Monday 31 May 2010

Bank holiday weekend

It was such a lovely day on Sunday, so made an early start on 'Weeding' and 'Planting'

But first:
Look how well the 'Cara' main Potatoes are growing.

The 'Charlotte' & 'Pentland Javelin' (1st & 2nd early) Potatoes are also doing well, despite earlier frost damage

So to the weeding & planting. More Brassicas planted after a bit of weeding, here we have put in 'Borecole Kale' & 'Igloo Cauliflower' both dwarf varieties.

But had to call it a day, because had another pressing task to do at home.

But thanks for reading/returning, look out for next update soon. Thanks again, Ian.

Wednesday 26 May 2010

That's the Brassica bed weeded :)

Another mid-week Allotment Blog.

I did start weeding the Brassica bed Sunday afternoon and it was covered in weeds, but had to leave it half done. So another 2 hours weeding done today before the rain started.

The 'after' shot (I know you like them) now weed free, there was every type of weed growing here including Nettles and all done by hand too, didn't get stung once either, honest.
Although I call it the 'Brassica Bed' there is a row of Pak-Choi (far right) also growing there and doing rather well, will be harvesting some soon to go in Stir-Fry meals.

Thanks for reading/visiting, look out for Sunday's full up-date.

Sunday 23 May 2010

Another scorching Sunday on the plot

It was 28 degrees air temp & 94 degrees in the Greenhouse today. Hottest day this year I think.

Crops put in today:
'Pink Banana Skin' Pumpkin


Courgette 'Round'
Butternut Squash

More Lettuce too

As Strawberries are forming I put Straw around each plant, to act as cushioning so the fruit doesn't get bruised and rot.

In the Greenhouse, the Tomato plant is growing well, have nipped out side shoots already. We do have more Tomatoes growing but this pic shows the first planted.
Peppers & Cucumber are growing well too.

Plenty of weeding done too, as you can see from this picture everything's looking lush & green.

All the Potatoes are growing well and have been earthed up again!

Also planted more 'Cosmos' flowers around the edges, as they grow quite tall & bees love them.

Thanks for reading/returning, hope you like the new small format, had to do it because I was running the risk of running out of space to complete a year of weekly up-dates.
If you need to see a full screen shot of any picture simply click on it.

Friday 21 May 2010

Allotment thefts

Just a quick solemn Blog.
Within the last 36 hours some lowlife has visited my Plot and opened the greenhouse and taken a row of Lettuces added to that haul they also took about 13 sticks of Rhubarb.
The downside of owning an Allotment, which we cannot patrol 24/7 :(
We have had Rhubarb taken before, whoever takes it knows what they are doing, because they remove the leaves (as they are poisonous) but then drop them on the path which is a bit of a giveaway.
The Community Police have been informed as have other plot holders who will have to keep a check on their crops too.
But on a good note, the sun's still shining and the weekend forecast is good too, expect a regular up-date on Sunday night.
Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Sunday 16 May 2010

Sun, sun, sun, Allotment here we come

Such a lovely day today, maybe Summer has arrived!
Weather reports say temperatures are rising now after the lowest May temps for 10 years.
Planted more things, Sweetcorn started in 'Root trainers' have gone in, as in the picture it's better to plant in 'block' formation so to aid pollination, also planted more Peas started at home.

When 'earthing up' Potatoes I find this type of Hoe is the best, I think it is called a 'stirrup or paddle hoe'. As it cuts the weeds at the same time as drawing up the soil, saving time & effort.

Frost Damaged early Potatoes.
As you can clearly see from this 'Charlotte' halum, the one on the right is clearly damaged but the left one is fine, both are from the same potato tuber.
So anyone worried they are beyond rescuing when affected by Frost, can rest assured they do survive.

Other planting done:
Peas this time to climb up the archway.

More Lettuce in between the Onions.

Spring Onions & Beetroot.
Phlox & Sunflowers.

Good news is Potatoes are 100% through,
early & main crops.

Sorry about photos (black bands top & bottom) had to reduce resolution to download :(
Thanks for reading/returning. Lookout for next up-date.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Mid-week Allotment up-date

Well the day started out overcast with threat of rain, so spent the morning on another project. But come lunch time the sky looked brighter, so braved a walk to the plot. Only there for a few minutes and the sun came out and it was lovely :)

So, did some more Weeding, surprise surprise, this time on the Onion bed.

