28. MAY

Amazingly we have a sunny Bank Holiday and I’m making the most of it. I am doing my best to finish all my weeding and any other heavy work because I’m due to have an operation on my back to remove a cancerous growth so after that I will have to take it easy. I weeded one more net tunnel where I have my currant bushes and then worked in the newest greenhouse. I’m so pleased to have it, it would have been a shame not to rescue it – thank you Wayne.

I have two benches in there, they both hold 12 large pots with tomato plants and in the soil on the floor I have a mix of lettuce, radishes and more tomato plants.


As I was transplanting the lettuce seedlings I found many more little tomato plants, it must’ve been the seeds in the compost from my composter bins. I’ll keep as many as I can. Of course I have no idea what type of tomato they’ll be but all the better for it, it’ll be a pleasant surprise.

I had a look at my apple trees and I think the harvest will be good. Of course we shall have ‘June drop’ but I think I might have to thin them out as well, just to be sure to get some nice sized apples.


The last job was to check the strawberries and they are doing well too.

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I think all this is thanks to Wayne’s bees. He has got four hives on our site and they have been very busy. The bees are amazing – only a few days ago they swarmed but didn’t go too far, they settled in Wayne’s apple tree in their garden and built this fantastic structure

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Incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it.

23. MAY

The moving of tomatoes and other pots continues. The greenhouse in the back garden is organised, the pots that are there will stay, it is just about enough that can fit comfortably, the light can get to all of them. I had to put some netting inside and attached it to the roof, it was getting too hot, the sun was scorching the leaves.

I have a few pots on the patio in the garden, these are cherry tomatoes, Dave had too many so I took some.

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The rest of the tomatoes have gone to the allotments and because the greenhouses there are full I planted them in the large net cage where I have brassicas. I had tomatoes there in the past, they do well.

After watering in the greenhouses I had a look at the strawberries and found our first ripe one. Let us hope for a good harvest.

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20. MAY

This is another two day effort, purely for the reason that as soon as I finished planting the courgettes it started raining. I was glad, it saved me the effort of watering it all but I wasn’t able to take any photos. I knew the job needed finishing so today first thing in the morning I took the rest of the squashes and pumpkin plants to the allotment and finished the job, including the photos.

There will be two pumpkins in the small area at the very end of the plot with  my little apple tree. Even with some potatoes there they’ll have enough space and I’m hoping for a good harvest.

I have used every inch of the land, even the narrow strip around my little greenhouse, the courgettes will be fine and if they need to run, there is room on the paths.

After lunch and a little rest I went back to plant my sunflowers. They are getting quite tall so they need to go to their permanent position and be tied to a stick. The ground had a sack of horse muck forked in and I hope it’ll help them to grow well. After all, these are the competition ones so may the best sunflower win!

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18. MAY

The lovely weather continues and I still have lots to do. The first job today was to cut the grass on the path – again! It feels the grass grows too quickly, we had no rain but it is rather warm, even during the night. When that was done I did another boring job, filling the water butts. With no rain the levels went down very fast so I did all of mine. That should keep me going for a while.

Actually that was all I managed to do in the morning but I came back after lunch and planted the leeks I bought a few days ago in a garden centre. My seeds didn’t germinate at all and these were just enough for me. I’m still using the garden vouchers that Kim gave me , a very generous gift that I appreciate greatly.

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After that I started hoeing the piece of ground where the courgettes and squashes will go. I cleared it some weeks ago but some weeds came back and it got a bit compacted so I made a start. I’ll be planting it all bit by bit.

The next job was to put some horse muck by the loops where the tromboncinos and butternut squashes will go. It has been in the corner in bags since last year and when we picked it it was already at least a year old so it is not going to burn the roots.

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As I was spreading the muck I put it around the beans already in the ground and by the new wigwams where I’m going to have more climbing beans,

There is a little square of land in the very back of my plot, it was just an overgrown patch, full of nettles. I think the previous gardener used it as a compost heap because when I eventually cleared all the nettles I found the soil lovely and rich. I had different vegetables there over the years until last year I planted an apple tree in the middle and grew some potatoes. I must’ve left some in the ground when I was harvesting them so I just earthed them up now and will have a bit more to harvest in the autumn. In the next few days I’ll plant some pumpkins there they’ll have enough room to run.WhatsApp Image 2023-05-18 at 17.52.07 (1)

I have also used three metal parts of an old trampoline my friend gave me, made a little wigwam and this will be for the butternut squashes.

