Sunday, 21 July 2013

Phwew! It's hot.

Wow, the temps are really high & the widget to the right says it's gonna get up to 32C tomorrow. Well at least all my plants are at home now, right next to the hosepipe. They have all transplanted well, although I think there may be a slightly later harvest whilst they recover.

So far we have been harvesting from the raspberries & strawberries that were already here. We have already had 2 cucumbers. That's a funny story in itself. My son was making himself a tuna sandwich and said he preferred to have cucumber in it, so I told him to go get one from the garden. He asked where they were, so I said on the cucumber plants, got a blank look back, so I went into the garden, picked one, came back inside, washed it & put it in the fridge. I then sat down & shouted to him "It's in the salad drawer where they usually come from". Some kids these days just have no idea, well he does really but isn't interested in growing things.

2 boxes of raspberries ready for the freezer

Sweet potatoes, sweetcorn & pumpkins in containers

Sweet potatoes, strawberries & a container of carrots (just sown)
 I have brought some of the tyres back from the plot, these I will try & get into use next year now, most likely for potatoes.

Runner beans & pumpkins, Zucchini in pot
 The 2 zucchini's I dug up were really looking sorry for themselves, so I have cut off the dead leaves & developing fruit so they can start again, I already have new flowers & the beginnings of new fruit swelling.

 Well to be truthful it's Calabrese, the large headed type, my favourite of all. I have got netting over these to try & stop the butterflies but they are still managing to get under it where the Butternut Squash it, I have 2 of then ready to climb up a bit of trellis, last year they were slow to develop.

Tomatoes & cabbages
 Now to be honest I don't like tomatoes, I grow them for my mum so I only grow a few plants. I think next year I will grow the type that can be made into ketchup or puree as I use that all the time. Will have to find out how to make it, you can find most recipes on the net.

Cucumbers & red cabbage & cauliflower.
 Dale is the lover of cucumbers, I am very fussy with which ones I like, this is Socrates the one I used to buy is no longer available but this is the nearest to it. I like cauliflower & red/white cabbage but Dale doesn't unless it's been turned into coleslaw.

 I know there are some blogger that are doing the chilli challenge, I'm not one of them, but I have got chilli plants growing. These will be used to make Sweet Chilli sauce for Dale. This is my first time & I was very worried they weren't growing a few months back, but look, my how big they've got. I'm really proud of them.
Chillies, awesome.

Everything crammed into a tiny space.
 Now I brought the paving slabs back too, I have just laid them on top of the grass at the moment, next year I will lay them properly & rearrange the garden a bit.

2 bags of potatoes
The white potatoes down on the plot had got a touch of blight so I dug them up, I only managed 2 bags full. The Desiree potatoes are not yet affected so I have left them in to hope they grow bigger. I will still need to go down the plot to get other things off so I can keep my eye on them & dig them up before I leave for good.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Still alive, just.

Sweet potatoes have grown

Calabrese is beginning to perk up

Cabbages settling in with the tomatoes

Runner beans have new growth & pumpkins underneath doing well

Strawberries are now in a tower (blueberries in pots)

Zucchini went a bit limp but there is now new growth
Blogger is playing up a bit today. I have to get a few more bits off the plot but what I have brought home already is beginning to settle in. The leaves on the zucchini have gone limp & crispy but there is new growth coming so I think they will be ok. I have tried to transplant the few parsnips & carrots that germinated but I'm not sure if they will be ok.
I haven't been able to get down to the plot to remove the rest of it as I have had to look after my dad who is ill & my puppy isn't well either. All that is left is the potatoes, some onions & garlic, then all the wood I made the raised beds from & paving slabs & bench. These are the big bits. It doesn't help the weather has been so hot, I can only go down there during the hottest part of the day. I am at work all day tomorrow so hopefully I can get some more bits off on Sunday.
At home my raspberries are ripening, we've already had loads from the bushes, the strawberries have finished their first round, hopefully the ones in the tower will start to produce now, there aren't many blueberries this year, I had an infestation of scale insect which stopped it producing fruit. There are some apples already forming, oddly enough only on one tree, the other tree seems to only flower biannually even though they are the same tree, planted in exactly the same way at the same time.
There doesn't seem to be many gooseberries on my bush, it seems to only flower on the new branches and the older branches are completely bare, it is fan trained against the fence so I will try & get a good photo so maybe you can give me clues to what I'm doing wrong.
I'm trying to make room for everything at home, I may have to increase the size of the veg patch or find some other way to give me more space, I already have a lot of plants in pots.
One thing I am glad of though, my Sweet potatoes are awesome.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

It's hot

I'm not complaining about the sun, we get very little of it at times, but it does mean more watering is needed. Well, not down the plot, but definitely at home. So far I have brought about half of what is growing at the plot back home, I hope they transplant ok, they look a little droopy. I dug as much of the soil with the roots as possible & got them home as quickly as I could, so it's been back & forth all day. Got all of it in the ground at home, so far I have filled 3 of my home beds, they are all very closely planted but the soil is very good so I'm hoping it's all going to be ok. The hosepipe is on to try & provide enough water to help them get over the shock.

Whilst I was there another plot holder was too. The man who I mentioned had problems before. Well it turns out there have been others who have made formal complaints against the man that runs things. He seems to be giving a lot of the plots to friends of his too. He certainly wasn't elected to run things, there is no Allotment Association here, just him. Any way I don't feel safe down there anymore & will also be putting in a formal complaint. It seems there are lots of them who want to see me stay & say not to let him get to me, but they are all men, not that I'm a weak woman but........

So, I have my name down for a plot on a very well run site, in the meantime I will grow from home again. I still have to bring the Sweet Potatoes home and I will need to dig up my potatoes, garlic and onions. That will be all the plants/veg I can manage. I will loose the couple of parsnips & carrots, they don't transplant well. Then I will need to take up the wood that makes the beds & the paving slabs.

A sad day really. I just hope I do not come face to face with him. I kept my mobile in my pocket, just in case.....

Friday, 5 July 2013

Oh dear

It looks like the plot has got to go. I took the caravan back down there today (bought it to use as a shed) there had been a problem before, I had a letter from the council to tell me to remove it when I first put it there, I phoned them & they said it was ok if others didn't mind. Now I spoke to over 7 of the other plot holders and they were all ok with it. The man that manages the site on behalf of the council is never there for me to talk to so I had been dealing with the council about it. I took it back down there today as I had help. There was only 2 people down there, husband & wife on the same plot, I waved to them as I passed. Any way, I get home & the phone rings. It's the guy that manages the site. Well the only thing I can say about what he said is that he is a racist bigot. I am thinking of making a formal complaint as I really am not happy. I don't mind about the van, all he had to do was phone me in the first place to say no. Everything would have been ok. Obviously this plot holder I saw today was the one that phoned him, they said I snuck in & didn't even acknowledge they were there, all cloak & dagger. That was not the case. So tomorrow I will be removing the van & my stuff from the plot. A formal complaint about his handling of the situation & his lack of management (too many overgrown plots) is already being typed up. My name is going down on waiting lists at other allotments, ones that are properly run & preferably with a toilet. The only down side is they will probably charge more for rent then this one does.

Thankfully there isn't a lot planted down there, it will be the tyres with the sweet potatoes in that will be the problem. The potatoes can come up as newbies & be eaten.

I know it sounds like a reaction to not being allowed the caravan, it's not, it's shown me however what this man Terry is really like. It explains why he was being nasty to that other plot holder that I mentioned before, he wasn't English.

Now all I need to do is try & sell the van, although the council have said I can leave it on the street in front of my house completely legally.

I will bring as much as I can back to the house & grow here whilst I am waiting for a new plot.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The plot today

Well, it's been a lovely hot day here. I got down the plot, I really needed to get the grass & weeds cut back. But hey! where is the plot, cummon.

Little House on the Prairie
 So i had no choice but to get on with it, out came the shears & the battery strimmer (useless piece of s**t) and I got to work cutting my path. Now I know we don't pay much in rent but you would think that those people who have a petrol strimmer & cut the rest of the grass could just do my little bit, but no they don't, maybe they don't realise I'm there. Well they should, most of them know me know & they come & sit on my bench for a rest.
That's better
 All chopped down & ready to take the caravan back down there now. I have have my tummy problems & this took me ages to do, but if I keep on top of it I should be ok.

The potatoes are growing well, some flowers already, I pick them off so the energy goes into the tubers not the seed heads. There is part of the row at the back which didn't come up but it's too late now to do anything about it. Not much of my sweetcorn came up & what is there is still tiny. The slug/snails had loads of my pumpkins, I have bought a couple more from Homebase (50p each) to replace them with but they are a different type.

My calabrese is doing well, the frame has kept the birds off but there are a lot of potatoes coming up in the bed, must have missed some last year. The 2 zucchinis are doing well. I still have nothing to put into the other 2 beds.

At home though, my chillies are doing very well. I have a couple of flowers too, the cucumber is doing well too.

As are the tomatoes, they are flowering too. Still very short but they should take off with this warm weather.
The new puppy has dug holes in the garden, chewed all my plant pots, dug up flowers, chewed holes in the hosepipe & caused such a nuisance. Lucky she's cute.

Hope you all have a good weekend, the weather is going to be hot here in the UK. And Happy Independence Day to all you readers from the US.