Sunday, 29 June 2008

Fenced in

The new space at the back of the plot now has a fence around it. We added two new gateways, made from half a door each, that slide out of the way if need be, but are low enough to stride over. They may need to be bit lower yet, striding is a bit of a stretch. We moved some of the existing fence, so the plot overall is 2½ metres longer.

Our raspberries are a little feeble and a lot have mildew. I think we might dig them out and replace them. This gives us the chance to change the layout of the plot if we want to.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Flowers too

We have a few flowers on the plot. I thought a few pics might be nice.

These are sweet williams. They were left over from some planted at home. The ones at home didn't do very well, but these are fine.

This is just one of many delphinium spikes. Jean wanted a change at home so we moved them to the plot rather than waste them. These are much smaller than they were at home.

This is the first bunch of sweet peas cut and taken home. They smell good too.

Friday, 20 June 2008

The digging's dug, now for the growing

The back of the plot is finally dug over, free from junk and weeds and fairly level. The pile of junk is pretty big for such a small plot.

The rest of the plot is growing fast, except our garlic. It is our biggest disappointment so far. It is weedy and most have died.

The broad beans are fattening up nicely. I think we might get a glut - I hope so - I love broad beans.

As well as the veg, we have a few flowers around the plot. We planted some sweet peas which are just coming out now. The more we cut them the more flowers we will get.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Dig, dig, dig

The junk heap under the hedge is proving hard to clear, but we are getting there. The junk just keeps appearing. At this rate there will be a full trailer load for the tip from such a small area. We've managed to clear and level an area behind the shed and moved the compost bins onto it. The soil that I dug out to level it was lovely loam. I've moved some onto the main plot for later use and I think there is much more to move yet.

We found a toad in a compost bin - I hope he likes slugs and snails.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Digging, leaving and berries

One small part of the allotment has been used as a bit of a dump. The previous tenant certainly used it as that with piles of plastic bags, netting, wood, wire and glass all over it. We have slowly been clearing it and over the last couple of days we have had a big push. The soil that remains, after the junk is removed, is rather nice. I think part of the area was a compost bin and the resulting compost seems rich and fine. The ground is uneven, so when we have dug it all over we will need to level it. It is currently outside the rabbit fence, so before we can do anything useful with it we need to move the fence.

All of the plots are being well looked after now. When we moved in last year there were a few abandoned-looking plots, but they have all been taken on now - except one. There is a guy in the middle who only grows stuff in old oil drums. The rest of his plot is overgrown with weeds including mare's tails which are very hard to get rid of. I heard last week that the council have asked him to leave because he is not keeping the plot up to standard. Today someone was moving his greenhouse, so I guess he'll be gone soon.

We had a pleasant surprise. There were some ripe strawberries. They are the sweetest berries I've ever tasted, and so many more to come.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Mulch then munch

We wanted to do some tidying up of the strawberry beds. We bought some bark and chippings to use as a mulch to try to support the berries while they ripen to stop them rotting on the ground. It might deter slugs a bit too. There were loads of weeds, including nettles, so we pulled back the netting, dealt with the weeds and added the mulch. The result is tidier and should help the berries too.

Now, where's the cream?

Thursday, 5 June 2008

And now, the pictures

We had a really good tidy up. Jean trimmed the edges of the grass surrounding the plot. I nipped the tops off the broad beans which had black-fly on them and tied a string either side of the rows to support them.

The newly planted very young beans are doing well, so they should provide much later crops.

There were a few ladybirds patrolling the beans, hopefully laying eggs so their nymphs can eat the remaining black-fly. You can't beat a bit of biological control.

I hand-weeded around the asparagus and added extra earth around it. Extra spears are still growing. I'm really keen to see this do well.

I added some blood fish and bonemeal to various places, it looks like it will rain again tomorrow so it should get washed in. Included in this were the strawberries. I got some of the bonemeal on the leaves and as I knocked it off I noticed just how many berries there are. They are covered in them.

Now the edges are cut I can see the trees we planted. The whitebeam is doing very well, but it will be years before its ready to take its place in the hedge where I really want it. All of the trees have taken so we have little oaks, hazel and rowan.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Rained off? No way.

It rained yesterday. Then it rained. Then it rained some more. Today it's a lovely day so we went to see what the rain has done.

Everything has loved the rain. The broad beans are flourishing, but they needed a bit of support so I put up some string between canes. I think they may need more as the pods ripen and get heavy. The extra beans in the greenhouse have all sprouted so they went out too. They are the last ones and should provide beans later in the season.

The spring onions, beetroot and fennel in the greenhouse are all sprouting and they will be out pretty soon. The beetroot and spring onions already out are doing well.

In fact everything is doing well and so are the weeds. More of the dreaded bindweed is surfacing and there are some nettles in amongst the strawberries. Then there's the grass and other general stuff too. A wizz round with a hoe will help a lot.