May 2017!

Wow! We have had some dry weather this last month. There has been the occasional shower but this has certainly been a very dry May. Suffice to say a good chunk of my time is taken up with watering the plot constantly!

I have been quite concerned this month about a number of things:'Well, when I've tried everything and it still hasn't rained, I wash the car.'

a) the lack of water. I know that we had a particularly wet week in the middle of May but the general trend appears to be on the dry side. Whilst most people will enjoy this I feel that it can’t be a good sign!?

b) the lack of bees. I try my best to have spaces in the allotment with bee frinedly plants, the wildlife pond, the herb garden etc. Every year I start to see bees buzzing around the broad beans, strawberries and chives now that they are out and flowering but this year there has been just a handful. As we make our way towards June there numbers are starting to increase but it still leaves me rather concerned! Has anyone else noticed this?

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A rare bumblebee in amongst the chives!

c) the lack of ladybirds. Aphids are slowly taking over my plot and normally I will see quite a few ladybirds enjoying a feast but this year I have only seen one – so much so that I have bought in ladybird larvae to tackle the growing aphid problem.

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All this lovely blossom  was hit by frost!

d) the lack of fruit set. We had a incredibly warm april which bought out all the flowers on my fruit trees. Out of nowhere in the first week of May we had a particularly hard frost which killed all the blossom on my apple, pear, plum and cherry tree. My strawberries were also hit but have bounced back with more flowers. Generally this means that the fruit I will harvest this year is limited to strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb.

Despite all this we have been working hard down the allotment trying to keep on top of things. I perpetually feel like I am behind but every year it gets a little easier!

Working away down the plot on the first bank holiday weekend, the ground was hard and dusty so when it rained (for 3 seconds) I was quite relieved! Mostly, we weeded the plots. The following weekend we ordered a load of manure which arrived promptly and was put to use covering the lazy bed. The bed was then promptly covered with weed control fabric which the wind took great delight in lifting it all off and depositing it against the fence. Cue two hours of trying to battle the wind and peg it back down with the help of some heavy compost bags, the garden table and a garden bench. Excitingly that weekend I ordered the polytunnel!

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Lazy bed has been covered with weed control fabric ready for squash plants to go in!

The following weekend was a planting weekend. I planted out cabbages, sprouted lentils and dwarf beans. The dwarf beans were torn apart by the wind over the following two days which was slightly heart breaking so have sown some more direct into the soil. I think I need to buy some wind breaks for the plots! My aubergines and celeriac plug plants arrived and they were promptly potted on (aubergines) or planted out (celeriac).

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Aubergines have arrived and been potted on!

I did a small amount of weeding in the herb garden specifically in thyme square and planted out some borage and bergamot. I also bought and planted a peony and two hostas around the pond.

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The pond is starting to come to life again with self-seeded california poppies flowering!

Thursday 18th saw my polytunnel being delivered and Sam got promptly to work putting it up with the help of our friend David, to whom I owe a bottle of whisky! I helped a little but generally big construction projects go better if Sam and I don’t work together (we argue!). It has taken a long time to put up the structure and even now the cover is not yet on. We have, however, built some raised beds for inside the polytunnel. Hopefully the first weekend in June will be calm enough for us to put the cover on and hang the doors. Whilst Sam and David were working hard to put up the polytunnel, I planted courgettes and sweetcorn on plot 2 and broccoli, red cabbages and swede on plot 1. The lovely deluge of rain during the week before saw my plots turn into mini jungles, the weeds went rampant among the sea of grass. It took me a total of 2 hours to strim and mow all the grass on plot 2 and 3.

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Polytunnel frame has gone up – just need to put on the cover and the doors!

The last weekend in May saw a second manure delivery after using up the last one. Sam and I got to work filling the raised beds in the polytunnel and earthing up potatoes.

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Potatoes have been earthed up with the new delivery of well-rotted manure!

I have jetted off to Lyon for a work conference (yawn!), where I am currently sat typing this in my hotel room, and Sam went to the allotment to strim the jungle that is the second half of plot 1. Very kindly, Sam’s mum is coming over tomorrow (bank holiday Monday) and I have left a list of things to be done. Hopefully, most of the items on the list will be crossed off. I have also left Sam in charge of the war against slugs and he will be applying the second batch of nematodes whilst I am away!sunshine

So May has been rather busy and now that the polytunnel is almost up and finished, I feel like we are starting to get plot 3 up together!

