Planting Dahlia Tubers

Things are moving swiftly now in the allotments as we get things hardened off and now into the ground.. We planted out the tubers of the dahlia’s into their new positions in the allotment last week.. By the time the new shoots appear through the ground we are hopeful there should be no more low temperatures of night frosts..   Click photo’s for further enlargements and to reveal the text about the photos  if you can not see text. 

These are the Dahlia tubers.. Hubby dug out deep holes and filled half full with manure from the compost bins .. Watered well. and covered up. 

The Dahlia’s covered up I staked each one to help show me where they are..
I put plastic bottles on top, as its easy when you are weeding to not see sticks.. This is to protect your eyes if you bend down,, Believe me its easily done when you are concentrating on the weeds.
The allotments also need health and safety.
And its always good to keep a first aid kit in your shed.. We have needed it on more than one occasion, through cuts and splinters

Under the large cloches are various three types of cauliflowers, three types of Kale, And three types of Cabbages..
 Under the small ones Brussels sprouts .

The tomatoes are thriving.. and are coming along well.. We have a few extra plants over.. As we also have them within our home greenhouse too..
So the excess we are giving to our neighbouring allotmenteer , as his are not as successful this year. 

Also in the greenhouse at home we have been busy growing seedlings. Below are what have yet to be hardened off before being planted out. 

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Well lots to be getting on with, and I hope your own gardens are starting to thrive..  Until next time.. 

Happy Gardening 

~Sue~

 

 

Blossom Time.

Today I took lots of pictures both in the allotment and in the home garden. But as some are on my phone from the allotments I will just upload the garden blossoms for today..

Well May is finally here, and today its been more like May weather with Sun shining, even though the wind has been quite strong, It at least got all the washing dry. No more hail thank goodness..

 So today’s post is just about showing you what is in bloom at the moment in the garden.  And for those who have a bluebell wood near them.. Its the ideal time to go and visit one.  Some have been out earlier but here they are just about right for getting the full effect of their beauty in the woods.. 

I took this photo a couple of years ago.. But the woodland was just as beautiful when we went this year

So in no particular order I will  put them in the mosaic and if you click on them it will take you into the picture slide show so you can read better what is beneath them.

I would also like to thank all new followers here too Welcome..It is wonderful to see the numbers rise.. So I hope you enjoy what you see and don’t be shy, I enjoy conversations and swapping gardening tips so  please leave me your thoughts and I will get back to you and your blog when possible.. 

Happy Gardening and Enjoy all the blossoms within your own gardens and woodlands 

Protecting the Tomatoes from the cold

Hello my fellow gardeners,  and yes I know another update so soon.. But I thought I would share how we have been protecting our tomato plants from this cold snap this week.. 

My hubby rigged up this bubble wrap around them over the week-end as it was forecast to drop in temperatures..  And sure enough they have dropped with bitter winds and outbursts of hail and thunder in between for the last couple of days where we live. 

So here are some pictures of the tomatoes as he planted into the allotment green house and the end of last week.

The tomatoes are in and you can see how high they are.. They were all ready for transplanting into their larger pots.  You can also see the bubble wrap draped near the glass as extra insulation.  Click on images to enlarge. 

To keep them warm and stop the cold from getting to them. My hubby rigged up this tent of bubble wrap. He lifts it during the daytime to allow air to circulate or they may get mildew. And yes they are my laundry pegs used too 😉          

 

Here is a look through the glass from outside.. lot of space  behind.

And the forecasters were right.. A cold spell swept down the country bringing an arctic blast of cold air and with it some Sleet and Hail storms with thunder mixed in.. We have had several hail storms now and some heavy showers . Lots happening around the world right now with our weather..  And it’s always good to keep in touch with the long-range forecasts if you are planting out.. Frosts can come as late as the end of May.. And to be honest the way the weather has been ‘acting up’ recently nothing surprises me anymore. 

These two plots have gone back to nature.. The allotment association has mowed the grass down.. And anyone who takes on the plot can have it ploughed free of charge.. But you can see how quickly it gets overgrown. 

But before I show you the hail we have been having.. Remember I said in my last post how if we do not keep on top of our allotments how Nature soon reclaims back. Well the garden plot  above is a photo of a plot vacated only last year when the allotmenteer had a heart attack.. He is now fine.. but he gave up his plot.. He had hens at the bottom and potatoes and beans at the top.. That old apple tree gives the finest of apples and we have had many a good apple from it in the past the previous owner of the plot would offer them out in abundance to all who passed by.. We have a thing going on with our plots and we leave at the end of our plots what we wish to give away.. And anyone who is passing can pick it up and often leaves something in return the next time they come to garden. 

