11. JULY

Phew, what a scorcher!

Yesterday I went to the allotment quite early in the morning and just picked some more raspberries and fixed nets over the greenhouse doors. The idea is that the door itself will stay open and the net door will stop any creatures from getting in. It was very successful last year so I fixed it there again this year. I’m glad I did it, the temperature is around 30 degrees.

Today was another early start, this time I wanted to tidy my large net cage, harvest the peas and sort out the few tomato plants that I put in the middle there – they couldn’t be planted anywhere else, there was no room in the greenhouses. I’m happy with the tomatoes, I will have some fruit on them.

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These are the climbing peas, they are climbing on the netting in the cage and are quite easy to remove after they finished, they don’t damage the net.

Tomorrow will be another hot day so another early start, this time harvesting my tomatoes. They are turning red, there is a good mixture of them some new ones for me like Speckled Roman….

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The others are a mix of plum ones and the usual round ones. I’m sure putting the banana skins underneath has helped with the ripening.

There are some huge green ones in there, ready to ripen…

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I had to put a lid under, they were so heavy they rested on the soil.

25. MARCH

The great weather continues and that gives me a chance to get on with all the tasks on the allotment. Today was the turn of my large net cage, the soil was all dug over, all it needed was to fluff it up with a hoe and clear the weeds. It is quite a sizeable area, quite a lot to do. I had plans for it – peas of any kind – so I have climbing peas, Carlin (heritage) peas, purple podded peas and ordinary Kelvedon wonder peas. There is a square of soil left and I’d like to put some tomato plants in. Some years ago I did that and the tomatoes did very well.

That was the end of my morning session there. When I got home I had a very nice surprise waiting for me – a large box saying live plants, open immediately. Of course I did and found two very healthy looking honeyberries. I have heard of them but never had one. A very welcome present from Mike. I put both pots in a bucket of water to soak them and read the instructions. I decided to plant them in the fruit cage, it only needed a little re-shuffle – taking out three small chilean guavas and planting them together with the one I already have and the space was ready.

The three small guavas fitted perfectly in the space where the larger one is, it had too many empty patches before.

It is no surprise that my fruit trees are starting to flower. The Chinese pear is way ahead as usual, I just hope we’ll have some fruit this year. Last two years I didn’t have any yet a few years ago we had a glut of pears. They are delicious so I’m hoping to have them again.

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PEAS AND BEANS

I am delighted with this harvest. It is just the start, there is plenty more to come.

I knew I had to protect my peas from the hungry pigeons so I planted them all in one of my net cages. Perfect result, all peas are mine!

The same case were the broad beans – this time it wasn’t the birds but black fly. All plants are very healthy and I have started picking. Both peas and beans are really tasty, you can’t get anything better than fresh vegetables, home grown. Get them as you need them.

BROAD BEANS AND OTHER DELIGHTS

I have been trying to grow broad beans from the very first year I have been on the allotment. Either the pigeons ate the beans soon after I put them in the ground or they waited and ate the young plants. Every year I had some beans but nothing to boast about. Until now…

I was very lucky with the weather today – even though it has been raining since the morning I had a couple of hours’ window where I was able to go to the allotment and harvest these beauties, all 4 kilo of them. And there are plenty more. The reason for this success is the fact that I planted them in October inside one of my net tunnels. I wasn’t quite sure if it would work but it is obvious that it did.

In the same net tunnel I have Victorian climbing peas – I think I shall just grow those in the future. It not only looks good but they are much easier to pick.

And finally, the best of all were the strawberries. I didn’t expect so much but even in this deluge I brought home just over 1.5 kilo of them.

SUCCESS

All seems to be growing well and I’m busy harvesting some fab vegetables. This must be the first year I managed to grow some decent carrots – I said that before, the variety is called Flakkee and I am delighted!

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Not only carrots are doing well but also the beetroot – a mix of types, all very tasty.

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The pigeons on our allotment are so desperate that they peck at anything, even lettuce seedlings! The only thing to do was to grow almost everything vulnerable in a net cage – garden peas for one. This is the first year I managed to pick a decent amount – only because I put them in one of my net cages.

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All in all – a great growing year so far.