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Autumn roundup

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Ann Kelly Ann Kelly | 13:36 UK time, Thursday, 17 September 2009

Ann with her enormous beetrootWell, autumn is definitely in the air, so it seems time for a roundup of how my veg has done.  And I'd love to hear from anyone else about theirs.  Honestly - it's one of my favourite subjects.  I spend hours discussing it with fellow allotment holders.

My butternut squash are still producing, but a couple of the plants are looking rather weak and ill, with yellowing and greyish patches on their leaves. 
My guess is that they've got a touch of powdery mildew in the dry weather - I've definitely got it on my courgettes.

Any fungicide containing myclobutanil should get rid of it (most garden supplies places should have this), but I'm going to try an organic remedy, spraying them with a 1/10 solution of milkScientific studies have found that milk used like this can be nearly as effective as chemical fungicides!  I'll also give them a good feeding, as they'll be more susceptible to disease if conditions aren't to their liking, and get rid of the badly affected leaves.

The lettuce is now firmly out of the picture.  The gothic spire-like remains of a few bolted specimens are still poking up from the salad bed, but not even slugs are interested in eating them now.  Without wanting to be disloyal to the Dig In veg, I found Lollo Rosso a bit bolt-prone, and have tended to fall back on my lovely Cos lettuce, Lobjoits Green.

My beetroot are another matter. They've done magnificently, with almost no effort from me.  Look how big one's got!  I shall be roasting this on Saturday. This is a crop I was only trying for the the first time because of Dig In, because I thought I didn't like the taste, but I'll definitely be growing it next year. 

The carrots have been OK, but not quite as good as last year - a bit short, perhaps from lack of water.  This year they went in the ground, but last season I grew them in great big tubs, with really soft, fine soil.  They loved it and it stopped the carrot fly too, so I think it's back to that technique for 2010.

Finally, the poor, blighted tomatoes.  Actually, they've perked up a bit, and I've had bags of fruit from them - literally, there's three bags sitting in the fridge. So yay to Gardener's Delight. But with blight being so common on my allotment, I'm going to play it safe and grow one of the three supposedly "blight-resistant" varieties next year - Ferline, Fantasio and Legend.  I've read good things about Ferline on gardening forums like Grow Your Own and gardenbanter.  Time to get those seed catalogues out I think...


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