May 2014

Saturday 31st

I had a great morning at the allotment. I made an allotment tour video for May, see Video - Allotment Tours. I then planted out my "Three Sisters" bed and made a video which can be found in Video - From The Allotment Shed. Finally I watered the greenhouse and harvested some Strawberries and Spinach before going home for lunch.

Friday 30th

Courgette, Squash and carrots planted and sownI had a good morning at the allotment this morning plenty of sun with very little wind. I started by weeding my leeks and dwarf French beans which were under fleece. The beans where very spindly, so I pulled them up with the weeds and re-sowed some more in the same positions with out the fleece. I then weeded the asparagus which I have now left to grow. Next I planted out my courgette plants from modules and put large bottomless pots round the courgettes to protect from the wind. I also sowed some butternut squash directly into their growing positions. Following on from this I sowed some carrots. Finally I cut the grass paths around my plots and strimmed their edges, and before I left for lunch I watered the greenhouse. The image illustrates: The large pots cover the courgettes planted, the wet area on the left of the image shows where I have sown the carrots, and the dark patches to the right of the pots show where I have sown the Butternut squash.

Wednesday 28th

Had rather a lot of rain over the last few days so no visit to the allotment. Visited the allotment this morning, every thing is growing fine although the ground is very wet. I harvested Spinach, Strawberries, lettuce, Rhubarb and Radishes. I then watered the greenhouse planted some more lettuce that had been sown in modules. Finally I sowed some more lettuce into modules before going home for my cup of tea.

Saturday 24th

Just a quick visit to the allotment to water the greenhouse and pick a few strawberries, radishes and lettuce.

Thursday 22nd

My clean shedHad an early start at the allotment, we had a lot of rain and wind over night and it was still windy when I arrived at the allotment. Originally I was going to plant out my sweetcorn and squashes but as it was rather windy I did not fancy the plants chances of surviving the wind. Instead I decided to spend the next couple of hours giving my main shed a good clear and clean out, This was only possible as I moved all my bulky items to my new storage shed. We have now got enough room to sit in the shed on windy and cold days to drink our tea. The image on the right shows my clean and tidy shed.

Wednesday 21st

Had a more relaxed morning at the allotment. I took some compostibles to the allotment to compost. I then placed the two early potato grow bags outside from the greenhouse and added another grow bed to the greenhouse positioned at the far end between the two growing beds. I sowed some more climbing beans ( Pea Beans ) on bed 8 of the new plot. I made eight composted planting mounds ready for planting squash and courgettes. I then transferred all my bulky items from my old shed to the shed on the new plot ( netting, windbreaks, fleece. enviromesh, membrane, Large bubble plastic). On my next visit I will tidy my old shed. Finally I planted out my Melons, Cucumbers, and Peppers into their growing positions in the greenhouse. I picked my first strawberries and went home for lunch.

6th May

Tuesday 20th

I had an interesting morning at the allotment. Yesterday I collected some used carpets ready to form a base for my paths on the new plot which I took to the allotment to store until I am ready to make my paths.. My intention this morning was to cut down the overgrown area behind the shed on the new plot, so I started with my strimmer which had run out of cord so I tried to add a new cord but I could not remove the housing to install it, so I borrowed the allotment strimmer, with this I started to cut down the overgrown grass and as I got a quarter of the way through it run out of cord. Then another allotment holder lent me his and after completing another section his strimmer ceased up all together So I gave up trying to complete that task. I then planted out my Runner beans ( white lady ) that had been growing in modules into the end of bed 3. I then sowed some Borlotta Beans on the edge of bed 7 ( new plot). I then watered the greenhouse and did some general weeding. Finally I covered the Strawberry plants with netting to protect the fruit from the birds. I then went home for Lunch.

Saturday 17th

My first New PotatoesMy first job was to harvest some of my early potatoes (Swift). So I my made a video on growing potatoes in a bag. I harvested Two bags of early potatoes giving me 10lb of potatoes. I then planted some red cabbage I was given from another allotment holder. Finally I erected my Runner Bean canes on the new allotment plot, ready for sowing later in the month. I then went home for my elevenses. The image on the left shows the new potatoes I have harvested from my first bag. On the right side of the image you can see my new plot has been dug and rotavated.

Friday 16th

Planted six rows of main crop potatoes on my new plot Two rows each of Desiree, Maris Piper and King Edwards. I got a bag of each from B&Q for 50p each bag. My wife joined me at the allotment and planted 160 onion sets in the new plot. I purchased the sets from B&Q for £1.98. My wife also weeded the onions in my SFG bed. Finally we gave the plots and greenhouse a good water before we both went home for lunch.

Thursday 15th

I managed to finish digging the top section of my new allotment. I then borrowed the large Rotavator and Rotavated the plot to a fine tilth. I gave it a quick rake before returning home for a well earned rest.

Wednesday 14th

A carried on weeding and digging my new plot today by tomorrow I would have completed the section from the top of my plot to the shed. Then I only have a 13 foot section the other side of the shed to complete.

Tuesday 13th

My digging todate.

Another early start at the allotment. I spent another 4 hours weeding and digging a 10 ft wide strip across my new allotment plot. I just finished this section when it started to rain. So I finished off by watering the greenhouse before returning home for lunch. The image on the right shows what I have dug to date. If the weather holds up I will be back tomorrow for another digging session.

Monday 12th

I spent another 4 hours at the allotment this morning firstly I took a video recording of my new allotment plot which I uploaded to You Tube, which can also be viewed below. I spent the rest of my time weeding and digging another 7ft wide strip across the plot. If the rain keeps off I will return and complete another 7ft strip tomorrow.

