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.
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.
There will be enough space for quite a few plants.
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.
It has been very dry and quite cold during April, I have been mainly working in the greenhouses and weeding. The lack of rain certainly didn’t stop the weeds growing. The same goes for the grass on the paths. One of my paths is covered with woodchip but the other two have got grass. That has grown suddenly and I decided to tackle it. I borrowed a strimmer and got down to it.
I was used to do it with my shears in the past but they are quite blunt so it had to be the strimmer. I’m pleased with the result.
Of course my friendly robin was very close to me, not sure though if he managed to get any worms.
The sun came out in the afternoon and as it will be the last day of April tomorrow I’m hopeful that the weather will improve. I will be planting some more cabbages and kale plants. They have been standing in the open veranda so they are quite used to the weather by now.
I am sure the first of many. If the weather forecast is to be believed we shall have a sunny Bank holiday weekend – whatever next!!
I made most of the lovely day, took some lunch with me to the allotment in order not to waste any time and worked almost till 4pm.
One of the jobs I have is to cut the grass on the paths – I am getting there. It is rather handy as I use the grass to mulch my raspberries. It not only looks good but it is much easier to walk. Unfortunately I have to do it with my shears – somewhat backbreaking but needs must.
Next came some planting. I have got a fig tree on the allotment already but as they grow quite well from cuttings I shall have a few there. Today was the day to plant another little one and hopefully in the autumn or next spring I shall have a few more.
I’m lucky to have my little greenhouse on the farm and today I started planting my tomato plants there. Some years ago I got some grow rings that were meant for grow bags but I use them in the open soil in the greenhouse and they are just perfect!
Last two years I grew some huge squashes, they managed to climb up on my structures I constructed for them but as one of the large ones – zucca da marmelata – weighed 7 kilo, the whole structure collapsed. The zucca was unharmed but I had to think of something else. I just happen to have a very nice neighbour who is changing some decking in his garden so I have used the horizontal pieces from the banister and the result is just what I wanted.
I will plant one zucca in each corner and they can climb as much as they want, this structure will support them.
And the last job was to plant some cabbages in one of my net tunnels – pigeon protection! I had them outside for quite a while so they are used to the temperature.
What are weeds? Wikipedia tells me that ‘A weed is a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation, “a plant in the wrong place”. Fine and good but it doesn’t make my life any easier on the allotment.
I often wish that everything grew as well as the weeds – I would have a bumper crop every time. Never mind – get down to it and keep weeding.
This is going to be my new net cage. So far it remains empty but I have got a large roll of green netting so first thing in the spring I shall make a cage out of it and it’ll have cabbages growing there – one more net to help with the rotation. But I’m sure before I do that in the early spring I shall have to weed the whole area again. Painting the Forth bridge comes to mind…..
The weather is helping – sudden spell of warm weather and everything is doing very well. Of course we have to protect things like cabbages against twin attack from pigeons and cabbage white but it is worth it!
The same goes for sweetcorn – protection not against pigeons but squirrels – they cause havoc on the allotment. I decided to try to grow sweetcorn inside my large cabbage cage and it has worked!
I started growing in my new greenhouse a bit late but my cucumber plant managed against the odds…
…and next year will be great, I can see that now.
Last job yesterday. after harvesting 2 large sacks of potatoes was planting two new strawberry beds. I decided to do it this way, it’ll be easier to throw the net over to protect the crop against the birds.
The main potatoes are harvested but the late ones, to be ready for Christmas (I hope), are doing very well. I had to earth them up and will be putting the fertiliser on very soon.
…is another woman’s treasure.
The guy who left recently not only dismantled his little shed and left it in a pile to be burned but also discarded two large halves of an old trampoline base – he was used to have it on the ground covered with netting to grow cabbages under. To harvest them or to do any weeding he had to crawl on his hands and knees.
Well, I got these two halves and attached metal uprights – from my store of old bits of another trampoline. As these are smaller they fitted well together and the result is..
…another net tunnel. You can’t have enough of these!
There will be space to grow cauliflowers and all kinds of cabbages and kohlrabi.
Place your orders now!
Well, the weather isn’t too great but everything in the garden – or rather on the plot – is growing fine.
It was rather chaotic in the greenhouse and in the veranda at the back of the house – an organised chaos I must add. The veranda was used for hardening off all the plants before I took them to the farm to plant out and this method worked! Everything on the farm survived the move and is growing well.
Cabbages in the net tunnels, tomatoes, lettuce, Chinese lettuce, climbing beans are all fine. And then there are the hardy types who survived the winter out there – onions, shallots, garlic, strawberries, rhubarb and last but not least the potatoes and raddishes who are trying their best.
I took a gamble and started planting out some of my seedlings. Yestarday was a lovely day so after lunch I took most of my brassica seedlings over to the allotment and planted them out in the recently rejuvenated polytunnel – now a beautiful net tunnel. All in all there are 50 of them there – a mix of kohl rabi, purple kale, cavolo nero and cauliflower.
Even though it is only a net tunnel it feels slightly warmer inside, the mesh is so fine that it seems to stop the worst of the wind. Let us hope for the best.
I think they’ll be fine.
Next I had to get some of my courgette plants out, they were getting a bit too big. I decided to put them in one of the raised beds where I constructed a support for them. The plants are lowere down so the wind doesn’t affect them.
After that it was just time to have a look how everything is doing – the broad beens are doing very well, I pinched the tops and hopefully this will stop the blackfly invasion.
The iceberg lettuce, the chinese cabbage and the Daubenton kale are all fine in the first net tunnel. Especially the kale – I bought just one plant and managed to get a number of cuttings, all rooted well and growing – this reduces the need to grow ordinary kale seedlings. This kale is very tasty and I’ve been picking it even during the winter.
things are starting to grow. I’ve been very good this year and didn’t sow things too soon (as I was used to do, year after year, and everything got very ‘leggy’).
The sunflowers are doing well, got high hopes for my chances in the ‘Johnson competition’.
The same can be said for my selection of different courgettes and squashes. The pumpkins are coming up too, there should be a decent harvest to make more delicious chutneys.
Tomatoes will be just the outdoor types, I’ll grow them in some of my net tunnels. This way they will get a bit of protection from the wind, and with a bit of luck, I shall avoid the dreaded blight. I’ve got a selection of brassicas – cabbages, kale, cauliflowers and kohl rabi. They will all go in the rest of the net cages, somewhere I didn’t grow this kind last year. This way I’ll be able to rotate between the cages, rather then moving any of them. I think I have got enough cages to be able to do that quite well.