Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Harvest after Harvest

Just another quick visit on Sunday, but did manage to set light to the huge pile of weeds that were drying.
We grow a lot of flowers on our plot, not only do they look nice but are very beneficial to insects & especially Bees. 
In fact there is one feasting on this poppy. 
Just one of the harvests done today:
 Mixed berries (Strawberries, Loganberries etc) 
Raspberries & Rhubarb.
This harvest from Saturday: 
Blueberries, Loganberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Courgette, Broad Beans, Potatoes & Sweetpeas.
Lots of Courgette flowers.
Calendulas have taken over this bed, we don't mind, as the Bees love it.
The Lavender looking & smelling lovely, we have more in paler colours and the Bees go mad for it.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Fathers Day on the plot

First job to do today was to lift all the Onions and leave to dry, we have Red Winter & white Senshyu.
In the space left where the Onions were, we planted some more Rainbow Chard, a row of Beetroot (seed), Asparagus Peas and some more Sunflowers.
Potatoes still growing well, we have already harvested some Charlotte and had them for dinner, twice.
These are the Cara main potatoes, getting taller now, was too busy with the other jobs, so didn't get a chance to earth them up!
The Broad Beans I tied up last week are getting bigger, the Borlotti Beans behind have almost reached the top of the cane wig-wams.
While harvesting the Broad Beans we noticed a lot of Ladybirds feasting on the Blackfly. 

There was a couple mating too!
Talking of harvest, here is what we got just today: 
Mini Turnips, 
Broad Beans, 
Strawberries, 
Raspberries 
and Sweetpeas.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Monday, 12 June 2017

A quick visit and a bumper harvest.

 Lets start with yesterday's Harvest: 
Victoria Rhubarb, Strawberries, Raspberries, Broad Beans & Salad leaves.
Harvested the Garlic planted last autumn, not sure the variety, but will try to find out.

Now hung up in the greenhouse to dry.
Had to support the Broad Beans, they were getting a bit wind blown and they don't like it, so we tied them to canes with bottle cane tops, that rattle in the wind & prevent eye stab!
The Cara potatoes looking good after last earthing up.
The onion leaves are starting to bend over and the onions themselves are looking big after all the rain, will harvest them soon.
The Sweetcorn I put in has grown and doing well. 
Lets hope we get a long hot summer to grow the corn!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Now officially Summer

First job today was to finish clearing this patch, for the last of the crops to plant out, Beans, Beetroot, Leeks & Kale we think.

It made a huge pile of weeds to dry for burning! 

But at least we got it cleared in time.
Just look at all these Apples forming, this one is the Heritage Woodbrook Pippin, the Cox's Orange Pippin are also heavy with fruit. 
I know they loose some as windfall to assist the remainder to grow to full maturity.
Loads of Bees were busy again today on the Sage bush, the Comfrey was covered in Bees too.
We have a new nest in the shed, not there last week, a perfect Wasp nest, you cant help admiring the work gone into making it. 
Anyway back to the patch cleared earlier today, we planted some Dwarf French Beans: 
Tendergreen, Amethyst (Purple) and Canadian Wonder, that we started off in cells at home. 
Today's Harvest: More delicious Strawberries (12oz/340g). 
Lovely on a Scone with whipped cream. 
As the title says officially Summer and it was a glorious day, we got lots done. 
Next week rain, heavy rain is expected, but at least it will water all we put in & fill up the rain barrels and the well too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Spring update, more weeding & more planting.

The Borlotti Beans we planted last weekend have taken & growing well. 
Some are even twisting around the canes already.

I always thought they would follow the sun so twist clockwise, but if you look closely they actually twist anti clockwise, wonder why?
We dug over this patch again, added some horse manure and planted out 24 Sweetcorn seedlings that we started off in cells in the greenhouse. 
As you can see they are planted in blocks (not rows) to aid pollination, approx 18" (45cm) apart.

Two varieties, Earlybird & Kelvedon Glory, both F1 so should be good!
The Broad Beans are doing well, as you can see now in flower, so the beans will  form soon. 

