Allotment Blog April 2008

Weekending 06-04-08

Tomatoes pricked out

Well it's been a few weeks since my last entry. There have been a number of reasons for my lack of entries. The main reason is I have had just a few trips to the allotment and only to pick a selection of brassicas, leeks and rhubarb, so not much to comment on. This was mainly caused by unsettled weather, being occupied with other interests and laziness. As you may already know, one of my other interests include computing, so sitting on one's backside looking busy on the computer can be used to mask laziness., which I can do with great aplomb.

So over the last couple of weeks I have managed to sow my tomatoes, peppers, beetroot and leeks, these are doing well in the greenhouse at home as you can see from the pictures below. I have just pricked out the tomatoes and peppers into individual pots.

peas growing in guttering

The three varieties of tomatoes have been pricked out ( Bigboy- Alicanti - Red Alert ).The leek shoots are still folded in half so this is a good time to prick out into modules or large seed trays. The Beetroot is progressing OK when a little more mature I will plant out into growing position I have also sown some peas into guttering in the greenhouse ready to plant out later in the year. see last section of sowing and planting peas. I will then refill the guttering with new peas to give a succession of fresh peas through the season. If you grow in raised or 4ft wide beds slide each gutter of peas across the bed 2-3 ft apart.

Peas being slid out of guttering into growing site

Peas are allowed to grow in guttering until ready to plant out in growing site. Peas are then slid out of guttering into their growing position

I went down to the allotment on Friday and planted two rows of early potatoes.

Weekending 13-04-08

Monday I decided to prick-out my leeks. It is best to prick out when the seedlings are still folded over. ( some of you might remember last year I did not prick them out and had to purchase some leek plants via ebay) . Mind you I had some fantastic leeks. I hope these are as good

We have had some really nice weather this week so on Wednesday I went to the allotment and the main job was to cut the grass paths and grassy areas around the fruit trees. This I did, and picked forced Rhubarb and some more broccoli.

Thursday I decided to prepare the ground for the new strawberry bed although it is getting a little late in the year. Firstly, I selected a space on my fruit plot 20ft x 8ft, I marked it out as you can see. The main problem I have is couch grass so I have decided to dig down a spade's depth all around the edge and line the edge with plastic and wood, hopefully this will help in keeping the couch from entering the bed from the grass sides. I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday lining and framing the bed. Next week I will finish the job by digging it over composting, rotovating and then planting my strawberry plants.

Weekending 20-04-08

This week I continued digging the strawberry plot over a period of two days. Because of visitors that were with us for three days I did not complete the rotavating and planting of strawberries so I hope to finish it off next week. All the seedling are doing well in the greenhouse.

Weekending 27-04-08

Cheery tree in blossomIt looks like we may be in for our first bumper harvest of cherries, looking at the amount of blossom we have this year. As long as the birds don't get the fruit first! Here is our dual cherry tree in fall bloom.

Well, I have finally completed my strawberry bed. I had three good days down the allotment this week. I finished digging over, composting and rotovating the strawberry bed then planted out my two varieties of strawberries. One variety is "Cambridgeshire favourite ", the other variety I was given about 10 years ago and I never discovered the name of them but they have a fantastic flavour.Cauliflower

I completed harvesting the last of my cauliflowers and broccoli ready to clear the brassica bed.

The next session was then taken up with removing and clearing up last years brassica bed, all the greenery and stems from my brassicas will be chopped up and placed in a trench with compost ready for planting my runner beans. The picture on the left shows the protection and netting removed. The plants dug up ready for chopping up and placing in the trench, which will be dug next week.

Potatoes plantedSunday I composted and rotovated plot one and finally completed the planting of my early main crop and main crop potatoes. I had already planted two rows of earlies "Duke of York". I completed the plot with two rows each of "Anya", "Desiree" and "King Edward". We are still eating the same three varieties of main potatoes I planted last year but the Anya as starting to go a little on the soft side.