Made a net cloche over Dwarf French Beans as they only grow to about 20" (50cm) high and need to be protected from birds & rodents while young & tender, they will only be netted until tall enough to fend for themselves. We grew them last year and they survived un-netted when the beans were forming.

Did lots of watering as rain is not forecast until the weekend, all the Peas, Beans & Lettuce also Tomato, Peppers & Cucumber in Greenhouse had a can full too.
Luckily we have a well on our Plot, as the rain barrels (all 3 of them) are now empty, but if it doesn't rain loads soon even the well will run dry.

The Potatoes are doing well despite some earlier frost damage, never experienced that before, most have new healthy leaves forming.

The Potato count so far:
Charlotte (1st early) 70/70 all through :)
Pentland Javelin (2nd early) 32/32 all through:)
Cara (main) now 59/69

Although I have been growing Potatoes for 10 years now I still get excited when the first ones break the surface, and I am relieved when all are through.

Thanks for reading/returning, lookout for full up-date on Sunday (weather permitting).

Sunday 9 May 2010

Weeding, weeding, weeding and a little planting too

It was such a lovely sunny day today, perfect for a bit of weeding.

But first, this picture shows, for the first time, the Greenhouse.
The Lettuce which was planted in February as an early crop, will be replaced soon with Tomato plants already started off in the greenhouse at home. A Cucumber plant has already gone in, as have
Peppers in pots.
I will report on their progress when they are in fruit.

Just thought I would show you one of our Strawberry plants, so many flowers, each one will soon turn into a Strawberry :)

The Rhubarb is massive now, we have harvested quite allot already.

In the background you can see the early Potato bed, unfortunately the halums have been affected by frost/cold but this will not harm the Potatoes but will only mean full maturity will be later.

Potato count so far:
Charlotte (1st early) 64/70
Pentland Javelin (2nd early) 32/32

We planted these Runner Beans today, there is also seed planted to assure a continuous crop.

Other planting done today:
Dwarf Climbing Beans
Peas (in addition to ones planted last week)
And Flowers: 'Cosmos' & 'Tagetes' we have other flowers too, 'Cornflower' & 'Nasturtium' (self seeded) which all attract important Bees.

The main crop Potatoes 'Cara' have done well too, count now stands at: 49/69 so did most of the weeding here and did first earthing up.

All in all it was a fab day, we were satisfyingly knackered after 5 hours of weeding & planting etc.

Look out for next update and thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Weather permitting Blog

I did say next update on Wednesday (weather permitting) well it started out wet, so I waited until rain stopped, put on my boots, picked up Strimmer and walked to the plot. Guess what it started raining again, the light drizzle type of rain that gets you soaked through. But I persevered, as I had taken the trouble to walk there, managed to trim the path edges of grass and weeds with the Strimmer, but that was all, the rain had beaten me again.
But good news is the main crop 'Cara' potatoes are starting to showing through, only planted on the 18th April and 5/69 are evident.
The forecast for Sunday's weather is better so expect a full update then.
Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Sunday 2 May 2010

More planting done

An overnight downpour was much needed, in fact an empty bucket had 2" of water in it today and it topped up 3 almost empty Rain Butts.
Managed to plant even more Lettuce in between the Onions as a 'catch crop'
In this picture you can see the Broad Beans, Shallots & Carrots (under fleece).
The large leafy plants in the foreground are Comfrey, we make 'Comfrey Juice' liquid fertilizer from these. Will explain how in the near future.

As there was a threat of night time temp drop to -2, I thought it was a good idea to earth up the early Potatoes.

The current potato count is:
Charlotte (1st early) 63/70
Pentland Javelin (2nd early) 31/32

Planted more Brassicas, Mini Cauliflower & Brussel Sprouts.

Also planted Climbing Beans around r/h Wigwam and started planting Peas on frames put up on Wednesday.

The main crop Potatoes 'Cara' (on right of this picture) haven't shown through yet but its too soon as only planted out 2 weeks ago.
The empty bed will be filled up soon with Sweetcorn, Courgettes, Pumpkins & Squash's too. We are wondering if we will have enough space for it all.

Thanks for reading/returning, next up-date Wednesday (weather permitting). Ian.