August 2014

Friday 29th

Very windy at the allotment this morning. I spent most of my time making my Allotment Video Tour for August see Video - Allotment Tours. I did some watering mainly in the greenhouse before returning home for lunch.

Wednesday 27th

Tomtoes de-leaved in the greenhouseI had a good morning at the allotment. I started by tidying up the greenhouse by trimming back the foliage from the tomatoes to enable more air and light to help ripen the fruit. I then harvested some tomatoes from the greenhouse. I then cut the grass paths around my plots trimming up the edges. I then picked some runner beans and planted and sowed some more lettuce before returning home for a nice cup of tea. The image on right illustrating my trimmed Tomatoes.

Thursday 21st

Potatoes drying in the sunThis morning I sorted through my potato harvest sizing the potatoes ready to add to their sacks for storing. Before adding to their sacks I left them in the sun to dry out more, before sacking up and taking them home to store in the garage.

Next I broke down the sods on the harvested potato bed and covered with a membrane and added several buckets of water to soften the soil ready to dig and sow some Green manure to over winter.

The image on the left shows my potatoes having a good sunbathe. To finish off, I watered the allotment and greenhouse before returning home for lunch.

Wednesday 20th

Potatoe HarvestA good productive morning at the allotment. I dug up my Desiree Potatoes from my SFG bed 2. I was very pleased with the crop, I got a large wheelbarrow full. There was no slug damage but some slight woodlice and scab damage, also about three potatoes had blight. I left the barrow of potatoes in my shed to start to dry out.

I took a video of the harvest which will become Part Two of Square Foot Gardening Planting-03 Potatoes. This will be added to Videos - "From The Garden Shed". then uploaded to You-tube later next week. The image on the right shows my potato crop from today’s harvest.

Tuesday 19th

cleared part of brassica bed and sown green manureAnother great morning at the allotment today. I started by harvesting a selection of crops. I then decided to clear my caged section by harvesting all my peas parsnips and carrots, and clearing my summer cabbage and Calabraise that have gone well past their best.
I then gave the cleared sections a good weed and hoe, and finished by sowing " Green Manure" to over winter. (The image shows the cleared parts of the beds which have been sown with the Green Manure.)
My last task for the morning was to give some of the beds and greenhouse a good water, before returning home for a light lunch.

Friday 15th

Just a quick visit to the allotment this afternoon just to pick a few salad items for this evenings dinner and give the greenhouse a good water. We have had a fair amount of rain that has given the beds a good watering.

Wednesday 13th

Grass path being removedAnother great morning at the allotment. I decided to mark out my Square Foot Gardening raised beds on the new plot. I will be making them 4ft wide approximately 20ft long with a 3ft path between each bed. Once this was done I spent the rest of the morning digging up the grass path that runs across the allotment just behind the shed. This was completed this morning. On my next visit I will double dig where the SFG bed is going and bury the turfs in the bed. The image on the right illustrates the removal of the grass path to allow a 4ft wide raised bed to replace it.

Tuesday 12th

Sqush growing in my Two sisters BedWe have had a nice lot of rain over the last few days which has given the allotment a good water. My first Job this morning was to harvest some of my crops. I then spent time weeding the new allotment plot. I have very little weeding to do on the Square Foot Gardening Beds, so I am looking forward to turn my new allotment plot into SFG beds which I will start in the autumn. I have sown some more lettuce and planted out some lettuce which have been started off in modules. The crops seem to be growing OK and the image on the left shows some "Sweet Dumpling" squash developing in the three sisters bed which I am now calling The Two Sisters as I have removed the runner beans as they were stopping the sweetcorn from developing properly.

Thursday 7th

Made a short trip to the allotment this morning. I harvested some more produce including Sweetcorn for the fist time. I then added support to some of my fruiting melons. Finally I watered the greenhouse and returned home for a cup of tea.

Tuesday 5th

Comfrey juiceI had another good morning at the allotment. I finished making the first batch of my Comfrey feed, by syphoning off the juice that has been extracted from the decaying Comfrey leaves, and placing it in old plastic bottles to store until required.
The rest of my time at the allotment was spent potting up some more strawberries from runners obtained from the mother plants. I Then returned home to blanch the peas and beans picked yesterday. I also made some courgette Provencale from my Courgettes, Tomatoes, Shallots, that I harvested this season.

