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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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.


The forecast for today wasn’t good and I wasn’t sure if I should go to the allotment in the morning or in the afternoon. In the end it was decided for me – I was baking a loaf of bread and some biscuits so there wasn’t enough time to go in the morning. After lunch then, the weather was still quite reasonable. By that I mean it wasn’t raining even though the sky was full of grey clouds and the wind was quite sharp, not at all spring-like.

I wanted to finish my new low net tunnel, this one will be for cabbages and broccoli, I have enough seedlings to fill it. It will be quite easy to work in, I’ll keep one side fixed to the ground and just open the other. The net from the collapsed net tunnel was a perfect fit.

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There will be enough space for quite a few plants.

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The finished article. I am rather encouraged by this development and as I have some more hoops and netting left I will build another one.

Afterwards I had a little walkabout and took some pictures of my flowering fruit trees. Because we have Wayne’s bees on the allotment we should have a very good harvest. I could see the difference last year, I had some wonderful apples and also soft fruit.

Something else that likes the protection of the net cage are my broad beans. I’m hoping that the dreaded black flies are not going to attack them or the pigeons. These seem to go for everything young and when they start they strip the plant.

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Another nice day today. It looks like spring but the breeze is still a bit too cold for my liking. In the morning I had to finish re-potting some more tomato seedlings and after lunch it was more work on the allotment. The other day I strimmed the grass on the path between my plot and Dave’s and found that the  edges have perished. In the pieces of wood that Wayne has left for our use I found just what I was looking for. I started the job on Tuesday and finished today. It looks so much neater now.

I had the plastic hoops left from the collapsed net cage, just waiting to be used. I will have a new low net tunnel using four of these, I’ll have cabbages and kale there. I can also use one of the pieces of the netting to cover it.

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There are four more hoops and I’ll see if I can build another net tunnel.


Today was a beautiful spring day and after a morning’s work in the big greenhouse at home I went to the allotment. The plan was to weed the fruit cage. I couldn’t believe how many dandelions I had to dig out, I clearly remember doing it only a few months ago. Never mind, the job is done. I had to trim the branches of my standard gooseberry and I noticed that it is ready to flower. Even better news was the fact that my two honeyberries are both flowering so I might actually get some fruit. One or two would be enough for a start.

All the other bushes are doing well, I’m hopeful that we’ll have a rich harvest.

Because it was such a lovely afternoon I carried on with my work, the net tunnel next to the fruit cage also needed weeding. It wasn’t too bad and while I was doing that I decided to sow some chard there. Again, this is to protect it from the pigeons, they would love to get their beaks on the young leaves.

I have got blackcurrants in there so there’s enough space to grow the chard.

I love this time of year, the Asian pear looks magnificent when it flowers. I just hope I’ll have some fruit, we didn’t have any last year even though it flowered well. Perhaps it was having a rest….

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Yesterday and today I was working in the greenhouses on the allotment. I decided to use the grow rings and when I didn’t have enough of them I used the large black pots that I had from the old canabis factory that got raided a few years ago. At that time I had close to a hundred of these pots so it didn’t  matter now to cut the bottoms off so I could sink them into the beds in the greenhouse.


Another lesson from last year  – less is more. Having the grow rings and pots in the greenhouses forces me  to space my plants and don’t plant any more. I know from last year they grow tall and bushy and very soon the greenhouse resembles a  jungle. Having this set up stops that. In case I thought I was wasting good growing space I sowed some radishes, onions, parsley, basil and lettuce in the free soil. All these plants will be short, will  mature quickly and get harvested well before I can pick any of the tomatoes or peppers.

The seedlings in my large greenhouse at home are all doing well, just as I thought when I decided to sow all the seeds again. Never mind, I shall have plenty of tomato and pepper plants  to try to find a home for. Some of the tomatoes can actually survive outside in a sheltered spot, I did that during the last few years and they were fine.

Both peas and carlin peas are growing well and I have two wigwams ready for them in the large net cage. I have to do that, our pigeons on the allotment would strip them completely.


After a few days of heavy snow, high wind and winter temperatures I was able to go to my allotment. To be honest I was dreading it, all I could think of was my fruit cage. I know I should take the top net off before every winter – I was used to do it soon after I got the cage. During those winters we didn’t have any snow so I thought I would take my chances and leave the net on. It was fine  for a few years and then one early spring we had a sudden heavy snow fall. It was touch and go, a couple of the upright posts were leaning but I managed to knock the snow off and straighten everything. Again the last few years all was fine – until this week. The heavy snow was a huge shock for me and there was no chance I could go there and try to save the situation. But my worries were unfounded, the cage survived.


My first task there however was to rake the wood chip on the paths, the place looks much better immediately.

There was one casualty on the plot however, the very first net cage that Mike helped me to build. It is quite old, I can’t even remember how long ago we did it.


It suffered some damage a few years ago but then I was able to rescue it. Not this time. But things are never that bad, I will be able to use the net and also the plastic tubes and dismantling the cage was surprisingly quick.


It was back to work on the allotment today after a little break. The day was lovely, blue skies but the wind was a bit cold. All the same, perfect for working. The other day I noticed that the net on one of  my old net cages was torn on the top, just where is was going over a wooden pole. I had a piece of a green net, just the right size so I got going. A bit problematic, it was still quite a breeze and it was rather difficult to fix the new net on top of the old one. After some frustrating time I managed, it’s not easy to do something like this single handed.

Next was the real reason why I was there today. I wanted to tidy up inside the latest big greenhouse. It is not quite finished but that doesn’t matter, I can pull out all the weeds inside and get it as ready as I can.


After doing that I put some pieces of paving slabs in front to make it look better and also stop it from getting too muddy.

Last little job was to check how the garlic and broad beans are doing.


The garlic is fine and the broad beans are doing well too. I had to put them in one of my net cages because the pigeons on our site like any tender new shoots. I found that out last year.


Hopefully I’ll manage to have a decent harvest.


At last I was able to start weeding the fruit cage today. This was one of the places I looked at regularly and kept weeding. All the same the weeds just grew and grew.

I started by pulling out first the tall weeds, dandelions and thistles and then continued just turning the ground with my hoe and clearing everything else. This is going to keep me busy for a while, no quick fix here I’m afraid. Not only did I have to cope with the weeds inside the cage but also there was the narrow path between the cage and the net tunnel to clear.


After the whole morning I have got this path altogether sorted out and a part of the cage. To be continued another time.



I have had my wish – the day started nice and sunny again so straight after breakfast I went down to my allotment. I had a plan but that by itself doesn’t always mean that I will follow it. I usually start one job and from the corner of my eye I see something so I see to that and don’t finish the first task. Not today though.

The large Asian pear didn’t have much fruit this year  but it gave me loads of golden leaves.


I have made a chicken wire enclosure for making leaf mould so I have swept all the leaves and put them there. It is quite full now but come the spring it will shrink down .

Next on my list of things to do today was to weed the little net cage I made a  number of years ago. My friends were getting rid of their trampoline and offered me the stand. Excellent to make a frame for a net cage. Use the two halves, put some sturdy canes or tubes in the  make it higher, attach some horizontal wood, cover with a green scaffolding netting and a cage is done. Make do and mend – the best way to add structures.


Some time later it all looks much better. I have just got blackcurrants there, the birds can’t get at them.


This was on the list of things to do but I had some time left so I managed to clear the narrow strip of land beside this cage, it will be ready for the sunflowers next year. They can have extra support sitting just beside the cage.