Sunday, 3 July 2016

Plot update July 3rd 2016

The saying it never rains, but it pours has never been more true recently. It has meant that the weeds seem to be growing at a crazy rate. Some of the crops seem to be enjoying it but others are not so happy. 

I have noticed that the raspberries seem to be doing extremely well and are currently growing very vigorously as is the potatoes and brasicas. 

The pumpkins however are not looking so good. I planted 5 and 2 have been completely devoured by slugs and snails. The corn seems to be a bit stunted too at the moment. 

This year I have tried growing onions from seed. From my limited experience they seem to be looking OK and are growing well from what I can see. Not sure how they will fair with all the rain and heavy soil here but time will tell. I had to plant a load more as I didn't have enough a few weeks after the first batch and seem to be catching up well. 

The strawberries seemed to be a mixed bag. While the rain helped with getting bigger fruits, it also led to more slugs and more fruit wasting and going soft too quick. It probably didn't help that I didn't put enough straw down. 

I did manage to get the greenhouse moved and is currently housing my peppers and a few tomatoes. 

Now its just a case of keeping up with all the weeds and pests. 

For more regular updates check out my Facebook page.

plot 17

the poly tunnel and fruit cage, 

overlooking plot 18

plot 17 with strawberries in the foreground, then onions, then potatoes. 

plot 18

New cover for the blueberries

view from the original greenhouse end

view from the new end of the greenhouses

Sunday, 15 May 2016

plot update 15/5/16

Well as any good gardener knows its now full steam ahead. I have been busily digging away and doing all the usual jobs, getting beds ready, weeding, mowing the grass, more weeding, more digging, you get the idea. Added a few photos of the plot over April and May
Plot 18, still has a lot of clearing to be done. 

Part planted in this just have one bed left now for some of the brassicas

Plot 18 bed extended to around 11 x 13 ft

The pear tree flowering well. Still not sure where to plant it fully. 

Started preparing the bed for the greenhouse to be moved and joined on the existing one. The slab were just laid for illustrative purposes. 

The greenhouse that is being moved. 

Flowering strawberries

The blueberries, soon will have a full netting over them.

For more regular updates check out my Facebook page.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Plot update 27/2/16

Well winter is nearly over and its time to start again for another growing year.

The plot today

Winter at the plot has consisted of pruning and tidying mainly, as I don't tend to have much growing. Last year I opted to cover with tarpaulin some of the unused beds, instead of manure,  to hopefully save me more weeding, which seems to be working nicely. The manure was good but so time consuming. I might focus on covering one bed each year.

Things have been fairly quiet on the allotment front hence the lack of posts. I have been trying to plan and get the seeds I need for this year. This year I plan to try and grow some onions in addition to the other crops I have grown previously.

I also hope to try and construct a simple fruit cage around the blueberries. I am not sure yet if I want a more permanent one or just a simple bamboo construction as I am not sure how much I want to invest too much money on the second plot if I wont be keeping it long term, nor where I actually want to put it. Time will tell I suppose, just hope they do as well as they did last year.

So far I have started the toms, peppers and onions to give them a good start. Wont be long until the rest of the sowing will get under way. I have the potatoes chitting away to ready for planting in a month or so.

I was really pleased with the results in the poly tunnel and plan to make the most of it again but will hopefully stick in a few more plants, especially peppers, which I should thin out a bit more to get bigger crops.

One mistake I found last year is not spreading the brassica sowings more, so things tended to be all ready at the same time. Another failure was the carrots and parsnips again, I might try once more. I have no idea what I am even doing wrong, seems to be more top growth with little tiny root, which are hardly worth bothering with.

I am still unsure how much I want to do on the secondary plot I took over. If our waiting list numbers go up too much I feel I should allow someone else to use it. So I don't plan to do too much to it other than keeping it under control and using the extra growing space.  

Lets see what this years seasons have in-store for us gardeners this year.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Plot update 15/11/15

Well its been a while since I've updated this blog, so I thought I should post something. 