Monday 4th

my first melon

Another warm morning at the allotment. I started the morning by harvesting some crops including: Raspberries, Calabraise, Cabbage, Carrots, Courgettes, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Radish, Runner Beans, French Beans, and Peas. Once that job was done I weeded and cleared the top bed on my new allotment just leaving the pok Choi and Runner beans. I then weeded the second bed where the courgettes and pumpkins are growing within the wind break. My next task was to tie up my tomatoes growing in the greenhouse, and tidy the greenhouse a little, and while I was doing that look what I found, my first melon ( see image on the left). Finally I gave the greenhouse and outside beds a good water before going home for lunch.

Friday 1st

Just taken and uploaded my Allotment tour video for July 2014 which can be found in Video - " Allotment Tours ". I have made several visits to the allotment in July but did not get round to updating my diary. So I hope to do a lot better this month. My wife and I visited the allotment today and while I took the video my wife picked and harvested a range of produce from the beds, which included ( raspberries, courgettes, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, radish, beetroot, and cucumbers. We then watered and returned home for our tea.

August

What needs doing this month

Fruit

  • Pick early apples and pears while under-ripe.
  • Summer prune restricted forms of apples and pears.
  • Pick loganberries, cut out fruited shoots, and tie in new shoots.
  • Spray black currant's and cherries.
  • Prune fruited shoots of wall-trained peaches.
  • Support heavily laden plum branches and complete pruning.
  • Protect September fruiting raspberries against birds and wasps.
  • Plant rooted strawberry runners.
  • Protect ripening grapes with glass.

Vegetables

  • Cut Marrows and Courgette's as they are needed.
  • Thin out sowing of Spinach and Seakale sown last month.
  • Gather French and Runner beans while young and tender.
  • If there is any bare ground without a crop in it, consider planting a green manure such as Rape or Mustard to help with the soil fertility next year.
  • Sow Onion seed in a cold frame for transplanting in Spring.
  • Sow Spring salad onions such as White Lisbon.
  • Continue to watch for Blight on Potatoes and spray with a fungicide if found. It is also worth checking outdoor Tomatoes for signs of this disease as they are part of the same family so can also get it.
  • Start to blanch Celery by wrapping the shoots in newspaper or corrugated cardboard and earth up the plants.
  • Make sowing of Chinese leaves, leaf beet and spinach for crops into autumn and winter.
  • Sow seeds of spring cabbages
  • Pick runner beans frequently to encourage more flowering and keep well watered to prevent flower drop.
  • Keep an eye on Brassicas for whitefly. Spray at first signs to keep down infestations.
  • Continue to keep Celery and Runner beans well watered. They will benefit from a feed at this time.
  • Japanese Onions sown last Autumn should now be ready for lifting. Place on trays to ripen in the sun.
  • Keep an eye on Peas for Mildew, spray with fungicide at first sign of infection.
  • Sow Spring Cabbage seeds.
  • Make a further sowing of Lettuce for late Autumn use.
  • Cut Cucumbers in frames as they mature.
  • Continue to feed outdoor Tomatoes and remove some of the lower leaves to allow the sun to ripen the fruit
  • Brussels Sprouts and other winter greens will benefit from a feed of general fertiliser sprinkled around the base of each plant. Do not let it touch the leaves or they may scorch.
  • Sow more winter salads and Chinese leaves.
  • Cut back the stems of potatoes, particularly if they are showing signs of blight, and lift the first main crop varieties. If slugs are causing problems, consider lifting all of them and placing in storage.
  • Stake Brussels sprouts as they get bigger to prevent them from rocking in the wind and becoming loose.

 

Herbs

  • Take cuttings of bay, lavender, mint, rosemary, rue and sage, and insert in sandy soil in
  • open ground, or in pots in a cold frame.
  • Divide chives every fourth year.
  • Collect and dry dill and fennel seeds.
  • Store dried herbs before they have had time to re-absorb moisture

Greenhouse

  • Keep the greenhouse cool by careful shading and ventilation
  • Water Carefully throughout the month
  • Sow lettuce for winter cropping
  • Harvest tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and aubergines
  • Train, feed and side shoot tomatoes
  • Train and feed cucumbers
  • Water a feed vines carefully
  • Harvest peaches and nectarines
  • Harvest strawberries
  • Pot up newly rooted strawberry runners.

General:

  • Cut grass paths
  • check plant supports for movement
  • Keep weeds down by hoeing
  • watch for slugs and pests