Sunday 30 December 2018

Last Blog of 2018

We spent a couple of hours today, clearing, pruning & muck spreading! 
The Gooseberry bush needed pruning, so Jo cut out quite a lot, leaving a bowl shape so air can circulate well.
We cleared the Rhubarb beds, removing all die-back foliage and weeds, then I put lots of well rotted manure on top, they will love it for spring growth.
Both Rhubarb beds treated the same, this bed has the Victoria variety.
It's time to prune the Apple trees, as dormant. 
The method I was taught was to cut a third off each branch to an outwards facing shoot & removing any that cross over another so to avoid branches rubbing together.
The Broad Beans are doing OK, we planted these a few months ago, so hoping for an early crop.

Thanks for reading/returning. Lets hope 2019 is a good year for growing! 
Happy New Year, Ian & Jo

Sunday 18 November 2018

A few weekends on the plot

 Back on 28th Oct, I dug up the last of the Picasso spuds from the earlier planted ones. 

These will make great chips, mash and jackets and they did.
While clearing-up, we always save quite a few canes and my Top Tip: store them upright with the end that was stuck in the ground, uppermost so they dry out.
So on this October day its was lovely, you can see the blue sky through the foliage.

So today (18 Nov) I managed to burn all the stuff we had pulled up over the last few weeks and dried, including weeds! 

We are lucky that our site is surrounded by farm land, so can have bonfires without bothering anyone.
We had 3 rows of Picasso spuds left, planted a few weeks later than the ones I dug up at the end of Oct (see above). 

I hoped the yield would be good, to last us up to Xmas, but sadly not, this is all I dug up from just one 10ft/3mtr row! 
I know it was a very dry summer & lots of folk were complaining about poor yields. 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday 14 October 2018

A quick visit but got lots done

 Well a bit drizzly, but we still had to visit the plot, mainly to check it over, put our 2019 seed order in & plant a few crops we started at home.
We planted: 
36 Broad Beans 'Aquadulce Claudia' from Kings Seeds, a winter hardy type.
Also planted a few rows of Spinach, not sure of the variety yet.
And some red & white Onions too.
So while there I dug up some more Picasso spuds for the weeks ahead meals. 
And harvested the last of the Cox's Apples.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Friday 28 September 2018

First Allotment Blog for a while

Well its been a busy few months, not been to Allotment much, due to holiday & wedding in Canada and Daughter moving out!

So today I visited and dug up some Picasso potatoes.

Also dug up some Charlotte potatoes

And picked the last of the Autumn Raspberries & Tomatoes from the greenhouse.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Saturday 28 July 2018

More harvesting done.

Dessert gooseberries, now made into jam. 

We will get more each year, so might try wine in 2019.
Charlotte potatoes, to have with a pie for dinner :) Others have said the yield is not good, but ours seem OK.
More gooseberries picked, the red as jam, the green now frozen and might be jam or wine.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday 15 July 2018

Harvesting & watering time

First thing to do was to water the Peas & Squashes, I draw the soil up around them so the water stays like a reservoir and doesn't run off, as the soil is so dry.
We noticed that some of the Peas had been pulled out! Most likely suspect are the Pheasants, so I rigged up some netting while the peas get established, I also replaced the pulled up ones by pushing a pea seed direct into the soil and watering in well. 
You can probably see how dry everywhere is, but some of our flower patches are thriving and covered in Bees, they love the Lavender especially.
The sunny weather has certainly helped the fruit to ripen, here is over 10lb of Redcurrants, we left some that were not quite ready, so more to come!
While we were harvesting in the fruit cage, we noticed this Frog and just managed to photo it before it dissapeared.
More of todays harvest:
Broad Beans.
So another hot, dry day. 
But at least we got lots harvested & watered. Luckily had some rain a few days ago, so a little in the rain barrels.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday 8 July 2018

Another hot, dry day.

So first can you see the Bees ? 

They are all over this Lavender and they love it. 
We still have a Bees nest/hive which we are happy about, its under the patio in front of the shed :)
Last earthing up of the Picasso main crop potatoes, in the background some I planted over a month ago, in the foreground 4 rows planted just a couple of weeks ago, for a staggered harvest.
Today's Harvest: 
Dessert Gooseberries, 

Oh and (not in photo) more Pentland Javelin spuds.

