SRAA – The Plot Thickens - an occasional observation from plot 17       late August- into Sept 2013

Oh dear, the misguided optimism of the Innocent......

Looking back at the words I wrote in June, I recall the cheerful presumption that with almost everything planted, seeds sending green fingers upwards and Plot 17 looking generally green and healthy, I had allowed that ultimately disappointing emotion called ‘optimism’ to prevail.
( miserable- looking people are, obviously, the Optimists, again disappointed that their hopes have been dashed –
the happy smiling ones are all Pessimists – it all turned out badly, as they expected )

Where did it all go wrong ?
Well, let’s just say we had a wonderful fortnight on holiday in Norfolk, absolutely glorious weather, very warm sun every day, not a cloud in the sky and no rain at all – but I returned to vegetables that were browner than me --
except those that had bolted, and except the two-foot weeds.
Leeks, carrots, peas, runners, sweetcorn, tomatoes, all collapsed and brown.
All the fruit had switched to emergency survival procedures – my strawberries had immediately ripened tiny fruits and dropped them to reseed; none of the raspberries fruited but grew 12 instead; blackcurrants burnt back and shrivelled to hard pellets. Gooseberries had had it too, reduced to leaf-less stems with rows of sun-burnt tiny berries.

The only good part of this sorry saga is that the flower heads on the bolted leeks were smothered with bees which, instead of buzzing busily as they do inside flowers, were contentedly humming and in no hurry to move, in fact so dopey that I could stroke them without the slightest protest from any of the five or six varieties on there.
Is Leek bee Pot ?

So, happy bees but not a happy return for me and instead of picking the first of my produce I had a week of serious weeding of swathes of dead veg plus actual weeds – ‘serious’ means a five-foot heap !

Plot Lost
I had indeed ‘lost the plot’ !

However, by the time I had cleared the dead debris, and I had watered some of the remnants, dear old Mother Nature turned all benign again; I began to notice some re-emergent sprouting from some plants, and over a week or two many of the dead & dying veg produced a resurrection re-growth which, currently, is trying to produce a crop even as the evenings become rapidly shorter.
Also, although most fruit has definitely been lost, those tiny sun-burnt gooseberries didn’t fall off as I expected, instead they clung on and suddenly swelled. That meant I had to get picking pronto, so I’ve spent many evenings until dark sitting on an upturned bucket busily picking - and bleeding, and being bitten; I now have some very unpleasant bites in some very peculiar places.
Incidentally, I offer a public apology to anyone who recently suffered the unedifying vision of an entirely naked gent, apparently leaping about in the throes of an ancient ritual dance -
Sitting on the bucket, picking gooseberries and trying not to serrate myself too badly, I was invaded by a swarm of very irate red ants which I didn’t feel until they all started biting; they were everywhere from my toes to my hair - and I do mean everywhere - millions of the blasted things, up to a cm long with very painful bites, so I had to tear my clothes off to get rid of them.

Anyway, with hope for some Autumn produce from my ‘come-again’ crop especially after a few welcome wet days, I did a Gallic shrug of shoulders, started to re-tie new runners, corns & toms and allowed a little Optimism to creep back.......
Unfortunately for plot 17, some old friends unexpectedly invited us down to Swanage; five perfect lazy Summer days- walks, beers, hot, dry, slightly breezy; a fabulous mini-break for us humans but now I have some seriously unhappy beans.
Again !

Regards to all
DT plot 17 no 3
Read blog entry 10.June.2013
Read blog entry 17.April.2013
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