Ok now the weather show.  click to enlarge

Hailing in sheets, part of our back garden at home

Hail and it was soon white over the lawn. we had a few claps of thunder too. 

And this is how big were the hail stones

Well that’s the update for April. See you in May..

Happy Gardening!

~Sue~

Laughter behind the Garden Shed.

Gardening holds rich rewards as we know, and we also know it requires effort and putting in the time or nature soon takes control and your allotment will revert back to the field it once was..

Remember this

This piece is where we had the butternut Squash last year.. The water system 🙂 , still in place.. And has still to be cleared and sorted.. And that rickety old shed is still standing despite the high winds.. but this summer it will definitely come down..

And yes.. I did dig all that piece myself.. Hubby snook up and shouted as I looked up.. He snapped it .. 😉  So no laughing. 😉 

Spring time is when many take on new plots but for many new allotmenteers  they can  be put off with the prospect of digging their first ploughed furrow which when a plot has been neglected for years looks like a field..

So our Allotments offer to plough it up for them.  But once ploughed it requires tender loving care.. And years of getting all the twitch that is the grass and bind-weed out.  As well as horse-tail  which roots break which create more to grow. And you will never get rid of the billions of seeds you unearth each time you dig it afresh… So you have to keep on top of things. Because Mother Nature Gives, but she soon reclaims what is hers.. 😉 

The green house was cleaned and my husband put the grow bags in and filled up the pots with more compost. securing the canes in readiness for the tomatoes 

This is the greenhouse in the allotments.. my hubby got them all ready over the Easter weekend and now the tomatoes are in..Photos next time of them growing..
You can see the Leeks and the rainbow chard in the corner.. Still waiting to go into the cold frame..

Remember the holes that were limed for the cabbages. Well now the cabbages are in.. They are covered up as we have a lot of wood-pigeon who just love young cabbage leaves.. 

Planting cabbages

Hubby planting out cabbages in those limed holes of the other week. They are watered in and then covered.. He will heal them in firmer in a few weeks once the roots get a firmer grip.. This helps get a tighter cabbage or sprout..

Here you can see the Pea rows.. A few misses which I put more seeds into and watered.. And that kneeler is a blessing. to my knees.. 

These are our apple trees.. I forget which is the eater and cooker.. We only got the 5 apples on one last year… So looking forward this year to trying both.
Below you can see the Gladioli  small corms I left in from two years ago now sprouting.. Hopefully they may flower this year.

Here our apple trees a cooker and an eater have more blossom this year

Close view of apple blossoms..

 

 

 These seeds were taken out of the pumpkin we used for Halloween.. I dried around 20 of them.. We set 6 and all have germinated

Now I am usually the one behind the camera and its a rarity that my hubby likes to get in front of the camera.  But when I suggested a selfie of the both of us he happily agreed. So I set the camera up on the  horizontol trellis of the Loganberry fruit bushes

In the foreground are the Autumn fruiting Raspberries and the tall Blue berries, .. The loganberries are on the framework and behind those are the raspberry canes that fruit early summer.

 And below is the sequence of  takes.. These were taken in early morning and I had my Woolley hat on as it had been frosty early morning.. And was blowing a cool wind.  

The camera had a 10 Second timer.. So I had to run.. 

Now this is a shot I was trying with the timer on my small hand-held digital camera. Its timer is for 10 seconds.. ( I was supposed to be in the shot. ) I didn’t run fast enough 

Second attempt.. Hubby was laughing counting down from 10 to Zero.. I nearly made it.. as he passed me my cuppa..

Third time Lucky.. Only Just.

Yayyyyyyy……. Lots of laughs… I ran at super speed around the loganberry bushes to sit down looking all relaxed…
🙂 Lots of laughter and Fun with this Selfie..

 

Cheers! And Happy Gardening! Until next time. 

~Sue~

Easter Weekend Gardening~Marigold tips

Easter is a time many of us get out into our gardens and start to think about planting out our bedding plants.. But its also that time of year that the weather often takes an unexpected turn and plunges back into the cold..

Last year we went away the end of April beginning of May for a week and left our sweetcorn in the cold frame.  However a sharp frost and unexpected snow killed it, so we had to start again.. So do keep an eye out on the forecasts for frosts and low temps etc… And keep those tender plants protected..  The cabbages and Brassica family should be fine if you have hardened them off sufficiently though.. And next week I think we will be putting ours into the prepared limed positions..