Some of the ones we put in earlier in the year, even have beans forming.
Early Potatoes Winston & Charlotte looking good. 
In the background the Picasso mains are coming through & the Cara (on another patch) are coming through too.

We planted 2 Pumpkins straight into the horse muck pile. 

They will do so well here with all that muck to feed on!
Not a bad harvest today:

Asparagus (Stewarts Purple)
Rhubarb (Stockbridge Arrow)
Strawberries (an early variety)

We had the Asparagus in a Risotto & the Strawberries with Ice Cream for dinner tonight, so tasty they were.
Two Courgettes planted between the Borlotti Beans and the Sunflowers. 

We have planted more Courgettes around the plot, we always say 'why so many Courgettes' we will never learn! 
I've started clearing this patch, where the Leeks were. 
We still have lots to put in, so will go here. 
Dug out lots of weeds so when dry will burn in the incinerator bin, as we did today.



Was a lovely day today, warm but a little overcast, we are expecting much needed rain overnight as our rain barrels are empty! 
But the well still has water in it, so we do have water.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Beans, Sunflowers and Pheasants!

So as the title says: 

Beans and we planted the Borlotti Beans started off in the greenhouse. 
I placed a circle of cardboard, under the cane wigwams, weighted down with a brick to suppress the weeds.
A row of Sunflowers, these are 'Pikes Peak' and are supposed to grow up to 15ft tall. 
I put plenty of compost & growmore in the soil before planting and loads of crushed egg shells on the surface as tender sunflowers are a favourite of Slugs & Snails! 
Look, almost Strawberry harvest time, its usually end of May early June so well on time.
The Brassicas we planted last w/e have taken and doing well, the netting doing its job well.
And this is what we are protecting our Brassicas from! 

This handsome chap and his Mrs were walking around our plot as I arrived today. 
They have been scratching around my spuds too. Damn Pheasants!
Well another 5 hours on the plot, got loads done again, including more digging/weeding to get yet another bed ready for planting. 
We still have more Beans, Sweetcorn, Peas, Courgettes, Squashes & Sunflowers to plant out.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Brassica planting!

First I cleared this patch of last years spuds, weeds and roots, dug it over, raked it and added lime. 
I then planted 10 rows of assorted Brassicas: Sprouts, Cauliflowers, Calabrise & Broccoli. 
We covered the hoops with netting before we left.
Been earthing up the early spuds again, almost daily now. 
I noticed a bit of frost/wind damage on the leaves, but they will recover.
So while I planted Brassicas (see above) Jo hoed between the Onions, looks a lot better and the Onions are swelling after the recent rain.
 So today it was our 31st Wedding Anniversary and a lovely day to celebrate it on the Allotment.
Lovely Apple Blossom. 
We have Gooseberries already!
So it was a lovely sunny day & we spent a good 5 hours, planting, weeding & general allotment maintenance. 
More Rhubarb & Asparagus was harvested today too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Monday, 8 May 2017

More Potatoes planted, other jobs too.

On Tuesday I planted more spuds, so this patch is full now. 

2 rows of 1st early Winson, 3 rows of 2nd early Charlotte & now 5 rows of Picasso mains. 
This 'chitted' Cara potato is ready to go in, it has short, stubby, dark green shoots, if yours have long thin pale shoots, rub them off and start again by placing in a light cool place, or try planting without 'chitting' the jury is out on this debate whether to 'chit' or not.
So on Sunday, after digging over this patch & removing as much of the weeds as I could, I planted out the Cara, 5 rows with 7 in each. 
We also planted out some Broad Beans that we started at home. 
In the fleece dome at the back are some Brassicas (sprouts, cabbage, cauliflowers etc) protected from the birds & waiting to go in.
Gave the shed a much needed new coat of preservative, will need to do again to build up the colour and protection of 'Red Cedar'
Another harvest of Rhubarb & Asparagus, the first of the season.
So plenty done including a bonfire to burn all those weeds that have been drying and bit more ground preparation for all those crops waiting to go in.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo