Allotment Blog June 2007
Well what's been happening over the last couple of weeks? Two weeks ago I picked and froze the peas that were sown in guttering. Also the broad beans that were sown in the autumn. see tips and tricks for freezing Peas and Beans. I then cleared the broad bean area and re sowed with a row of Dwarf french beans and a row of Peas (mange tout) Then I sowed main crop peas next to where the early peas were sown. The beds in plot section has been updated. I spent some time strimming around the fruit bushes and trees, and then used the strimmer to edge the grass paths around the vegetable beds. The lawn paths and grass areas were then cut. While I had the strimmer in hand I decided to cutdown the mass of couch grass and the small amount of asparagus in the asparagus bed. I then covered the bed with a plastic membrane to smother and kill the couch grass I will leave this bed covered for at least 18 months. then use it for something else. I will start a new asparagus bed away from any grass area later in the year. The comfrey was then cutdown and placed on the compost heap to give it some nutrients. I prepared the planting area for my row of tomatoes ready to plant next week. This week after the rain the allotment was showing weeds again so the hoe came out and the beds were cleared. I used the potatoes that were grown in pots in the greenhouse The first pot we got just two good portions from them and the second was better yielding 4 good portions. I also dug our first new potatoes from the ground and the yield per plant looks good so far. I picked and froze the remainder of the early peas (the ones that were sown directly in the bed) these gave a slightly less yield than the gutter sown peas. I picked our first cherries, slightly under ripe before the birds got to them. The peas I planted last week are showing so I have put some temporary protection over them to deter the birds.
Tuesday visited the allotment and firstly sorted out my strawberry bed. I set up this bed in November 2005 and planted a row of strawberry runners from plants I had given to me about 9 years ago so the variety name I do not know. At the same time I planted three other rows of early - middle and late season strawberries which I purchased. Then last summer I removed any flowering to help develop the plants ready for this year Summer 2007. Last year the strawberries were fine and they were trimmed and any runners removed. This year most of the bought strawberries have died. The only worthwhile plants are the Old faithful varieties I have had for the last 9 years. I prepared the bed, made a raised mound for the plants to sit on and covered the whole bed with membrane to suppress the weeds and couch grass. This you can see from the picture above. This picture was taken October 2006 after the plants and runners were trimmed. Looking left to right the fist row are fine the last three rows were disturbed by ants and then died leaving only the first row intact. The odd plants in the last three rows that survived, I transplanted to make up two rows of strawberries. I then covered them with netting to protect from the birds. So hopefully I may have a few strawberries this year. As you can see from this picture just two rows of strawberries.
Problems: I had planted potatoes in the bed the year before I planted the strawberries, this is not advised. When I removed the membrane today it was just a very very large ant nest. So I will not be growing strawberries with a membrane again. I will just need to weed more often.
I then planted my outdoor tomatoes. Thinned out side shoots from greenhouse tomatoes and gave the allotment a good water. Finally as there was very little wind I sprayed all my fruit trees and I saw three moths fly off my apple trees.
Wednesday; Had a productive morning I erected pigeon protection for my brassicas, covering the whole of bed three. I then planted up my sweet corn on bed 5 also a few extra french beans also on bed 5 ( were my swedes were going to be planted. I will now plant my swedes in with my brassicas in bed 3. Bed plans have been updated in the plots section. I planted up some runner beans grown in the greenhouse where there were spaces in the runner beans section of bed one. General hoeing was done around the potatoes spring cabbages and over winter onions. Thursday back to the allotment. Firstly I hoed around and between my two new rows of peas ready for preparing the ground for my Courgette's. See tips and Tricks for this week planting courgette's and pumpkins. I have decided to use the spare ground left from half of the strawberry bed to plant my pumpkins. I then cut the grass around the fruit trees and vegetable beds. Planted my peppers in the greenhouse and gave it a good watering. I then earthed up my main crop potatoes. Friday I just gave a general Hoe on Beds 1, 3, 6 as it was far to hot to do much else.
Tuesday I planted out my Courgettes see Tips and tricks Marrow, courgettes, squash and pumpkins
I then weeded and gave the greenhouse a good soaking. Picked some strawberries, Loganberries and raspberries.
We went away for a couple of days so no more visits to the allotment this week.