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By the time they climb up it won’t be  too obvious what it was.

17. MAY

Today was mainly a maintenance day – covering of strawberry beds, shading greenhouses and just a little bit of planting. I have filled all my greenhouses on the allotment with tomatoes. The plan is that I’ll have most of the tomatoes there and keep the more delicate plants  – aubergines and different peppers in the greenhouse in the back garden. I’m sure I’ll have more tomatoes to plant out but these can go in the large net cage where I have peas and brassiacas. I did this in the past and the tomatoes were fine, I’ll just wait till June to plant them out.

I had to cover the strawberry beds because some of the fruit is turning pink and the birds would be very interested. I’m not sharing my strawberries with them.

The greenhouses need a bit of shading every summer because our site gets full sun most of the day and the plants would suffer. I have got a range of different green nets so it is just a question of fixing it to the structure. I have found small spring clips in a  hardware shop that do the job just perfectly. And if not those then clothes pegs are equally good.

Because some more runner beans are germinating I had to build a few new wigwams for them, I had just the two best spots.

Last but not least was putting up some traps for codling moth, both on apple and plum trees.

There is not an inch of space wasted, I have some potatoes in grow bags in the gap between two greenhouses.

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Everything else is doing fine, now it is just a question of being patient and watering, weeding and hoping….

14. MAY

Yesterday and today were two wonderful sunny days, even though it took a bit longer yesterday for the sun to come from behind the clouds. But when it did it more than made up for lost time. Nowadays it is full speed ahead with planting. It was mainly tomatoes yesterday and while I was doing that I could see where else I had some space for other things. Next job was weeding – the garlic beds. It is wonderful what a drop of rain and some heat can do. Weeding is a job where I don’t have to think about it, my mind can wonder and plan other things.

I have four garlic beds and if they all do well we should have enough to last us in the winter.

The strawberries are flowering well and some of the fruit is turning pink. I will have to put some nets over before the birds discover them.

I will have to renew some of the plants, I’ve had them a few years now and they are beginning to show their age.

The last job yesterday was in the long greenhouse, I transplanted some of the iceberg lettuce seedling and finished organising the pots with my tomatoes. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many tomato plants but we like tomatoes and I bottle them in all different forms. I have used the last jar of pasta sauce only recently.

When I came home yesterday I was just too tired to write so I’m catching up today.

One more new piece of equipment on the plot, Wayne sorted out another water but for me so my long greenhouse catches water at each end.

Today was a day for planting out brassicas, cabbages, purple sprouting broccoli and black kale. The cabbages are in my new net tunnel and I’m sure they’ll do well there.

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The other one will have carrots and beetroot so it’ll be easier for next year, I will just swap what I grow in them.

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The rest of kale and purple sprouting broccoli is in the large net cage where I have my peas. I have got a little bit of room there and I’ll finish planting tomorrow.

The whole site is looking good, we are all growing different types of vegetables and as usual will exchange them later.

12. MAY

Finally I had a dry day and managed to go to the allotment to cut the grass on the path. It needed it very badly but the weather was against me.

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I kept the comfrey plant as it is nearly ready to flower, the bees like it and I always cut it after they had a good go at it. It doesn’t get wasted, I will put it in my comfrey barrel of water and have some more fertiliser. Everything is used on our plot.

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The path looks better but if the weather continues like this I’ll be cutting it soon enough again.

My friend Dave found a large number of tomato seedlings in his greenhouse, his cherry tomatoes from last year did well! He potted a lot of them and told me to help myself to some. I did that and planted them in the glazed part of the latest greenhouse. I’ve got them in pots on the bench and also in the ground. The front part which is covered by a green netting and is partially glazed will have chard and radishes there.

The radishes amaze me, I picked another bunch of them. I have a couple of rows coming up in the greenhouse at home so if I sow another few rows over the weekend we can have a continuous supply.

