytime high temperatures seemed to have settled around the mid-teens probably just a bit lower than we might expect for early September.  

In the afternoon I roasted some more tomatoes and as an afterthought checked the weight of fruit from each of our greenhouses. Our home greenhouse produced 2.7kg of tomatoes from 15 plants which is poor by anybody’s standards. On the other hand our plot greenhouse has so far produced 7.7kg of tomatoes from 15 plants and there’s plenty of fruit still to ripen.

Each greenhouse had 15 plants, 3 of each of the following varieties, Alicante, Amish Gold, Brandy Boy Hybrids, Pink Wonder and Sioux.


Plot Greenhouse


Home Greenhouse





Amish Gold



Brandy Boy Hybrids



Pink Wonder









This is how the varieties have performed so far. The home greenhouse totals won’t change as I’ve already weighed up all the tomatoes including green ones left on the plants when they were cleared away this week to make some space for our onions to dry off. So far it looks like an excellent year in one greenhouse and almost a complete disaster in another. I’ve used the same seed and they’ve all been grown in the same compost. I’m at a loss to explain the weird results but this gardening lark always throws up a few surprises for us to deal with.

I’ll update the chart once all our plot tomatoes have been harvested.

Thursday - Sunday 12 to 15 September 2013

A Couple of Days Away

We had a couple of days away in Cambridgeshire visiting Belton House a National Trust property and paying a visit to the Nene Valley Heritage Railway for their Autumn Steam Gala. Unfortunately the weather didn’t play ball. We travelled down the A1 on Friday morning through rain but luckily for us the afternoon cleared up and we even managed a little sunshine for a couple of hours in the afternoon as we wondered around the parkland  and gardens at Belton House before the rain returned again in the evening.

It was a damp cool start to Saturday morning as we arrived at Wansford station on the Nene Valley Railway. The forecast was for the weather to improve gradually through the day.

At least the rain held off and as forecast it did improve in the afternoon with the sun just managing a very brief appearance.

We missed the heavy rain forecast for Sunday but it was a cloudy and blustery day not very pleasant at all. The forecast for the next few days suggests daytime temperatures just making it into the low teens. It’s supposed to be autumn not winter but the weather doesn’t seem to know that!