So  what have we been doing all week? The best way I think is in picture format..

First my Hubby dug two trenches and filled them with manure. We then carried the old swing frame we use to support the canes to its new position in the garden. The beans are in in the greenhouse thriving.

This piece of land my hubby lightly sprinkled some Manure over and then forked it over.. This is where this year we will plant sweetcorn and Leeks and the Dahlias are going nearer the potatoes this year.

 I set too and started to weed this section out. The line is to help me see where the Gladioli’s are, as they are just starting to shoot through.. Last year we decided to see how they went if we left them all in the ground. But you can see how overgrown they are.. Lots of poppies, which I love, had to come up.

Now you can see the weeding almost done one side of the line. I leave in the marigolds.. You will see these flowers dotted all over the allotment, They are very good at keeping some bugs at bay..

Now you can see I also cleared the path leading up to the greenhouse

 

I also weeded out the ground between the raspberries and loganberries. All shooting nicely now.

Below you can see the view as I stand with my back to the sheds. I left in lots of marigold seedlings I will leave many of these in and also use to transplant back in my home garden and dot around the allotments as they act as  good pest control to certain bugs..

  When you are not using chemical pest controls, these tips and  more can be found on the BBC Gardening  Guide  on why marigolds and Nasturtiums are good for pest control.  Link to the below quote can be found HERE 

Plant combinations

  • Grow French marigolds among tomatoes. Marigolds emit a strong odour that will repel greenfly and blackfly.
  • Grow sage with carrots or plants in the cabbage family to ward off pests. Both have strong scents that drive away each other’s pests.
  • Plant nasturtium with cabbages – they’re a magnet for caterpillars that will then leave the cabbages alone.
  • Garlic planted among roses will ward off aphids.
  • Plant carrots and leeks together on the allotment or vegetable patch to protect against a number of pests. Leeks repel carrot fly and carrots repel onion fly and leek moth.

Make sure companion plants are planted at the same time as your edible crops to prevent pests from getting a foothold.

In the foreground are the Autumn fruiting Raspberries and the tall Blueberries, .. The loganberries are on the framework and behind those are the raspberry canes that fruit early summer.

Click onto the images this will take you into the slide module where you can read more. 

 

So Wishing you a very Happy Easter

and Happy Gardening

~Sue~

The heaviest of the work now done

After two full mornings in the allotments, a helping hand from our Son for 3 hours on Wednesday and the Potatoes are finally all in..  All 9 rows.. Three are earlies ( Arran Pilot)  and the others six rows are main crop  (Picasso) . 

A rare visit from my Son to the allotments, saw big smiles from us, as he helped his Dad dig four trenches for the potatoes.. Our Granddaughter helped fill in.. Both worked very hard that day

Potatoes now all in.. Hubby spent most of Friday morning digging and earthing them up.. Here you see he just made a start.. 6 more rows to earth up .

Today Friday, my hubby earthed up all of the potatoes, all nine rows, Earthing up allows for the water to run down to the roots..   More information about this method and mulching can be found HERE 

Remember the image I showed in the last post?  Click onto smaller photos to reveal more about them. 

The Lime is added to the dug holes for the brassicas to help prevent club-root. The lime is left in the holes for a fortnight. Watered in. And after a couple of weeks we put the young plants in.

 

You can find out more about adding  in LIME HERE. 

But do please be aware Lime burns skin so avoid eyes and skin. 

Watering in the lime. Leave for a couple of weeks before planting in your plants

Cabbage three types-Savoy-Spring and Golden Acre and Hispi Cabbag e. Curly Kale, Cauliflower-white all year round,, purple-Graffiti, and yellow_Sunset, Broccoli- Calabrese. Sprouts have been re-potted today and will come out later.

I kept throwing the blackbird a few unearthed worms.. And he made several trips with beak full to and from his nest in the hedge to feed his young. 

The home garden too is starting to bloom and below is a slide show of some of the  new shoots and flowers in the back garden of our home.. Click on each one to see what is growing  and what varieties  we have used. 

Happy Gardening 

Preparing The Ground for Planting

At last we have now got some decent weather in which we can really both get stuck into our Allotment.. This morning my Hubby has been busy digging and planting  two  more rows of main crop potatoes. We will plant another 4 rows of our main crop.. This will give us Three rows of earlies, to harvest end of June to mid July and the main crop will be harvested in late September. 

