Monday, 11 August 2014

9 August

Phew... blog up to date... So lets do some comparisons of what 'July' achieved. Generally month and a half between shots - 26 June to 9 August.

Taken from other sides of the plot but squash explosion! Lots of cropping, lots of different types. Only the Bnut not yet got mature fruit.

So this was the last of the space. You can see the grass path above (killed but not dug), and the beans 2 weeks after planting (beetroot down the middle - sowed by J and, er, not thinned ;) ). Great to have got the last of the plot into action.

In the 'old' shot (two above) you could see the edge of the beans and, while not the best plot, you can now see that these have filled out, below. First carrier bag of beans took me by surprise - I didn't realise there was so much on there. French beans really tasty - pleasantly surprised! Didn't think I had a runner / french preference, and don't remember last year's being that great. You can also see some lines of seed gone in below (winter lettuce, chard, beet and beetroot).

26 July

Sooo... Spot the problem? ITS EMPTY! Well, a little bit... The squash patch is back right - that's going great. The Strawberries I didn't get in early enough due to rain (and so gave up after a while anyway). But in a few months, what of this is still going to be going? Must... extend... season...

Few of my seeds worked in the garden. I think it was a lack of water and baking sunshine. I think things germinated, but baked soon afterwards so I didn't even see anything on the surface. That said, I'm sick of half full packs of 5 year old seeds. From now on it will be one pack per row.

Sooo... I spent 3 hours driving round the New Forest looking for a nursery that still had crops for sale. They generally laughed and said I was much to late to buy - absolute bull. Finally got the answer out of one where I spoke to a fellow allotmenteer who told me that everyone had lost their crops due to the weather and so had bought second waves, clearing out the local stores. She also had bare space on her plot. But I found someone and bought some more brassicas, leaves and beans.

Squashes everywhere :D Going great. Need to watch which are getting mildew. Interestingly I'm seeing the Bnut at the back of the plot working really well but that at the front much less so.

Nasty, boring, wasteful space... But wait for it...

Boom :D location chosen by the little man (smack in the middle... *sigh*). I'll be interested to see if it is too late. I don't really see why it should be. If August is like July I'll be eating beans in September.

Took a nice sized bag of shallots and onions.

Weeded out the beetroot and was pleased I did - I nearly trashed the lot thinking they were swamped in weeds. Had a few baby beets - victims of the weeding, but generally did great. Really pleased as beetroot is healthy, tasty and super colourful - all good kiddy fodder...

The 'old' beans beginning the get there - at the top of the poles but generally thin. I'm beginning to think that some of the green french beans were not climbers - the beans are much thicker at the bottom. There are three different types - green french, purple french (definitely climbing) and green runner.

The new brassicas gone in, above, and some nicely hearting cabbages, below. Hope that when I take them they are good inside :D

Sunday, 10 August 2014

19 July

So... mid July and finally some good weather. I've not watered that much - a good soaking once a week since the water levels dropped. But the sun has been fantastic! Real difference.

Squashes have exploded and are cropping already.

Generally the plot is looking, well, like a plot! Disappointed with the beans which are behind others, but generally cropping squashes and leaves making up for the lack of other staples.

More leaves than we can eat (above). Lots of weeds between rows. But the crop below says it all - mix os squashes, mix of leaves. Really pleased!

Oh yes, and a mix of alliums. Onions, shallots and banana shallots. Definitely want to do more shallots next year - so much flavour. Perhaps also some red onions...

2 July

Ok... so peak season is coming up!

Leaves doing great. Thinned out and hoed between rows.

Squashes beginning to pick up. Look widely spaced by that's not going to last long...

Onions and shallots looking sparse, and not much size in the beds behind them, but behind is due to recently thinning out. The brassicas provided plenty of broccoli but must use purple sprouting next year - had quite a glut!

28 June

Ok, so its not 28 June... Its not even 28 July... Its mid August and I've been slack on the blogging, but here is an attempt at a catch-up (albeit brief!).

So bit picture is that its not quite as wet as it has been although none of the trenches have really come to anything. Still some bits to dig over from last year, no beans to speak of, but leaves doing ok front right.

Good news though - of my three crowns, two have sprouted small leaves so I'm hoping to have some rhubarb next year.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

14 June

Got down the plot again properly today which was great - 3 hours. It was getting too far behind waiting for the dry, but there wasn't much I could do about the weather! A bit of inspiration from Dad who came and did a bit yesterday

RIP old friend... I'll keep the tray - its proving quite a useful tray although shifting compost not so good for my back. Might need to pick up a new one for father's day (hint hint... Oh bugger, forgot noone reads this...).

Well, I got into the new compost and was so pleased! Its not perfect, but some of it has only have about 8 months.

Nice to see some green string in there again :D Planted rocket, radishes, beetroot and looooads of squash plants that had been grown from seed at home. Still got loads left - might pot some up and see how they go! I'm expecting slug damage...

Hmm... Put my chillies in. Not sure why! Might be a bit of a waste of space. Really should put some herbs in. Lettuce isn't great but mixed with a nice herb salad... Well, maybe I can just grow more in the pots at home! Got a bowl of basil and cos right next to me :)

Thought I'd try this... Three squashes. The trailing one (Bnut) is on the ground in the middle. The courgettes are raised. Firstly it should help flooding- the raised squashes should survive. Plus it gives a bit of variety - if a dry season now then the raised squashes will suffer, although there again, they will be easy to water direct. Lets see!

Oh yes - and mental note - I may think I can put sun cream on my own back but... I can't. At all. Bugger.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

18 May

Well, Mid May and time to put the child labour to work! Only just dried up enough to do some work. Grabbed a few hours in the sun this week - nice stripy sunburn but at least the plants I bought weeks ago from a nursery are in. Probably cost a lot from being pot bound and drowned in the rain, but nature survives :)

Jumping straight to the end result - beginning to look like a plot again. Winter bed doing ok and has provided a number of lettuces. Brassicas also doing ok - kale lost to variable conditions but some summer cabbages coming along.. Shallots and onions doing well, albeit in small numbers. Ground nearly all prepped for planting and beginning to get some of the bits in.

I've never grown through fabric before but its got to be done - I just can't get down the plot enough to deal with the weeds. This was strawb effort. All runners from last year (nice and cheap ;) ) but will need to buy a few plants to fill the bed. £1.25 per meter of fabric (2m wide) from local allotment association shop - bargin! I bought 10m.

Get some leaves growing...

Just showing shallots, winter bed and brassicas (front to back).

Prepped and ready for planting. I've been slow of the mark with seeds in the back garden but once they germinate (of I find a few in a  garden center ;) ) I'll get my runners in. Some fabric behind waiting for squashes to grow a little for planting out.