So even though we harvested 2 punnets of gooseberries, we left plenty on the bush, mainly because some were not ripe yet and we dont want to pick them all just yet. 
Last year we harvested 22lb and there are more this year!

I'll leave you with another photo of our Lavender with Poppies in the background, we call it our 'wildflower meadow' as no plans to cutivate this area this year.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday 1 July 2018

First potatoes dug up today and another bumper harvest

 First early Pentland Javelin, planted 15th April. 

Due to the lack of rain not a good yield from 3 seed potatoes planted! 
2nd early Kestrel, planted 15th April too. 

Also a poor yield from 3 seed potatoes planted. 
So the advantage of no rain meant the pile of weeds we had dug out over the last few weeks were so dry, so I had another bonfire and burnt the lot!
I weeded and earthed up the main crop Picasso potatoes, as the staggered planting were doing well. 

 Last year we had such a good crop of Borlotti Beans, I kept back some pods to dry, today I got all the beans from the dry pods, hope we can plant for another bumper crop.

This photo would make a great jigsaw puzzle!
Todays Harvest: 
Strawberries & Blueberries
Peas & Broad Beans, 
And Logan Berries 

So another scorcher of a day, we have totally run out of water, rain barrels and the well are empty! We will have to bring water from home now!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday 24 June 2018

Super Sunny Sunday and 7 hours on the plot!

Yes a very sunny Sunday and as you can see its well over 100 degrees F in the greenhouse!

We spent 7 hours today, just clearing, weeding, grass cutting & planting.
I cleared this patch of mostly Poppies & some weeds, then made 2 wigwams with 1" mesh and planted 2 lots of purple podded Peas & Mange Tout. 
Also planted 3 Butternut Squashes and a Courgette. 
Don't worry I left a large area of Poppies as the Bees were busy collecting from them as they do from all the flowers we grow.
So while I was busy, Jo cleared all around the Broad Beans and found a space for another Courgette, she also cleared around the back of the Strawberry beds & found an underground Bees nest/hive, we think might be Bumble Bees.
Flowers on the 2nd early Potatoes, so should be ready soon to do a test dig. 
Can't wait.
The pond was getting choked by marsh grass and a rather large Comfrey, so Jo cleared it all away so the sun can finally get to it, hope the pond weed will go soon.
Bumper Harvest: 
Broad Beans, 
Onions & Rhubarb.
Anyway, after 7 hours we were shattered, but happy to get so much done, including cutting the grass paths again with my trusty petrol strimmer and having a bonfire to burn all those weeds we have dug out!

We had the Strawberries with vanilla ice cream after dinner and were lovely.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday 17 June 2018

Fathers Day on the plot

We have lots of Poppies on our plot, all self seeded. 

But love this white edged one, wonder what it's called?
We have pulled & dug up so many weeds so I had to get a bonfire going, luckily as our site is surrounded by farmland we can have bonfires anytime.
Got the last of the Picasso main crop potatoes in today, another 4 rows of 10 in each, to add to the 3 rows planted a few weeks ago. 
So thats 7 rows (70 seed tubers) in total!
Brought the petrol strimmer down and cut the grass path again, it looks a lot better too. I cut the paths in the fruit cage too and we spotted loads of berries ripening.
Just a few of the Cox's apples now forming due to the warm sunny conditions.
And our goosberry bush is laden, so we thinned it out by removing a few from each stalk, to allow the rest to swell & sweeten.
Look at this handsome caterpiller munching this stalk & leaves. 

Wonder what butterfly it will turn into ?
Another harvest of rhubarb, this one is Stockbridge Arrow, a prolific producer when you feed it well over winter. 

After removing the leaves this lot weighed 6 1/4lb (2.83kg)
And more Victoria rhubarb, again after removing the leaves this lot weighed 8 1/2lb (3.85kg).

The heaviest stalk was 1 3/4lb (800g) another record breaking stalk!
So todays harvest to add to the Rhubarb: 
Red Onions 
Strawberries 1 1/2lb (680g)
Peas just 1/2lb (226g)
And here are the Gooseberry thinnings, just 1 1/2lb (680g).
So another 6 hours work done today, with a break for lunch and a cuppa too. 

Not too sunny so it was easier to get all that done!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo