Monday, 13 September 2010

On The Cusp Of Autumn...

The English gardener needs no overt sign that summer is on the wan; indeed, there exists a multitude of subtle signs indicating that the garden is now slowing down as it prepares for autumn and the long days of winter.

The vivid burst and flourish of summer activity, only weeks old in the memory, has now given way to the turning of leaves, gloomier evenings and colder mornings. Indeed, as I went for a stroll along the Thames on my lunch break today, I did so amongst a sprinkling of conkers, their polished surfaces gleaming radiantly like a waxed wooden table.

So how is the London Vegetable Garden allotment at this poignant time? A time when we are undoubtedly on the very cusp of autumn, yet still entertain the odd few days of warmth and sun?

Well, the runner beans are still cropping, but are undoubtedly on their way out. Some of the leaves are turning yellow and crinkling up, although the plants continue to produce an array of little beans, all struggling to reach maturity.

The onions have now all been harvested and dried out – indeed, the majority have even been enjoyed in cooking! The cucumber plants seem to have offered up the last of their fruits, whilst the courgette plants too seem to be succumbing to leaf mildew and look tired.

I have a few beetroots too, following the plants that arrived from Rocket Gardens. I'm looking for different ways to cook and eat these vegetables, so if anyone has any beetroot tips, please leave them as a comment on this post!

The tomatoes though, remain one last bastion of allotment action this year. Followers of the London Vegetable Garden on Facebook will no doubt have noticed that I have enjoyed a steady and abundant crop of tomatoes from the three shop-bought plants. However, my seed-grown windowsill tomatoes are finally starting to turn, with a few of the 'Tigrella' fruits now a promising orange upon my visit to the allotment this evening.

Many tomatoes have succumbed to splitting, with ants and slugs seizing the natural feast that this phenomenon naturally produces. But I still have a healthy crop of around fifteen tomato plants of differing species, all of which stand there laden with appetising fruit, just waiting to turn to glorious colour.

Hopefully I will be enjoying these fruits over the coming fortnight, before October puts paid to their progress once and for all!


  1. Your crop in the photo looks very healthy and delicious! The tomatoes in particular have a great colour and I'd love to try them, I bet they will be lovely and juicy.

  2. Congratulations Callum .. your veg looks really healthy!

    Don't worry about the split in your tomatoes ... just grow a few extra next year in the event some fall by the wayside!

    This year has been great for onions and garlic at Blackbirds ... we tried garlic for the first time and managed to grow some decent size bulbs.

    We are on chalk which tends to affect what garden plants we can grow, but the kitchen garden seems to love it!

    Best wishes


  3. agreed, the crop in the photo does look very colourful and healthy :)

  4. The beans looks fantastic. You've done well. As everyone else has said; looks to be a lovely crop here.



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