I hope your May has been a good one!

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April 2017!

April was really off to a sunny start with temperatures of 18 degrees in the south west!

I did quite a lot of work in my own garden the first weekend in April so that Sam and I could actually sit outside and start enjoying the lighter evenings but as always at least one day a week is reserved for the allotment.

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Overview of plot 1

We took the ‘mother-in-law’ around the allotments (not really the mother-in-law but for want of a better word) and she really liked the plots although thinks we are completely bonkers for taking on so much! Fast forward to the actual work we did, I dug up the newly planted strawberry plants on plot 1, laid weed control membrane over the bed and then re-planted the strawberry plants through it. This will save me the headache of constant weeding and stops the strawberries from being able to root runners! I then bought some straw and have placed that round the strawberries. This acts as a mulch, keeps strawberries clean as they develop and has the added benefit (or so I am told) of reducing slug damage.

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Strawberries have been planted through membrane and mulched with straw!

Sam and I also got to work digging over Section D where the potatoes will be this year. We removed the very last of the leeks and dug  over the ground ready for new raised beds on that section. This is the last part of plot 2 that needed raised beds in and then the structure of plot 2 would be complete! The weekend of the 8th saw us actually build those raised beds and set them in the ground (slightly wonky but hey, it doesn’t have to be perfect – just functional). Weed control membrane was laid down for the paths and then covered with bark chip. Fast forward to Easter weekend and Sam had the lovely (hard) job of planting all the second early and maincrop potatoes.

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New raised beds in section D!

Over the last three weeks, spring-planted onions have slowly been planted out in Section E and a variety of lettuces have been planted in the same beds. I have also sown a number of sowings of spring onions and beetroot but the seedlings don’t seem to get very far. I think this is more to do with the soil than with the seeds. Unfortunately, no matter how much compost or manure I add to the soil, it is always hard and dry! Yesterday I decided to sown my next lot of spring onion and beetroot sowings in the old wicker carrot planter where the soil is much nicer!

Section A on plot 1 (where the beans and peas are going) is starting to come to life. Pea and bean supports have been put up ready for plants. Two lots of pea plants have been planted out, one at the beginning of April and one at the end, and I have sown a further rows of peas direct which I hope will give me successional harvests of peas. All the broad beans have now been sown and the broad beans I planted back in November are flowering! Unfortunately, the frost we had last week has caused some of the tiny pods that were developing to go black! I guess that means I will be waiting a little longer for my first harvest of broad beans!

The Thursday after Easter, my dad came up and built me a new shed! We have treated it, painted the inside and can now store some of our tools on plot 3 instead of having to traipse all the way over to plot 1 every time we need something (or have forgotten to get something)! It is not as big as the one we originally inherited but hopefully with a lot of love and care it will last us for quite a few years (I am hoping for at least a decade!).

And shock! I finished tidying up the strawberries! I can’t believe it! I had to remove quite a lot of runners that had rooted and then moved some plants so there wasn’t such a big gap in the middle like before. We will be putting raised beds around the strawberries which should make it easier to weed, harvest and generally keep tidy – a job for May! I am so glad to finally get this off the to-do list! The strawberries are already showing lots of flowers so with a bit of luck I am in for a good harvest again this year. It is probably the last really good harvest I will get off some of these plants as they are 3 years old (some are new runners which have been moved). They will probably be left for another season and then the bed will be cleared for something new. By that time, the strawberry plants on my other plot will be nice and big and producing lots of strawberries!

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Strawberry bed has finally been cleared!

We have also lined the beds around the pond with wood.  The Californian poppies from last year have self-seeded and I decided to leave them there as they are such pretty flowers. I have also sown a white-flowered borage at home, and hope to plant them into the ponds beds and herb garden in the next fortnight!

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Pond beds have been lined with wood! This will stop the grass from creeping in!

For those of you who follow this blog you will know I have two friends who love to come up and help out on the allotment (often helping me get the hardest tasks done)! This last Saturday they came up and helped Sam and I to finally move the pile at the end of plot 3. The pile was dug up and moved to the lazy bed where it should hopefully compost down, and then we cleared the back of the plot of brambles, nettles and bindweed. Here we laid a thick mulch of dead leaves and then laid weed control membrane to hopefully stop all the weeds from coming back. We will cover this area with bark chip and next winter we will plant currant bushes here. We also marked out where the polytunnel will be going with bamboo canes and string and now that we have a nice (relatively) flat surface, I can order the polytunnel!

