Saturday, 21 June 2014

Our first crop

Haven't posted for a few days but meant to post this Wednesday evening. Having spent the afternoon at the plot, I went back to the allotment later in the evening once all the little Ps were tucked up and fast asleep to begin the task of emptying our first raised bed. Having seen how the plants in the garlic bed had fallen over earlier I decided it was the to lift them.  I thought it would be a struggle one armed but managed to get the fork under and lifted the soil enough to break them lose.  I was glad I hadn't left them any longer as the outer skins on some were starting to rot.

Our fabulous crop! Some have split properly some haven't but either they are going to get eaten. Fantastic feeling of gratification when your hard work pays off :-)

One odd thing I did find, this one had started to form a second bulb half way up the stem. Does anyone know what causes this to happen? 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Childrens afternoon out

In April I took a friend and the children she minds to the plot to have a look and plant some seeds. This afternoon they joined me and another friend again to see how their seeds had turned out. We took a picnic and enjoyed the afternoon sunshine.

The children thought it was fantastic! They went straight to the strawberry patch and enjoyed picking the strawberries. Next they explored the broad beans until we found some that were nearly ripe so obviously we picked them. 5 out of the 6 really liked the broad beans before returning to the strawberry patch for another strawberry.

The radishes that had been ravished by the slugs a few weeks ago were the ones that the children had planted at the beginning of April.  We had a forage around and found quite a few that hadn't been eaten so sent them home with the children who had planted them. We ended up bringing some home and an onion one of the lads pulled out for me.

An enjoyable afternoon had by all I think . :-D

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Making the most of the good weather

It's been a busy week here, we had Dad P's wedding at the weekend and after 6 months off work I finally returned this week, so we've not had a lot of time at the allotment.  

After all the good weather we've had for the past few days we thought we really needed to go and check on the plot and water the veg. We had a pleasant surprise when we got there.

Our onions have mostly 'gone over' and we had a good crop of broad beans.

 As you can see CP helped herself again. Good to know she's getting plenty of her 5 a day. ;-)

Mark and the girls started sheeting between the raised beds and moving the bark. 

The plan is to go back tonight and finish it off :-)

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Ravished radishes

After having fantastic initial success with our radishes we had great hopes for them. We took a side step when our daughter decided to wash the newly picked veg in thes water butt and lost said radish.

We now face yet another challenge, slugs! Having approached the radishes from the near side they looked leafy and large.

As you can see healthy looking specimens. However look at them from the other side and.....

Completely ravished! What looked plump and juicy was starting to implode. They're all missing chunks! So new 2 minute job for the weekend, make a snail/slug trap. We've been told that beer makes a great trap. Put some in a pot/deep dish and they die happy. Question is which beer works best? Will post the findings of our results.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Getting on top of things

After another deluge of rain and finding myself with a sunny, free morning I decided to pay a visit to our allotment to see how badly flooded it was. (Again it was flooded but not as bad as the previous week.)

I spent some time thinking about what I wanted to do whilst I walked up. I decided the beds needed attention and being able to do this one handed decided to have a go at all of them.

When I got there I found that we had been visited by a cat who had decided that my salad bed made a good litter tray! Horrified I removed the offending faeces and pulled out the defecated plants. Luckily I had planned to replant the salad as it had gone to seed. My youngest has decided shes likes baby leaf red chard so we planted seeds and I transplanted 4 of the plants. She will enjoy going up and picking her own salad in a few weeks time.

They look very small but are strong plants. I also managed to net the bed to keep said offending cat off. ;-)

Had a look at the strawberries and pulled a few weeds out of the bed. Really pleased to see them starting to turn red. 

Next time will take some straw to lift them. Also need to net them to keep the birds off.

Also noticed that some of our onions and a garlic had 'fallen over' and some had been attacked by something so decided to pull them out. They were the smallest ones on the plot but smelt fantastic. Can't wait to cook them.

Weeded our broad beans and found a few that will be picked and in the pot shortly. Loaded with flowers so we will be in beans for a while to come.

Only thing is think will need to build the height of the cage up as the plants are now taller than the frame.

Finally got to the roots bed to find our 50 carrot seeds which previously had grown into 3 carrots have now become one lonely carrot. I have got a tray of purple carrot seedlings ready to go in but until find the reason for disappearing carrots holding off. I've put a cage over the lone carrot, if still there by the end of the weekend the purple ones will join it. Also separated the beetroots as they were very cramped. 

Good to get to a point with the raised beds where a couple of focused hours can keep on top of things, even better that hard work is paying off and starting to get produce :-)

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Spring bank week

So after being quite literally bogged down the weather finally broke and the allotment is drying out finally. (Well until the next heavy down pour)

Every time we go out to the allotment we always plan to do more than we actually manage to accomplish. We went at the weekend with plans to sheet between the raised beds and lay a layer of wood chips, weed and plant the ever growing collection of plants that we have gathered on our garden table and some more onion sets.

The reality was that we managed to weed and level our large planting areas, plant the onion sets and our courgettes, pumpkins and butternut squash plants have finally gone in. We still have our broccoli, purple sprouts, purple carrots leeks and beans to go in.

We are experimenting with where plant our tomatoes and cucumbers. We have made sure that the plants are well weathered and have planted the tomatoes in our first large bed. Normally we plant them in grow bags on our decking so decided this year as we had the allotment that we would try to grow them there. We are debating where to plant the cucumbers. If anyone has managed to get them to grow out doors we'd love to know how you did it.

Here's hoping we don't get flooded again this week.