This is looking from the top of the allotments back down to the sheds. You can also see how my husband today also mowed up the sides of the pathways,, He still has to trim the edges with  a strimmer.. 

I have been clearing the weeds on the surface, while Hubby has been digging.. Once you have got to grips with clearing the main body of twitch and grass roots out of your allotments, if you keep on top of weeding, you can soon hoe through the weeds, allow them to dry on the surface and then rake them up..  I was too busy hoeing I forgot to ask hubby to take a photo of me hoeing. But you can see  how its looking now.

This is looking up from about three-quarters of the allotment to the top.. In the foreground you can see how the Strawberry plants are doing.. And yes I left those marigolds in the centre..

To give you an example of how the weeds soon grow.. and what I have cleared in the above plot here below is a section I have yet to clear.. This was where I had the onions and the Asters for cut flowers last yer.. You can just make out the shoots of the Gladioli near the apple tree.. The tree in flower is on next doors plot that is a plumb tree.

This section is to be weeded.. You can just make out the young apple tree I had 5 glorious apples first time last year.. Next time  I hope to show this piece cleared. 

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Above you can see how all the Brassica family are growing… these include cauliflower cabbage and Brussels Sprouts, Also there is Rainbow Chard, and Leeks.. 

Below is a close up of how the raspberries are now starting to shoot.. Remember How I cut back all of last years growth on the stems that had fruited..  Now new growth is emerging on them all..

Raspberry~ New Growth. You can see where I cut back last years stems which had fruited in the autumn

 When there is no more threat of frosts, we will be planting out our Tubers of Dahlias.. this year we are planting them more in the middle of the allotments.. We have some huge tubers and about 30 in total.. Some which we have had for years, Each year we buy just a couple of new ones of varieties we do not have .  Also this year I intend to plant a couple around the home garden for extra colour in the garden.. and not just use for cut flowers.. .. But the more you cut the flowers of Dahlia’s the more they produce more flowers..

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I do hope you have enjoyed my morning down at the Allotments.. Hope to see you again really soon.. And I hope you get company, I had a lovely blackbird who was grateful for a few dug up worms.  

Happy Gardening

~Sue~

Sowing has begun Plus News on a Monsanto Report

This week we started to plant some of our seeds directly into the allotment.  I set too and planted two rows of Parsnips I like to plant them about 3 inches apart.. ( Sorry I still work in inches rather than Cms..)  Which is approximately 8 cms apart. 

Here are two drill lines and the seeds are parsnips

These will not be touched until they get large enough to see them clearly as I will weed in between them.. We covered with a cloche to keep the ground a bit warmer.  And watered them in once they were covered with more earth. 

 

 

I also set two rows of Beetroot  a row of Peas,  I say one row of peas but these I set in rows of 3  close together  ..  I didn’t take a photo of them..  but  using the above picture as a template. I would have planted an extra row in the middle with the peas.. Information on how to plant Peas can be found Here  should you need it.  when they start coming through I will find sticks for them to climb up. 

Here you see a cloche over the peas I set, and behind you can just make out the 3 mounds of earth where the early potatoes are now in.

My hubby dug three trenches and filled them with manure which we had plenty left over which are stored in the bins now behind the sheds and put in our early potatoes. These are Arran Pilot  and are a popular choice for early crop new potatoes .. 

Lettuce

Last Autumn, I set some Lettuce seeds, and these are just coming along nicely, I also set some pick and mix lettuce, these you can see have gone to seed with the yellow flower heads.. But these few should make lovely little lettuce heads. 

 

 

Most of you know we do not use any chemicals, herbicides etc on  our produce, preferring to let nature take her course. I do mix up a garlic spray, and this has proved effective with black fly.. So my next piece of information shared I hope you will follow the link for. 

Why? well, it’s what is going into our food.. And what is a worry is that some of the pesticides which have been banned through the EU may well be given licence to be used on crops within the growing of our food again in the future..

So this important report on Monsanto and what levels of chemicals are within our foods we especially give our children, is alarming!..

This was shared on Health Nut News ,  and is entitled ~Monsanto Is Scrambling To Bury This Breaking Story – Don’t Let This Go Unshared!  I hope you go and look at the list of foods and share it with everyone you know in the orange Link above .

 A quotation below from this site says :~

Monsanto Is Scrambling To Bury This Breaking Story – Don’t Let This Go Unshared! | Health Nut News

Share this shocking new report with everyone you know….