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Large pile has been removed and (mostly) leveled out. The polytunnel was marked out but unfortunately the bamboo canes snapped. Membrane at the back for currants next year!

There have been a few disappointments this last though, the frosts did some damage in our plots, the first early potatoes were hit quite hard. They are grown in bags and I didn’t get the bags filled up with compost in time! There is still some green foliage growing so have placed straw in the bags to keep them warm and protect from any further frosts and we will see if they recover!

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Straw put in potato bags to cover potato shoots and protect from any further frost.

Some of our plants around the pond were hit hard! The ‘Bleeding Heart’ and the flowers on the Heuchera have really been affected. The buds on the grape had just started to open up but I think the leaves have now died! It seemed to withstand the frosts really well last year but not so much this year! And also there seems to be a cat digging up my allotment! It dug a hole in the soil in my seed bed, destroying my brassica seedlings and it dug a hole in my parsnip bed!

Despite this, April has been a rather productive month! There is still a lot to get done in May. The polytunnel needs to be bought and erected and there will be a lot to plant out but I am looking forward to the month ahead!

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I hope you have  been able to enjoy your gardens and allotment this month as much as I have! Although I hope your muscles don’t ache as much as mine!

 

A nice surprise!

So I have a busy weekend this weekend, what with Sam’s birthday and making over my mum’s front garden, and I have had today (friday) off so that I could fit in a day in the allotment.

All week long I have been hoping the weather forecast would change from rain to sunshine but I am just not that lucky!

So feeling a bit down Thursday afternoon on my way home from work knowing that I wasnt going to get to do anything down the allotment! I get in and Sam greets me with ‘I have a present for you!’ I am expecting chocolates or something but instead he hands me his phone with a picture on it…

Remember the part of plot 3 where I am going to put the polytunnel? That bit I have been meaning to clear for the last six months?

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Well Sam spent the afternoon completely clearing it (after buying a new petrol strimmer)!

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All the rubbish has been moved to the rubbish pile for us to take to the tip and he cleared out all the brambles. There is still remnants of the pile we created but that can be easily moved.

And you know the extra half plot that we have taken on…yep he cleared that too!

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He strimmed all the grass so now I can get straight on with putting down flower beds!

So with that lovely little surprise I could enjoy my Friday off without worrying about not going to the allotment this weekend!

And he has kindly agreed to work down the allotment this week (on his week off) to clear more of plot 3 and get it ready for planting!

He is such a good boyfriend!

 

November 2016!

This month is cold!!! There have been frozen fingers at the allotment and to be honest I just wanted to stay inside!

The first Saturday of the month we got down to plot 2 and removed the last of the bean frames and dug over the bed ready for new raised beds to go in sometime soon! I also finally got the elephant garlic, normal garlic, shallots and winter onions planted. After two weeks the garlic was already showing little shoots!

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Garlic shoots are popping up!

The next day we just popped down to plot 1 to harvest some veg for our Sunday roast but ended up clearing away some rotting cabbages. Eventually the cold got to us and we retreated back indoors!

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Beds are dug over, manured and covered for the winter!

In the middle of November, we dug over half the old brassica beds and covered with plastic except for one, where we have sown ‘Super Aquadulce Claudia’ broad beans for overwintering. We laid more bark chip in plot 1 and dug up the Oca in plot 3.

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Winter broad beans have been sown and covered with fleece!

I am quite disappointed with the Oca. We had four plants and the tubers that we dug up were either very tiny and pointless to eat or were hollowed out by slugs or possibly wireworm. Not happy. We managed to get a handful of tubers but they were so tiny that it wasn’t worth doping anything with them. I have decided that next year I will give the Oca a miss!

Sam has dug over his little raised beds on plot 3 – you may remember he challenged himself to grow as much as he can in those two beds but unfortunately that didn’t come to much fruition. I think this is largely due to lack of planning! We did get some veg from it; broad beans, cabbage, carrots, radishes, runner beans but not any decent quantity. Birds were the biggest problem for Sam! So instead of growing veg in next year, he will be growing wild flowers, the seed of which he has now sown! We then retreated home and had a go at making our own butter! It was surprisingly easy yet hard work at the same time!

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The butter we made -one of two blocks!

The rain then stopped us from doing anything at the allotment the following weekend except to offload our garden leaves into the compost bin and fill up the bird feeding station! We were also far too busy buying toys and treats in preparation for our new dog China!