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All the climbing beans that I planted out a few days ago are doing fine and I think I might start hardening off some squashes and pumpkins. 

11. MAY

The weather forecast for today wasn’t very encouraging, showers mainly in the afternoon. But I have decided to go to the allotment in the afternoon to plant some more tomatoes in the greenhouses and get the land ready for more climbing beans. In the end the afternoon was beautiful, sunny and warm and I was able to weed the whole of my orchard and the ground where the collapsed net tunnel was. I will put the climbing beans there, the ground is quite rich. I found some more bean poles, made a row and a wigwam and behind it placed three of the plastic poles that formed the sides of the old net tunnel. They bend quite well and will be for my butternut squashes and tromboncino to climb on.

I didn’t  manage to grow either of these last year and now I have got at least three of each variety. I’ve got more of the plastic poles, I’ll erect some  more over the weekend.

Two of my greenhouses are planted up with tomatoes, there are still some radishes in one of them. These did amazingly well, this is the first time I managed to grow them successfully.

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I have got quite a few tomato plants left at home so I’ll be taking them there bit by bit. I have decided to keep the pepper and aubergine plants in the greenhouse at home, I’ll plant them in some large pots, they’ll be just fine on the benches and even on the floor.

Everything is growing rapidly – all that rain and a warm day in between, no surprise there. Best of all are doing the weeds.

7. MAY

If I didn’t know the date I would have thought today was a lovely summer day. Blue sky first thing in the morning so I didn’t take too much time, straight after breakfast I was off to the allotment. I decided yesterday that it is just about time to plant my climbing peas and carlin peas out into the large net cage on the allotment. It was a bit of a struggle to carry it all there but it worked out just fine – two large bags, all the little pots fitted in.

I have been saving egg shells for a number of months now, washed, dried and crushed and they filled a fairly large box. My idea was to try them around some of the peas and use slug pellets around the others. The pellets are for organic gardening but as it is inside the cage I would dispose of any dead slugs so no animals can get them, just to be on the safe side.

The ground was ready, the wigwams as well, all I had to do was to plant the peas, tie them to the sticks and scatter the eggshells and pellets. The net gives a little protection against the wind, they should do just fine.

The next task was to finish digging the last piece of ground, I didn’t do anything there as it was quite close to the new greenhouse so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to get walked on. It certainly wasn’t an easy job but I persevered and now it looks great. The soil is fine and I think I’ll put my sweetcorn there later on.

From looking like this…

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..to this

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…and finish like this, that’s not at all bad.

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I just had enough time to pick another bunch of radishes to have with our lunch and it was time to go home.

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The day was so nice it would’ve been a pity not to carry on working in the afternoon. I took all my brassica plant out of the greenhouse in the garden and placed them in the veranda, they are still a bit sheltered but will harden off and I’ll plant them in the new net tunnels after a few days. What doesn’t fit there will go in the large net cage, there’s enough space there.

5. MAY

The sowing and planting continued today, it was another warm spring day. I  knew there was a chance of a shower so decided to cut the grass on the paths another day. The morning was dedicated to finishing the digging on the part with my little orchard and getting it ready for the afternoon. After lunch I planted the rest of the rooted onion sets, that nearly filled the large onion bed. The one and a half lines that were left were used to sow some carrots and parsnips. WhatsApp Image 2023-05-05 at 19.44.08

After lunch I prepared a little contraption for protecting the emerging seedlings of Mangel. I know from past years that the birds like nothing better than to nibble the tender shoots of things like chard and this Mangel – it has got leaves like chard and I use it as such.WhatsApp Image 2023-05-05 at 19.44.07

Originally it was meant as animal food but things have changed and we can enjoy this tasty root and leaves. As I mentioned, I use the leaves as chard, they are large and regrow very well. The roots are great in curries or added to stews or even used instead of potatoes.

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I have got two rows here and as soon as the little leaves appear I will throw a net over these hoops to cover the seedlings because I know from the past that the birds would strip them bare.

In between the showers I also sowed a few lines of parsnips and beetroot but then the rain got a bit too heavy even for me. 

This part of the plot is almost finished, hopefully I will be able to continue tomorrow.