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.
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
Incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Everything else is doing fine, now it is just a question of being patient and watering, weeding and hoping….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Everything was working out for me today. First of all I didn’t have to go to my GP to have my blood pressure checked – I did it myself at home and just told them the result, all is fine. More time to spend on the allotment.
Yesterday afternoon I started taking some seedlings out of the greenhouse to harden them off and today I continued. That way I have gained some free space for the next lot of vegetables – sweetcorn this time. As it was a lovely warm day I took all my onion sets to the allotment to plant them out. A number of weeks ago I put all of them – red and yellow onions – in soil in a couple of trays and they very quickly put down roots and sprouted. I was really surprised how well they grew and when I was planting them today I was sure they looked the best that I ever had. If all of them survive and mature I should have a huge harvest. This piece of land was ready for them, I just had to rake it smooth and mark the lines. There is a small square of land left but I still have half of a tray of late planted sets. They will fill it nicely.
This part of my plot is a mini orchard, I have two mature apple trees here,
also some new ones – two little apple trees
and two plums. The strips of land between these will be for some sweetcorn, that will be planted in one block and perhaps some courgettes and squashes. Not an inch of land will be wasted.
Tomorrow will be more planting. The tomatoes that I planted a few days ago look very good so there will be more tomatoes going to be moved to the greenhouses on my ‘farm’. After all, I have five of them to fill….
The weather forecast was quite accurate last night – rain. It did rain, it was the kind of rain I quite like, gentle. I needed that on the allotment, our soil drains very well and we had a few dry and windy days.
I was working in the big greenhouse in the garden today. I have had this greenhouse for a fair number of years and I think this year it is just about the best – everything is neat and labelled.
As the weather is so unpredictable and I don’t want to plant my onion sets too early when the ground is cold and wet I thought I’ll start them in trays and when I’m quite sure they would be fine I’ll plant them out. By then they should have developed nice roots.
First of all I thought my tomatoes didn’t germinate so I sowed some more and now I have got enough to plant up a small farm. I don’t mind I have so many, I know they can stay outside and produce good tomatoes – I have got a sheltered position all ready for them. Some of the more delicate will have to be in the greenhouses, same as the peppers and aubergines.
The rest of the seedlings are squashes, courgettes, a few pumpkins – one or two are the ghost ones, it’ll be interesting to see them among the others. I have both green peas and carlin peas – these will have to go inside the large net cage otherwise the pigeons would strip them.
Of course I have to allow some space for beans – no idea how I’ll manage that. Maybe this year I’ll wait till the weather is really mild and sow them directly where I want them to grow. Sweetcorn is another thing, I will have to start it in the greenhouse but by then I’m hoping some of the pumpkins or courgettes might have moved out.
I have also started some nasturtiums inside, I’d like a good mix of colours on the allotment and also in the back garden. I’ll save my seeds for next year.
This is just a short post-script to yesterday’s entry. As I finished putting the net over the partially glazed greenhouse I was thinking about the door. I knew that I’d have to do something to stop unwanted visitors coming in. Well, it happened sooner rather than later. I put down a sack of some rich soil from my composter bin under the bench in the back greenhouse with the view to scatter some lettuce seeds. As soon as the soil was there my resident robin discovered the worms and I had to act.
This is the result. The door is permanently fixed on one side and I will just lift the other end to get in. A piece of wood will keep the net in place, it is well secure.