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Our beautiful new border collie – China!

Last weekend, I trundled off to the allotment and set about turning the compost – a mammoth task in itself! I also cleared the polytunnel, mulched with well rotted manure, put down weed control membrane and covered that with straw. I want to set the polytunnel up ready for the seedlings that I will be growing in the next year!

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Polytunnel is set up for plants next season. Just need some more staging!

I also got started with clearing the fruit cage! All the autumn-fruiting raspberry canes were cut down, the grape was pruned as were the red currants. They were all given a thick mulch or well-rotted manure. I just need to clear the weeds from around the black currants and mulch them too.

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Raspberries have been cut down and the bed has been mulched with well-rotted manure!

I didn’t manage to clear the strawberry patch again but then there is always December…if it is not too cold!

Most importantly, the Christmas Tree has gone up and the air is starting to feel festive!!

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It’s almost Christmas!

Jobs for October

The job list is still longer than my arm (will it ever be shorter?) and what with the days drawing in and the weather likely to change I doubt I will be spending as much time down the allotment! However, like the trooper I am, I still carry on trying to cross off the jobs on my list!

General

  • Order well-rotted manure for the beds from the local farm (have actually done this – it’s coming on the 8th – exciting !!!)
  • Tidy up and clean out shed; the shed have actually stayed pretty organise but they need a good sweep out and resident spiders and overwintering egg sacks are to be evicted!
  • Erect more water butts; we have room for at least two for each shed and I want to make the most of the rain water.

Plot 1

  • Harvest squash and pumpkins; half the squash and pumpkins have been harvested but the other half are still ripening – they should be ready halfway through the month.
  • Dig over squash beds and add manure ready for next year!
  • Replace weed control membrane on right hand side pathway; the existing membrane has disintegrated and is not doing its job anymore so needs to be pulled up and replaced.
  • Replace bark chip at the back of the plot; we have done this at the front of the plot but the layer at the back has gotten quite thin and has started composting down.
  • Kill bramble! This bramble is my nemesis – it keeps coming back!

Plot 2

  • Add manure to new garlic bed; this needs to be done in time for planting out new garlic and shallot sets
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Manure needs to be added before planting garlic
  • Dig over old onion bed and add manure; this will be our potato bed next year
  • Dig over potato beds and add manure; these will be brassica beds next year. Once manure is added they will be covered and left until next year.
  • Really really really need to sort out the strawberry bed! I have to get this job off my to do list – been meaning to do this for three months now and the strawberry bed is just a complete mess!

 

Plot 3

  • Move artichoke into herb garden
  • Harvest sweet potatoes
  • Clear area for polytunnel (still need to get this done – will probably need to recruit eager young diggers aka Jenny and Adam! Payment in pumpkins!)
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This area still needs clearing!

 

I have my fingers crossed that the temperature holds a while longer and we can avoid the frosts until late October/Early November just to give a few of my veggies time to ripen a bit more! October will be a busy month for me!

 

Jobs for September

I love September, I think it’s my favourite month – not only because it is my birthday this month – but because there is a real beauty in it. The days are getting noticeably shorter and slightly colder yet we still get some lovely sun! The leaves on the trees are staring to colour and turn golden and you can really feel the change happening all around you. I get quite excited because it reminds me that it won’t be long until Christmas and then after that our new growing season starts yet the days have not got cold enough to be grumpy about it! I really enjoy taking stock of everything I have achieved over the summer, my successes and failures and also getting down and dirty by digging everything over ready to start anew in the spring!

However, I don’t have time to be idly sitting by watching the seasons! Due to not much getting done in August, my September job list is quite long. What with my birthday , mini break to Cornwall and a work trip away for a week I don’t imagine that I will be getting many of these jobs done. But I can always try!

1. Strawberry bed

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Strawberry bed needs some serious TLC!

The strawberry bed needs clearing again! Although I started it, the weeds have run rampant through the patch. After ‘Gardener’s World’ two weeks ago and Monty advising us to tidy up the strawberries this is top of my to-do list. I may get one more good harvest out of these plants before I rotate to new plants so it will be a good idea to get them tidy and looking good before the winter sets in!

2. Clear the right side bed of the herb garden

This was supposed to be done in August but we didn’t get round to it. Also, the ground is exceptionally hard and I am hoping for a good bit of rain to soften the ground before I attempt to dig it over. I have a few plants I want/need to get into the bed soonish so it will be a job I need to get on with!

