Allotment Blog September 2007

Weekending 02.09.07

Potato bed clearedTuesday visited the allotment and had a major picking session. Firstly I picked another apple tree sorting out the apples to keep for storage and those smaller apples for cooking down and freezing. I picked a large quantity of blackberries, runner beans, courgette's and tomatoes.
The afternoon was spent stewing down the apples and freezing them ready for use in the winter. The runner beans were prepared for freezing, I also gave away a selection of the produce picked to my neighbours.

Wednesday I started to have a good clear up at the allotment. First I cut the grass which was very long. I then edged the bed two where this year's potatoes were grown, as seen in the picture to the right, and weeded and made a pile ready for burning unusable potatoes and the blight infested foliage.

Bed 1 needs clearingThursday I started to tidy up bed one, here are the before and after pictures. I edged this bed and started to hoe the weeds and got about a third of it done before calling it a day.

Friday I went to the allotment but could not get in as we have had some new gates fitted and the lock had been damaged. so I went for a long walk around the Naze area so did not do anything at the allotment as intended

Bed 1 after clearingSaturday I finished off bed one by hoeing around the courgette's, tomatoes and runner beans. I then helped my mate out for about 10min and came home for lunch.

Sunday I was going to go to the allotment and continue clearing up by hoeing the


Brassica bed needs clearing of weedsBrassica bed which again was full

of weeds as you can see from the picture below. I should hoe more often, as they say a stitch in time saves nine and that is certainly the case with my allotment this year, you put a job off, and it gets far more difficult in the end to complete. So I now have that brassica patch waiting for me on Monday!

Weekending 09.09.07

Cleared brassicas of weedsMonday, a nice morning so I set off early to get stuck into weeding the Brassica bed. This I did and it was not as bad as expected. I managed to give it a good hoe and tidy up in about 2 1/2 hours and it looks a lot better, as you can see from the picture below on the left.
A couple of my brassica plants had gone limp and died, as you can see from the picture below on the right.

Wilted brassicsThere was no roots left only very fine white hairs as though roots are trying to grow, as you can see from the picture on the left.
It may be ants as there are a great many this year. Cabbage root fly may also be a cause, although in general the allotment does not suffer with that infection. I will do a little more investigation.

roots gone from brassicaOn further investigation I can rule out cabbage root fly as there is no damage to the stem and no sign of small aphids. There are on the other hand plenty of ants around, and the surrounding soil is very fine as though ants have been working through the soil.

Tuesday was another fine day so my wife lilian joined me down the allotment, I carried on edging beds 4, 5 and 6 and hoed bed four where my main crop onions were grown. I cleared bed 4 as can be seen below right. Cutting down comfreyLilian cut down the comfrey plants as you can see in picture below left, and put them on the compost also trimmed around the small pond. She then picked blackberries, tomatoes, runner beans and courgette's. We gave the runner beans and courgette's away to neighbours as we have them coming out of our ears and the freezer is full ready for the winter.

My next visit to the allotment was on Sunday. I gave the grass a good cut. My bigboy tomatoes needed sorting out in the greenhouse, they were toppling over due to the weight of tomatoes, so I gave the plants a trim removing any side shoots and supporting them better. I also thinned out the bottom leaves to enable light and air to circulate around the fruit.Bed 4 cleared I finally picked raspberries and blackberries, picked and gave away courgette's that had overgrown, becoming marrows. I watered my brassica bed and outdoor tomatoes and, of course, the greenhouse. Looking at my brassica's I noticed some caterpillars, so on Monday I will deal with them. I then went home for lunch.

Weekending 16.09.07

Plot s 4 5 and 6Visited the allotment on Monday. The main job in hand is to give my brassica bed a spray. Firstly I watered the brassicas, then I made up 5 litres of insecticide and took my time spraying my brassica plants on and under the leaves. I spent about 1 1/2 hours doing that, so I called it a day and went home for lunch.

Tuesday we spent time picking Runner beans keeping the nice ones and composting the overgrown runner beans. I cleared one of my apple trees of fruit and put the apples on the compost, as they were far too small to bother with. I then burnt the pile of old potato plants and potatoes and also my main rubbish bonfire pile. Generally hoed beds 5 and 6 and all is looking neat and tidy at long last.

Wednesday, another day at the allotment, I decided to cutback some of my fruit bushes namely Loganberry and tayberry and tied in the new growth ready for next year's fruit, See tips and tricks. A tidy allotmentDid some general hoeing and then went home for lunch. Tomorrow (Thursday) I have a golfing tournament/reunion with some old work colleagues, most of them I have not seen for ten years, so it should be a great day so no allotment for me.

Friday I spent the morning blanching runner beans for freezing. I used up excess tomatoes by making tomato soup for freezing, see this week's recipe for tomato soup.

Saturday I cooked a large batch of beetroot. As I prefer beetroot without the vinegar, I have frozen some cooked as an experiment to see if they defrost OK.

Sunday, a trip to the allotment just to do some more picking. Also took some pictures of the allotment as you can see they are looking a lot more tidy now. plot one is above and plot two is on the right

Weekending 30.09.07

I have not done much at the allotment over the last two weeks other than cut the grass, pick vegetables and fruit when required and also watered the plants when needed.

It has all slowed down for me at the moment, I have been on a couple of short holidays, and have spent time working on my other hobby, my on line shop. But over the next few weeks I will start to dig the beds over ready for the next growing season. And start thinking about what vegetables I will grow next year.