A FDA-registered food safety laboratory tested iconic American food for residues of the weed killer glyphosate (aka Monsanto’s Roundup) and found ALARMING amounts.

Just to give you an idea of how outrageous these amounts are, independent research shows that probable harm to human health begins at really low levels of exposure – at only 0.1 ppb of glyphosate. Many foods were found to have over 1,000 times this amount! Well above what regulators throughout the world consider “safe”.

The list includes Cornflakes, Cheerios, Special K, Ritz crackers, and loads loads more..  The research is significant, and this chemical is known by the W.H.O. World Health Organisation to produce Cancer  cells. Its alarming given the amount now of Cancers occurring in young children .. So Please do yourselves a favour and go check out the list.. Especially if you live in the USA.  

Now you see why I dislike using Chemicals on foods ..

Happy Sowing My friends

And Sorry I have been absent here for a while.. 

 

 

Warmth is bringing out the Butterflies and Bees.

First may I apologies to those whose comments have been awaiting approval for so long.. At the moment I am experiencing some problems upon WordPress and I am not always receiving comments in my notification reader from this blog and my main one. Some are getting through and I think I have answered them, And others I have not seen at all.. 

It appears even when others reply to my comments that I am not always receiving their comments back and I have to back track to their blogs to see if they have answered.. So getting around blog land is taking twice as long..

Plus I have not been spending as much time on my blogs as I have been nurturing myself more these past few weeks..

But this afternoon it was such a beautiful afternoon, and I went for a short walk with my husband.. The sun was bright and warm and the sky was cloudless for a change and a beautiful blue.. The temperature had to be 16deg C this afternoon.. So very warm for this time of year.. But as we know, all things can change, and we see NY in the USA is having snow storms, which can soon travel across Jet Streams and upset the balance again.. 

My Grandmother always said never cast a clout until May is out..  The meaning of this English proverb can be found at this link to those wishing to know. For me it always meant never remove our clothing, for me in those days it was a liberty bodice lol 

Closer view of the many wonderful snowdrops out

We took the walk where the snowdrops were on my last post. They have now all finished flowering.

But We had a lovely surprise, and was accompanied for a short while by a Peacock Butterfly, who fluttered around us and then landed upon the muddy track of recent rains, to have a drink. We also saw one or two lone large Bumble Bees too, always good to see..  

Walking today, I spotted this amazing early Peacock Butterfly in the muddy track.

Peacock Butterfly today having a drink in the mud A closer view..
More about this Butterfly can be found Here at this Link

 I also want to say a warm welcome to those who have started to follow Dreamwalker’s Garden blog Please feel free to leave me your comments and I will get back to you as soon as I am able.. And many thanks for your follows.. I hope you enjoy what you see here.  

I thought I would show you how the Orchids were now looking as there is nothing much to report in the Allotment at this time.. You can see how much they have come along from this previous post in at the end of January in the post Caring for our Orchids

 Happy Gardening and Walking

~Sue~

Spring is Springing..

Tree Damage.. In one of our Storms

Tree Damage.. In one of our Storms

Well what a month we have had again weather wise… It seems the weather can not make up its mind what it wants to do.. One moment it is warm and mild with Sun and blue skies. The next its cold, frosty with snow showers and Gales as Storm Doris swept across the UK..

( if you hover your mouse over the images you will see what is growing)

I have not felt like tackling the allotments as  yet due to not feeling 100%.. But my hubby has made a start and has hoed up some winter weeds and started to turn over the earth in places which were not dug over at the end of last years season.  But I went a walk to the allotments and took my camera with me to take some photos..

This was my first visit to the allotment this year for me.. I really can not wait to get back into it.. I have instead been pottering around the home garden clearing and cutting back dead growth.

We have made plans to where things will go as we rotate crops.. And the seeds we planted are already through and have been transplanted into larger pots and put in the green house to slow down a little .  More are still on our home window sills germinating. Which include tomatoes which are now showing signs of growth.

So to show you more signs of Spring , we did a round trip walk as we walked from the allotments we went on an hours walk this is literally  begins five minutes from our allotments ..  So I have included these in a slide show.

Thank you to all of you who have recently subscribed to my gardening Blog.. Please make yourselves known and I will get back to you.. 🙂 I was amazed at the new numbers of new followers this month so thank you for subscribing.

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Happy Gardening I hope you now have Spring in your Step

~Sue~