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Right side of the herb garden needs digging over!

3. Finish digging over unused beds.

Both the summer onion bed and the broad bean bed are finished with and need digging over. The broad bean bed will also need some well rotted manure incorporated into it as soon as possible as we will be planting garlic, winter onions and winter shallots (all of which need to be bought this month) in it end of October/beginning of November. The summer onion bed and the raised potato bed will have green manure sown in them to get some well needed nutrients into the ground!

As I am a little late posting this, Sam and I have already dug over the broad bean bed and divided it into two smaller beds ready for the alliums.

4. Polytunnel

We still need to finish clearing the area for the polytunnel, buy the polytunnel and put up the polytunnel and I don’t fancy doing this in the throes of winter so if we don’t manage to get this done by the end of September, it will be shelved until next year.

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Polytunnel space needs clearing! It actually looks tidier than it did!

5. Fruit cages

Both fruit cages need weeding. Whilst I tidied up and weeded the raspberries, the currants, blueberries and gooseberries all need seeing to. I will also put down a good mulch to suppress any remaining weeds this season.

Sam very kindly took a day off work and did some work on Plot 1 and has already cleared the gooseberry and blueberry cage! Just the currants to go!

6. Potato beds

The maincrop potatoes will need harvesting this month and the beds will need digging over. We will also line another one of these beds with wood this month (if we have the time and money)

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Maincrop potatoes need harvesting and the ground dug over.

7. Tidy up the pond beds

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All the annuals need removing and some more perennials put in for next year.

The annual flowers are coming to an end and are starting to look scruffy. Whilst I started weeding and planting up one side of the pond beds last month, the rest will need to come up this month. I will also take that opportunity to put in some spring and summer bulbs for next years flower display and move the Echinacea and Hostas I have at home to these beds.

I’ll still be harvesting away, the drying beans are mostly ready so will be picking all of these, runner beans are still cropping and I have cabbages a plenty! The squash and pumpkins are ripening and I look forward to the first frosts so that my parsnips get that lovely sweetness!

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Drying beans are nearly ready for all those delicious soups and stews!

Have a good September everyone!

 

August 2016!

I have spent less time down the allotment than I would have liked this month but other responsibilities have come first.

The worst thing to happen this month is that my tomatoes all got blight!…Again! The plants were a lot less crowded than last year and I tried to make sure there was good air circulation but still the blight came! I had lots of lovely green tomatoes and managed to get about 5 ripe ones. Wasn’t sure what to do about the green ones as I still have a mass of green tomato chutney from last year which is yet to be eaten so put them in bowls in a sunny spot at home and placed some bananas next to them in the hope that they would ripen. Thankfully, so far, it’s working! I think I will be left with some green tomatoes but not as many as first thought and surprisingly, none of them started to rot from the blight which goes to show that things can be saved! I started with three bowls of green tomatoes and now have just one bowl left to ripen. The fruits are not as sweet as if ripened on the vine but still nice enough for using in passata.

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Very ripe bananas next to my ripening tomatoes and my first Uchiki kuri squash!

The second worst thing this month was that the rats got to the sweetcorn again! What annoys me the most is that they tore half of it down and didn’t even eat the cobs!!! I thought I still had time to erect barriers to stop them getting at the corn but my timing was off again! I did manage to harvest a few cobs that looked ready but on removing the husks, could see they were perhaps a week off. Some were not to bad though! Mostly the corn kernals had not developed as well as I would have liked and I assume this is down to bad pollination.

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Rat damage to the sweetcorn!

The tower of runner beans became the ‘leaning tower of beansa’ over the month until a strong wind finally knocked it flat – my fault for not making sure the supports were sturdy enough! The plants still appear to be alive  so will leave them as is and continue to pick the runners which are cropping aplenty.

Moving on from this, the old broad bean and pea plants were cleared away and the bed has been partially dug over ready for the garlic and winter onions to be planted in October/November (Some dog or cat has left a nice little smelly present for me on the soil – not impressed!). The weeds have already started poking up again so will need to have another go over! The second early potato bed had the rest of the potatoes dug up and then was dug over.

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The fallen tower of runner beans
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Broad bean bed has started to be dug over for garlic in the autumn

The inside of the fruit cage has, once again, been half cleared of bindweed, the raspberries have been thinned and tied in to their supports. The currant side of the fruit cage has not been treated with as much tender loving care but will be one of my first jobs of September!  The grape has grown very well this year and I am hoping that it will survive the winter and give me a few bunches of grapes next year!