This summer wasn't a bad one for most of my veg. The corn, tomatoes, peppers brassicas, beans, potatoes, blueberries and raspberries have all done very well with good harvests, with the blueberries doing particularly well. 

The watermelon plants I tried were all a complete failure, it may have been that they were planted out with no protection but I am just guessing. Next year I aim to try some in the poly tunnel and hope the warmth helps. 

The strawberries also were not that good, but I think this was mostly that it was the first year and need a season to get more fully established

As winter approaches I've made good progress on clearing and tidying up the plot, there is still a lot to clear on the new plot but I am slowly getting there. 

I have finally started another composting area behind the greenhouse as the other two were not able to cope with the amount of waste going into each 

the cleared Poly

Autumn colour of the blueberries

Broccoli left for the Bees to enjoy

The new compost area

Plot 18 (the newer plot) 

For more constant updates come over to Facebook and like my allotment page, or search for Allotment Life on Plot 17.
Thank you

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Plot update 5/7/15

This Month of the year sends everything growing very fast, which is great, except for all the weeds! Even taking photos a week a part you can really see the growth.  As much as the long warm days are nice for the plants, the weather has been far too warm of late, with not enough rain. I tend not to water anything in the ground unless it has been too long since it rained or the plants are looking like they really need it. I am of the belief that they should really be left  find their own water, as much as possible without affecting the harvest. It also saves unnecessary water wastage. 

The Marmande toms especially have suffered with the extreme heat. I have had to take out some extra pieces of glass to stop the greenhouse overheating so much. The peppers in there also, however, seem to be loving it are are growing really well. I even spotted some type of solitary bee bringing leaves back and entering one of the bottom drainage holes, I intend to leave it alone as it does not seem to be affecting the plant. 

The corn too has come on brilliantly and is romping away. The strawberries, however, have not fared so well. I think this may also be due to the red ants that seem to have taken residence under some of the patch and I have lost about a handful of plants, luckily the other are sending out plenty of runners to fill the gap. Being a new bed, I wasn't expecting a huge harvest anyway. 

The pear tree is doing well and has a good number of fruits. So too are the blueberries, all are swelling nicely and I've managed to eat about a handful so far. The raspberries are looking full of fruit but seem to have suffered with the dry conditions a little. 

I am pleased the pumpkins are doing well, I feared that as I left them a little too long before planting, but they seem to be doing fine so far. One of the melons, planted with the corn is growing fast. The other two I planted in other spaces done seem to be fairing as well but still growing.

All the brassicas are doing well so far, i noticed a few holes so there looks like some caterpillars are probably feasting. 

Not sure how the potatoes are fairing,  judging from the tops maybe not that well but time will tell. 


 the plum toms in the poly

 sweet peppers

 Marmande toms

the beans

 Pear tree


 Apple tree (unknown variety)
view from the shed

Thank you for reading

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Plot update 14/6/15

Well its busy down at the allotments at the moment. I have managed to get everything planted, just about managed to squeeze everything into the areas I have already prepared. I am now beginning to realise how hard the upkeep of two allotments really is plus having a full time job. So far I think I am just about winning the battle.

I seem to be having an issue with the existing plum tree. All the tips seems to have died off, its only a few of the leaves of the new growth but its all of them. Still not sure what it is but am keeping a careful watch. The rest of the tree seems unharmed so hope its fine now.

I also had to remove and dispose of the peach tree I newly planted as it was too disease ridden and wasn't doing well at all.

Last weekend I planted out my sweetcorn. I planted 55 and have planted 43. This year I am trying Kelvedon Glory. 

I have also planted out three Sugar Baby melon plants. Not really sure what I am doing with them but trying for fun. 

The Strawberry patch

Some of the Blueberries

Gooseberry bush

Under the brassica net

The San Marzano toms

The Marmande toms 

Sweet peppers