April 2014

Monday 28th

Had a quick visit to the allotment yesterday just to water a picked some rhubarb. Today I spent my time working on my brassicas cage to make it a little more secure. I then watered and finally picked some more Rhubarb and Asparagus.

Thursday 24th

Raspnberry and Rhubarb beds cleared of weeds

My wife and I visited the allotment this afternoon to do some weeding and general clean up. We weeded the beds and spent some time clearing the paths, the Rhubarb and Raspberry beds. ( see image on the left ). Finally I cut the grass paths and trimmed their edges before retuning home for a good earned rest.

Wednesday 23rd

crops growing in greenhouse

A great day at the allotment today, and great weather. I managed to plant my main crop potatoes. ( see a video for planting potatoes ). I also planted out my tomatoes into their growing position in the greenhouse, gave the plants a good water before returning home for a cup of tea.

The image above shows:

  1. The new potatoes developing well in the greenhouse
  2. The tomatoes planted into their growing positions
  3. Lettuce growing well
  4. Modules of courgettes, sweetcorn, squash, runner beans, cucumbers.
  5. Outside to the left you will see where my main crop potatoes have now been planted.

Tuesday 22nd

Another short visit to the allotment. I managed to give all the outside plants a good watering. I then earthed up some of my new potatoes in the greenhouse before giving them a good water. I finally picked some lettuce, returning home for a cup of tea.

Monday 21st

Seedlings on windowsill

Had a quick visit to the allotment today, mainly to take the seedling from my windowsill at home (see image on the left) to the greenhouse to continue growing with less heat. I then watered the greenhouse and the outside beds. before returning home for breakfast.

Wednesday 16th

Potatoes growing in bags

Another Bright and breezy morning at the allotment. I have visited the allotment since Friday but just to water and check on the seedlings. This morning I watered all the items growing. I also earthed up the potatoes growing in the greenhouse, these have really shot away ( see image on the left ). I planted out 3 tomato plants in pots that will grown on in the greenhouse They are an early bush type called " garden pearl" A small cherry type, suitable for hanging baskets and pots.

Friday 11th

 peas and shallots doing well

An excellent day for visiting the allotment, nice and warm with a very light breeze. I started by checking all my seedlings and plants growing on the allotment they are all fine, and I gave them a water at the same time. I planted out the summer spinach and beetroot that were sown in modules, and then sowed seed to fill the rest of the 4ft x 1ft section for beetroot and the same for spinach. The new potatoes growing in the greenhouse where earthed up more, including the later planted sacks. I finally gave the asparagus bed a good weed, and before going home for lunch I picked my first crop of asparagus and some nice sticks of rhubarb, both will be eaten with my lunch. The images on the left shows my Garlic, Shallots, and Peas doing well.

Wednesday 9th

Marigolds being eaten by slugs

Another nice warm day today. I went to the allotment taking grass cuttings from home to be composted at the allotment. I gave the plot a good water although it had rained since my last visit. I cut and trimmed the grass and the edges. I then sowed some " Masterpiece" dwarf French beans which I covered with fleece to hopefully give me an early crop. I then decided to plant out my onion seedlings which I did. I have slug damage on my marigolds so I spread some slug pellets around to help prevent any more damage. I then returned home where after lunch I sowed the following seeds into modules, A few Runner-beans (15) to give an early start, All my sweetcorn (48), Two varieties of Melon ( 3 + 3 ), Courgettes (5) Cucumbers (3), and Squash (6). These will be germinated on my kitchen window and once developed, will be taken to the allotment greenhouse to grow on until they are ready for planting out in the beds. The image above shows the damage on the left and the culprit on the right.

Saturday 5th

  my comfrey bed

I have just got back from a week away in our caravan, so no work at the allotment has been carried out. The first task was to check out my seedlings and they have got through the week without any hardship. My potatoes are growing well in the greenhouse, so I earthed up the first two bags planted on the 19th February. The second bags planted on the 7th March are starting to show their foliage. I uncovered my Comfrey plants and they are doing well. My carrots are showing, and my peas have grown about an inch this week. I then took a video showing the allotment for March and hopefully this will be uploaded to You Tube and will be available for viewing under the diary section for March. The image on the left shows my new Comfrey bed.

April

What needs doing this month

Fruit:

  • Watch flowering and setting of apples, pears, plums, and cherries to ascertain probable size of crop.
  • Keep a watch for pests on flowers and fruit lets
  • Check the cross pollination is effective.
  • Protect wall trees and soft fruit bushes against frost while in bloom.
  • Plant late-flowering strawberries.
  • Check tree ties and stakes to prevent rocking.
  • Mulch around trees and water newly planted fruit.
  • Spray apples, black currants, peaches, and nectarines, pears, plums and strawberries.
  • Give a fine spray of water to open peach and nectarine flowers to help setting.
  • Ensure that pollinating insects can reach flowers on cloched strawberries.
  • Remove flowers from immature and autumn -fruiting runners

Vegetables:

  • Sow Asparagus seed
  • Continue to sow Lettuce, Radish, Carrots and Peas.
  • It is probably a bit early to sow French beans but if the weather is mild try sowing a few under cloches for an early crop
  • Sow Beetroot for an early crop.
  • Most Brassicas ( Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale ) can now be sown.
  • Continue to plant chitted potatoes.
  • Sow Salsify and Scorzonera.
  • Earth up any Potatoes that are beginning to come through.
  • Put up supports for Runner beans over the previously prepared trenches.
  • Continue hoeing all beds to prevent weeds.
  • Most hardy vegetable seeds can be sown now.
  • Plant out chitted potatoes if the weather is mild and the ground is not waterlogged.
  • Plant Asparagus crowns in the bed prepared previously.
  • Brussels Sprouts sown earlier in the frame or greenhouse can be transplanted to open ground.
  • Ensure that the soil is firmed well after planting.
  • Sprouting Broccoli should now be ready for picking. Pick regularly to ensure continued growth of new shoots.
  • Complete the planting of early Potatoes and start to plant Main crop.
  • Thin out early vegetables sown under cloches.
  • Plant out seedlings of Broad beans and peas that have previously been hardened off.
  • Sow Parsley for summer use.
  • Thin out Parsnip that were sown last month.
  • Hoe any seed beds to ensure that no weeds appear to suffocate the seedlings and to ensure the soil is aerated.
  • Erect protection (or use fleece) around Carrots against Carrot Fly
  • Plant final main crop. Potatoes.
  • Prepare trenches for Runner Beans by incorporating plenty of manure or compost.
  • Plant onion sets
  • Transplant Onions that were sown in the greenhouse in December to their final positions.

Greenhouse:

  • Sow melons, cucumbers and tomatoes for outside cultivation
  • Sow sweet corn, marrows, courgettes, runner beans and French beans
  • Plant cucumbers and melons in an unheated greenhouse
  • Start vines in an unheated greenhouse and pollinate early starters
  • Thin peaches and nectarines
  • Pollinate strawberries
  • Check heaters and ventilators
  • Apply shading if necessary
  • Check for pests and diseases

Herbs:

  • Sow small amounts of dill, fennel, marjoram, and thyme.
  • Make further sowing of parsley.
  • Thin seeds sown in March
  • Hoe to prevent weeds.
  • Plant out rooted cuttings of bay, lavender, mint, rosemary, and sage.

General:

  • Keep an eye out for slugs on early sowing in cloches.
  • Have you cleaned your shed yet?
  • Is your equipment working ready for the spring?
  • is it time to give your grass paths a cut