We also got a move on with starting to clear the new polytunnel area. We completely cut back all the raspberries and removed all the long dead grass, gave the grass paths a serious mowing and start to dig through the mound that had piled up. Weeds went into the incinerator and the soil has gone into the compost bin for use next year. There is still a lot more to clear but it is looking a lot better than it did. I have priced up some polytunnels and have decided what we need. I am all ready to click the buy button but we want to make sure the area is cleared first and we don’t want a dismantled expensive polytunnel lying around the allotment for anyone to pinch!

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Raspberry bed on plot 3 has been cleared

We have had some visitors in the form of cabbage white caterpillars! They were promptly removed from the brussel srpouts and left on the bird feeder! Luckily no lasting damage has been done! And on the subject of pests, my aubergines are finally starting to crop, forming the loveliest little aubergines but the damn slugs keep nibbling them! The three resident frogs in the polytunnel are not doing their jobs! Although I’ll let them off as the slugs that are around are bigger than the frogs (I think they are mutant slugs!).

I didn’t manage to line the strawberry bed with wood as I didn’t have time to finish weeding the strawberries (I’m terrible for starting a job and not finishing!). We did line the potato bed instead! It’s now ready and waiting for some organic matter to be dug in!

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Potato bed has been raised!

I didn’t have the time to clear the herb garden so will move that onto the to-do list for September! I also didn’t get time to prune the apple and pear so will now have to leave it until the winter.

We have switched into clearing mode now, clearing away the old plants and get ready for the new. Whilst there is still plenty to  harvest, we are only four months away from a new season and we need to get ready! I have had a good old sort out of my seed tins, throwing away anything that didn’t work last year or is too out of date! I get a lot of seeds from gardening magazines that I don’t end up using so have sorted through these and will be giving them away to friends/family/strangers in the street for them to use instead!

And not to be beaten in the gardening game, my Dad decided that he was going to cultivate some plastic in his garden! Here where the results!

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My Dad’s back garden!

Yes those are gorillas and yes everything is fake!

Have a good September everyone!

 

Jobs for August

August can be an exciting month as those greenhouse crops should really be starting to be ready. The tomatoes should be ripening and the peppers and aubergines growing! However, whilst I am periodically checking the ripening of my greenhouse crops, I do have a few jobs that I want to do this month!

Raise/Line the strawberry bed with wood.

Grass is constantly encroaching on the strawberry bed and the line of my bed is no longer straight and orderly. This is a problem with most of the beds and I will need to devise effective barriers to prevent the grass and weeds from claiming back what we have spent so long on producing! So, as the strawberry bed is one of the smallest – we thought we would started there and will be outlining the bed with wood!

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Would like to give the strawberry bed a neater appearance by ‘raising’ it!

Clear the rest of the herb garden

Half the herb garden is covered with wild strawberries and they need removing. I am absolutely sure they will be back in no time at all but we do need to clear them temporarily so we can get the rest of our herbs planted. It is quite a thick mat of strawberries so is no mean feat to get rid of them!

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Strawberries on the right need to be removed!

Continue burning and removing the waste piles at the bottom of the garden.

Sam will be continuing on with burning any waste that can be burnt and we will remove any left over non-combustibles to the tip! We will also need to start clearing the site ready for our new polytunnel!

Buy the polytunnel!

I would love to get the polytunnel erected before the windy autumn and winter set in and August/ beginning of September will be the best time to do that so I need to get a jiggy on and buy the polytunnel. I think I’ll be needing to get the tape measure out…

Sow green manure

The onions have been harvested, the second early bed is slowly being emptied and the broad beans will not be far behind so to make sure we get a good structure into the beds, improve soil and to prevent weeds, I will be digging over the beds and sowing green manure seeds. This time, however, I won’t be digging in the green manure in February, we will dig in approximately Oct/Nov and then pile on rotted manure on top of that. The beds will then be covered over the winter and left to the worms!

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We used green manure in the beds last year…

Prune the Apple and Pear tree

Both the apple and pear tree are really odd shapes and most of the apples on the tree look black and diseased – not good – so I will be giving them a trim this month to encourage fruiting spurs and get a better shape as well as removing the diseased fruit. This will only be a light trim as the main prune will come in the winter!

And as ever…general maintenance of the plots. Just need to keep mowing, weeding, trimming and watering!