Monday, 30 July 2012

Harvest


12 Kg, beautiful, wonderful, lovely potatoes. All white (except the one red), this is the potatoes dug up from one of my beds, the other bed has the reds in but as they haven't succumbed to blight I have left them in (still flowering too). We had some of the little ones for tea tonight, they were lovely.


The reds are still in the ground, it looks like spraying them with Bordeaux mix worked as there is hardly any blight on these. I have picked off all the flowers and the fruits so all the energy goes into the tubers.


The two pumpkins I planted under the beans seem to be doing well, one has several fruits on it but the other looks like it only has male flowers, I'm not too worried about this as it has obviously fertilised this one. The butternut squash plants are still small but I can see some flowers forming so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It is the first time I have grown Butternut squash so I don't really know what to expect from them.



Now I had a problem with my broccoli this year, I didn't label the plants properly and didn't know what was what, but this is definitely a broccoli (Calabrese really). I'm not sure which type as I planted several, using up the open packs of seeds left over from previous seasons and packs of things I wasn't really keen on (like purple sprouting broccoli).



My beans are doing great, lots of flowers and many tiny beans. It's a waiting game now. Unlike others down the allotments, I have kept mine as weed free as possible. In fact I have pulled as many weeds as I can get to all over my plot. A lot of the others have weeds everywhere, some are quite overgrown.


 















After reading someone else's blog (sorry I can't remember who's) I decided to make my own scarers (left). I had originally bought 2 from the £shop (right), not expensive and quite pretty, but growing your own is also about making things cheap and, well, just making things. So I made about 5 of these. Easy peasy, cut the middle out of a bottle of pop, use a hole punch to punch 3 holes in the top and six holes along the bottom, cut carrier bags into strips and tie them into the bottom holes. Tie string to the top holes and hang. Don't they look good. Home made and free. I'm enjoying this plotting lark.


 

Well that is until I look at the onions. Only one grew big enough to use in a salad. The others have all lost their green so I had to pull them up. It was recommended that instead of keeping these and using them as sets for next years crop, that I pickle them. So I have got out my trusty old (1951) cookbook to check exactly how to do this. Hopefully I will have some time tomorrow to start this (and find some jars). The rest of the harvest consisted of one overgrown zucchini, one pea pod and three runner beans.

The sweetcorn look very nice, they are very short but I can see the cobs swelling and there seem to be several cobs on each plant. Other people there have sweetcorn which seem to be getting taller but there are no cobs on any of theirs yet, I don't know if that's better or not.

Oh, by the way, the cookbook was my nan's, not mine, I'm not old enough to have bought it new. It was passed down to me, I do have the one I bought when I first started having to cook but I don't think these will be passed down any further in my family. My son DOESN'T COOK NOR DOES HE GARDEN. Actually there isn't much he does do, except sit in front of the X-box.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

All was not lost

So after the fiasco with the sweetcorn, loosing 4 plants, there was an up side. I had been so disappointed that the plants had been knocked down and broken at the base that I didn't think. Well today I was down the plot and had a sudden thought, the swellings that would have grown into lovely big cobs would actually do as baby corn. How stupid am I. So down the compost heap I went to find them and snap off the cobs. Beautiful little cobs.

Well there wasn't much to pick overall, a couple of runner beans, french beans, a zucchini and one red onion. All the onions have lost their leaves so won't be growing any bigger. Now I have to contemplate if I should pull them up and store them to use as sets for next years crops. Can anyone give advise as to if this can be done and if so how to store and when to replant for next year. Your advise will be appreciated.

The runner beans are growing very well and there are lots of flowers. The sweetcorn is very short but there are lots of cobs starting to swell. The potatoes have blight, whites being worst affected, reds not too badly. The broccoli is finally taking off although the cabbages have hardly grown at all. Peas, well don't get me started on those, nor the carrots or beetroot.

Todays harvest

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Thank you Tanya

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Tanya over at allotments4you for sending me this wonderful book. I have had a great time reading through it, it's also a book that I have wanted for ages but never got round to buying.



I haven't been to the plot today, I had to work. It looks like I may have to do some overtime as one of our staff has walked out without telling anyone. Luckily I'm off tomorrow so I hope to get down there then.

Friday, 20 July 2012

A great disaster

So far I am the only person that seems to be going down the allotments, I haven't seen anyone in ages and it looks like most of the plots are getting overgrown with weeds.

Today I spent some time there, on my own, and could hear this voice calling (no it wasn't in my head), Mabel, Mabel. There are woods running along side the plots and some young fella was calling for his dog. Fifteen minutes on he was still calling, so I pushed through the woods to see if I could help. We searched for 45 minutes, until he got a phone call (thank you Mr Cellnet) from his neighbour. "Is your dog supposed to be sitting on your doorstep?" Some how the dog had walked all the way home, luckily safely. So if any of you out there have dogs..train them properly, good recall can save your dogs life, not to mention saving 45mins looking like a twat.

Any way, on to the great disaster. Something has walked all over the one crop that has been doing well, the sweetcorn, and snapped them. That's 4 I have lost, and I could see corns forming on them :(


Broken sweetcorn

Silks forming
 


















I planted my Kale which were getting a bit big in their pots and laid a mulch down on the pea bed. The peas look like they are finally recovering and there are a few flowers and one pea pod. The beans are getting big, plenty of flowers and my first 2 runner beans were picked today. The French beans have produced only a few beans and are very small, I am hoping they will grow a bit more before the end of the season. I think the potatoes have blight, its not too bad at the moment.

Then it rained.

Kale

My only pea pod

And the Zucchini is growing

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Day 30

I have been popping down to the plot every few days mainly to weed, not had to water due to the amount of rain we have had. The mulch I put on the sweetcorn bed is working well and the sweetcorn had some male tassells on them already, they aren't very tall yet and I'm hoping they will grow a few more feet. The zucchini are fruiting, one of the fruits is a double joint together, looks funny. The broccoli is now growing better with the net raised but I did find a hole where something had managed to get it, so fixed that. Nothing has touched the celery, yippee! The pumpkins are not growing very well but it has been a bit too cold out for them. I mowed the path again and managed to do some of the path between mine and the neighbours plot.




I have had a small crop from the plot so far, a few potatoes and some French beans.


However the best harvest has been from home, after putting a net over my Blueberries to stop the birds from stealing the fruit I have had a whole 304g of ripe Blueberries today and the raspberries have given lots so far, today's harvest weighing a massive 550g.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Days 28 & 29

Sorry, I have been very busy this week and not had time to post. I went down the plot on Friday and Sunday. The brassicas aren't growing very well, the birds are getting to them even though I have netting over them so I bought some canes and more netting to try and raise the covering, hopefully this will help. I also mowed the patch of grass by my plot and the path to it. That was hard work, I just hope the owner of the plot in front of me stops throwing his rubbish on it now.

The potatoes are growing well as are the beans, I even have some baby beens on the French beans and lots of flowers on the Runners. There is still only one carrot showing, the onions have been troden on by something and the peas look like they've had it.

I have been really lazy, my knees still aren't right but at least they don't hurt like they did.

Fizz has come into season so it has been trips to the vet so we get the right time to breed from her. We had her covered last year but she didn't get pregnant so we are doing all we can to get it right this time.

I applied a mulch to the sweetcorn bed, there is a pile of chippings at the entrance to the allotments that we can use, I borrowed Mr Talk-a-lot's (Roger) wheelbarrow. 5 loads to cover the bed but it looks good and will do the job well.

Mulched sweetcorn bed



Zucchini fruiting

Runner bean flowers