Allotment Blog July 2007

Weekending 01.07.07

Visited the Allotment on Monday. Plenty of sun and showers. I managed to tidy up my tomatoes and cucumbers in the greenhouse by weeding, removing side shoots and giving the plants and ground area a good soaking. The peas are popping their heads through the wire protection so I need to give them more protection and some support. This I will do on my next visit to the allotment. Managed to pick Strawberries, Raspberries and Loganberries today. But I then gave up because of the rain.

Peas in supportWednesday I worked on my mange tout peas. adding a climbing support for the peas and covering with a net to protect from the birds as you can see from the picture to the right. I have still to do the same for my main crop peas so I have put some temporary wire netting over them for the moment I gave the greenhouse a good watering. It's a shame the rain does not get into the greenhouse!
I then picked some cauliflowers and spring greens and some new potatoes. and called it a day.

Thursday I took my brassica plants down the allotment ready to be planted, as you can see on the left.
I gave the brassica bed a good hoe clearing all the small weeds.
BrassicasI have an interesting problem, all my labels have lost their names, due mainly to the sun and rain and not using the correct marker pen. So with the aid of an experienced colleague, Richard Armstrong, we have been trying to identify which is which. We have worked out my cabbages from cauliflower and broccoli from romanesco, I hope. Luckily the brussels sprouts were kept separate from the rest of the brassicas. Although we cannot distinguish the two varieties of cabbages or the two varieties of cauliflowers, I will just have to give a standard spacing for each type of crop just in case I got it wrong.

Friday I managed to get down to the allotment before the rain arrived The rain came around 1.30pm. I cut the grass around fruit trees and vegetable plots.
I decided to lift my over winter onions. The main reasons for this are that at our allotment we do tend to suffer from onion white rot, and with the amount of rain we have been having lately I don't want them to rot. The last reason is I need the space to finish planting my brassicas. If the weather is fine tomorrow I will finish planting my brassicas.
I finished off by giving the greenhouse a good watering. and removed more side shoots from my tomatoes.

Brassicas PlantedSunday Hoed where the over-winter onions had been removed, then finished planting the rest of my brassicas, see tips section as you can just make out from the picture on the left. From left to right I hope I have: cabbages two varieties - spring greens - romanesco - cauliflower two varieties (three rows) - brussels sprouts and finally broccoli . I have updated bed 3 plan to show the change. I then gave the greenhouse a good water. A general hoe around parsnips and beetroot. The ground was rather compacted around the tomato plants due to the rain, so I gently broke-up the earth and added some more compost, to help stop the soil compacting.

Weekending 08.07.07

Popped down to the allotment on Monday a little later than usual. I decided to put some protection on My blueberries and dessert gooseberries before they ripen, and the birds clear the bushes before I do. I used a wire netting frame around the bushes and plastic netting on the tops of the blueberry bushes. The Gooseberries I draped a net over.
I then trimmed the lawn edge around my summer raspberries and gave the ground a good hoe and weed. and as usual gave the greenhouse a good watering.

leeksThursday was my next visit to the allotment, as I was in Colchester on Tuesday and it was too wet on Wednesday. This trip was mainly to plant my leeks. My leeks that I grew this year were abysmal due to my laziness. I sowed them OK but I did not thin them out so obviously they were very thin and spindly. So I decided to try and purchase some leek plants ready to plant up. I ended my search on Ebay and purchased three bunches of 20 from a farm in Cornwall. What a surprise when they arrived, they were fantastic. The three bunches on the left of the picture were the ones I purchased from Cornwall and the leeks on the right, that's if you can see them, are the ones that I had sown. I have updated bed 6 with planting information. I have used these leeks to show how to plant leeks in the tips and tricks section. I then went and gave the greenhouse a good watering and removed side shoots from my tomatoes.

Saturday was my next visit to the allotment, and what a surprise I had when I got there. The birds had lifted about eight of my leek plants clear out of the ground. So my first job was to re-dib the holes and replant the leeks, which I did, and gave them another water to settle them in. I then erected protection from the birds by making a frame and covering it with netting. I then gave the grass a cut. Picked some cabbages, and soft fruit. I gave my main pea crop some support to enable them to climb. I then covered them with netting to protect from the birds.
Finally I watered the green house, and my outdoor tomatoes and went home for lunch.

Weekending 29.07.07

plums fruiting on treeBlueberriesWell I got a little behind over the last few weeks, not only in up-dating my website but also neglecting the allotment a little.

My main visits to the allotment have been to pick fruit ( plums, raspberries, loganberries and blueberries) also digging up potatoes, my new and second early varieties. I have also been picking the normal items like, courgette's, beetroot, cucumbers tomatoes, radishes and lettuce. French beans and Oregan sugar pod peas.

We are starting to see a little bit of Blight at the allotment some people have cut down some of their potato foliage to help stop the spread.

I gave the brassica bed a good hoe and the cabbage butterflies are around, so I need to keep my eye on my brassica leaves for young caterpillars. I will try and remove them with my fingers while the plants are still small in size.

Its the first year for fruit on my plum and pear tree this year and the plums taste great. Its the best year for my blueberries this year as well. In general it does seem to be a good year for fruit. I think mainly the late rains helping to swell the fruit.

I have updated the Calendar section with things to-do in August. So I had better get my finger out and do some of the jobs myself. The weeds are growing well so I need to break the back of them which I will start to do on my next visit to the allotment.