Posts Tagged ‘weeding’

Cracking cauliflower!

July 29, 2011
Caulflower grown on an allotment

Our cracking cauli!

In case you thought I was slipping and had forgotten to update the blog this week … you’d be right!  I really must mend my ways.

I’ll start with the bad news.  Sadly, the missing pea seeds, fork and gloves have failed to turn up.  Clearly another one of life’s little mysteries!  However all three have now been replaced, so it must only be a matter of time before they’re found.

We had a busy morning on the allotment on Saturday.  David was on tying up duties.  It’s a job I hate, but he is an excellent ‘tyer-upper’.  On the other hand, he’ll find a multitude of urgent tasks to avoid weeding, while I’ll happily weed away for hours.  It makes for a good division of labour.

Marian Swede grown on an allotment

The swede are doing nicely

Apart from David restraining the raspberries and sundry other plants and my weeding mission, there’s not a lot to report on the allotment at the moment.  Weeding and picking are the order of the day. But so far, it’s all doing rather better this year than it did in 2010.

The perpetual spinach is amazing as always, and our haul of just over 3kg in one picking was an all-time record.  Our biggest success this week was our first cauliflower though, and it was pretty good – even if I do say so myself.

I continue to be impressed by our onions grown from sets.  The chicken poo pellets certainly worked, along with the weekly feed of ‘worm wine’ or ‘comfrey cordial’.  They are certainly our biggest onion success so far.

Bolthardy beetroot from the allotment

Baby beets!

The potatoes continue to torment me! Growing things underground is incredibly exciting … you just never know what’s there.  I feel like a kid at Christmas who isn’t allowed to peep at the presents under the tree.

The potatoes have just started to die back, so I know it’s too soon to dig them up.  Added to which, our 8 seed potatoes (we don’t really eat potatoes, so they’re a token crop) were planted by our 2 year old granddaughter at the end of February.  And in about three weeks time our little treasure is coming to stay for a couple of days and is on a promise … she will get to dig up ‘her’ potatoes.

So, if I don’t blog next week, don’t be surprised to find I’ve died of curiosity fighting the Maris Piper temptation.  Of course, perhaps I could just dig up one.  She’d never know … she’s not old enough to count … just one … pleeeease …


Flowers and frog-lets

June 5, 2011

There was much excitement on the allotment this morning when we saw our baby taddies had grown into proper little frog-lets.  Although our ‘pond’ is nothing more than a small water tank recycled from the old central heating system, it’s playing its part in the allotment’s eco-system.

Honeysuckle in bloom

The first ever honeysuckle flowers

As well as frog frolics, our peas are in flower and the long-awaited honeysuckle is in full bloom.  It too is doing its job and it was a-buzz with bees … doing what bees do.  We are rather fond of honeysuckle and about three years ago had what could be called a honeysuckle ‘windfall’.  I had noticed a cluster of seedlings in one of our plant tubs in the garden.  Clearly something had seeded itself, so we decided to wait and see what they grew into.  Much to our surprise they were tiny honeysuckle seedlings!

Clearly honeysuckles can self-seed, but it was something I had never experienced.  So very carefully, I potted them up and eventually we had about 40 honeysuckle plants.  We’ve now got honeysuckle plants galore in the garden, the allotment, and the rest found new homes with friends, family and through freecycle.  Although the ones in the garden have flowered in previous years, this is the first time on the allotment.

Red raspberry

The first raspberry of 2011

Fortunately, I am rather fond of weeding.  There is something very satisfying about neat tidy weed-free beds.  Of course the darn things can grow faster than I can weed, but it’s good while it lasts.

Of course you can see so much more on your knees at ground level and that’s when I spotted our first almost red raspberry.  I thought rasps were meant to come later in the year, but these might be an early variety.  Apart from the Autumn Gold, the majority of our raspberries have come courtesy of Freecycle, where names and varieties don’t seem to matter.

Because our allotment is arranged in beds, they are planted quite

Beetroot catch crop

Not so much a catch crop as a crush crop

intensively.  This means hoeing is difficult, so hand-weeding is a must.  This year I wanted to grow more beetroot.  David loves it pickled and insists the bought stuff isn’t a patch on mine.  I’m told beetroot is a good catch crop, so I’ve planted them in every available space.  One of my less than clever ideas was to plant some between the rows of peas.  I thought we’d left plenty room and a row or two of beetroot would be ideal.  Hmmmm … now the peas have taken over and have had to be tied back, and the beetroot are struggling for light.  We either need a bigger allotment or less beetroot.

Next week is going to be a full-on allotment weekend. The paths will need strimming and it’s time … to move the compost!  Oh joy!

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