Sunday 11th

Started clearing my new plotHad a great morning at the allotment. I have taken over another allotment plot which is next door to my present plot. I spent the morning clearing the edges to the plot so that I can see where it starts and finishes. I marked out where my beds and paths are going to go. Finally I weeded and dug the first marked bed at the top of the plot ( there are some Comfrey plants that I will leave in the ground until I decide where I am going to plant them). So over the next week I will carry on clearing the plot. I will be using conventional methods of planting in this plot, but I will keep my beds to a 4Ft 6in width, with a path in between them so that I do not need to tread on the earth. I then watered the greenhouse, before returning home for lunch.

Saturday 10th

Visited the allotment this morning. I spent my time cutting the grass paths. I then watered the greenhouse. It was rather windy with showers so I then returned home for lunch.

Wednesday 7th

I very short trip to the allotment today just to pick some Lettuce, Asparagus and Rhubarb. I watered the greenhouse and then returned home.

Monday 5th

leeks planted out Had a great morning at the allotment the sun was shining with a light sea breeze. I planted out my leeks that were grown in modules earlier in the year. I think that the leeks are better grown outside in a seed bed as they get a lot thicker and taller than they do in modules, so next year I will sow them in a seed bed. I then watered the allotment before returning home for lunch. The image on the right shows 144 skinny leeks planted into bed 4. ( using the Square Foot Method 9 leeks per 1 Sq Ft).

Sunday 4th

Brassica plants planted

Another sunny warm day at the allotment. I spent most of the time planting Brassica plants from my modules into the Brassica beds. I planted 16 each of Brussels Sprouts, January King, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Calabraise, and Summer Cabbage. ( I know that planting the Broccoli, Winter Cabbage, and Calabraise is a little early but the plants were quite large, so I planted them. It will be interesting to see how they turn out). I then watered all my plants before picking some Rhubarb, and going home for a late lunch. The image on the left shows my Brassicas planted in their cage.

Saturday 3rd

Potatoes growing in bag

I had a great morning at the allotment. I weeded my Parsnips, Carrots, Beetroot and Spinach. I may have to sow some more parsnips as there were not many showing their leaves. I also earthed up my potatoes that I planted in the white pots outside the greenhouse. I stuck my hand down the first potato bag I planted up with potatoes, and pulled out a potato about 2in in diameter. I will give them another week or so, and then empty out the bag. The image above illustrates the potato and what bag it came from.

Friday 2nd

tomato starting to flower

An overcast and showery day, but I visited the allotment mainly to water the greenhouse, as the outside beds have had some rain to water them. I took a video of the allotment for the month of April which can be found on You Tube and also under the diary section for April. I pulled some rhubarb and cut some asparagus before returning home for a coffee. The image above shows my tomatoes starting to flower in the greenhouse.

May

What needs doing this month

Fruit:
  • Watch for pests and control as necessary
  • Water fruit trees and bushes in dry weather while fruit is swelling
  • Bark ring apples and pears if necessary to encourage fruiting
  • Feed apples, pears, cherries, blackberries, loganberries, black currants, gooseberries,
  • peaches and nectarines, plums, damsons, raspberries and red currants.
  • Spray apples, pears, cherries, blackberries, black currants, gooseberries, peaches and
  • nectarines, strawberries.
  • Tie up new growth on blackberries and loganberries.
  • Control weeds around trees and bushes.
  • Start thinning fruit on well-trained trees.
  • Remove overcrowded and surplus shoots from raspberries and apply a mulch.
  • Protect Strawberry fruits with straw or paper collars and scatter slug pellets.
  • De-blossom immature and autumn-fruiting strawberry runners
  • Start summer pruning vines

Vegetables

  • Cover potatoes if frost threatens
  • Prepare sites for growing marrows and pumpkins
  • Prepare planting sites for tomatoes
  • Sow French beans
  • Keep up sowing of seeds such as beetroot, beans, leaf beet, sprouting broccoli, calabrese, cauliflower and kale to keep a succession of crops going.
  • Plant outdoor tomatoes but ensure that they have protection at night.
  • Sow Swede seeds.
  • Make sure that all vegetables under cloches are kept well watered.
  • Sow more peas for a succession of crop.
  • Plant Cucumbers in cold frames.
  • Potatoes should be earthed up regularly. A little general fertiliser sprinkled between the rows will help growth.
  • Sow sweet corn in blocks outdoors.
  • Transplant Brussels Sprouts previously grown in seedbeds or greenhouse.
  • Sow more Peas for a succession of crop.
  • Sow seeds of Broccoli (Calabrese) , Kale, Endive, Chicory, Swede, Courgettes and Pumpkins.
  • Sow Sweet corn direct into the soil where they are to mature.
  • Sow seeds of Lettuce and Radish for continuous crops.
  • Plant out Summer cabbages and Brussels Sprouts that have been previously grown in a cold frame.
  • Continue to hoe all beds to keep weeds down.
  • Thin Beetroot seedlings to about 9" apart or 6" if smaller baby beets are required.
  • Thin out Carrots previously sown and sow more for a succession of crop.
  • Plant out celery in blocks.
  • Once broad beans have stopped flowering, pinch out the tips as a prevention against Blackfly.

Herbs:

  • Cut herbs as required for use fresh or for drying. Sow more seeds if needed.
  • Sow basil now that the temperatures are higher.
  • Plant up a herb pot for use in the house.
  • Start to harvest the young shoots fennel, dill, chives and parsley. This will also help to encourage bushy new growth.
  • Sow seeds of chervil, coriander and parsley.

Greenhouse:

  • Sow melons,and cucumbers 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

 

General:

  • check sundries like stakes, bean poles, canes, netting, fertilisers etc.
  • tidy up the shed while its still quite quiet.