June Update on the Plot.

Have any of you noticed how fast this year is flying? Already half way through the year. 

Well our Trip to Scotland at the beginning of May was wonderful, and I hope to find time to post about that on this blog in the near future.. But we have been busy busy on the plot. and just enjoying relaxing over the holiday weekends..

We came back to a garden that had bloomed as the good weather was perfect growing weather not only for the crops but the weeds never stop growing and at twice the pace of crops ūüėÄ

So here is the plot update in picture format and some of our home garden to. ( note if you click onto the photos you will I hope get a larger view. )

While I had hoed outside of the four rows of peas, the inside weeds were taking over, When you consider those stakes are my waist height, It was back breaking work..

This is the four rows of peas which are now weeded

I carried on an weeded the Shallots 

Remember the Dahlias that we dug up last autumn to store over winter.. Well unfortunately we lost half of them due to the very cold weather despite them being wrapped up in the shed. Some of the tubers had gone rotten.. We saved these.

Hubby dug deep holes put some muck beneath and here you see them starting to sprout.. Again since taking this photo they are really growing at speed now and have much more foliage on them.

These were Lupins self sets from last year, I let them grow and they are happy  between where we put the Dahlias. You can just see a Dahlia shooting to the bottom right hand corner of the photo. 

The younger rows of peas now growing under the net, I weeded out those today,
The spring cabbage you see next to them. Some of them went to seed so that is why you see the misses..
Then you see sweet corn and dwarf beans, and the steaks with plastic cut bottles are where the butternut squash is. The bottles to help direct water to the roots. Apologies this is a little blurred 

This is an older photo giving you the length of the plot, Here you see that same Lupin before it was in flower. And this is where the potatoes were planted. 

Here you see the Potatoes rows see how they have grown from the picture above this one. You can see the Lupins now too.  What you may not see are the leeks, that were planted in the earth. They are only like tiny blades of grass at the moment so they do not show up well on the photo. 

The Kidney Beans are now in, these were started off in the Greenhouse and planted out after the threat of frost after we returned from holiday 

With all the good weather and with our constant watering, It looks like there will be plenty of Strawberries this year looking at the amount of flowers.. The bees have been busy working away.

The broad beans are in flower and have some nice young pods on them.. So looking forward to them.

Remember the square raised netted bed of carrots in an earlier post? Well hubby got in and weeded through these,, rather his back than mine. as it was worse than the peas in the top photo. 

The tomatoes are now in the allotment greenhouse we have more in our home garden greenhouse too.
We grew these from saved seeds of tomatoes last year.
If you want to save seeds to grow.. Just squeeze them out onto some kitchen paper and allow them to dry out completely then store in envelopes somewhere dry to plant next season.

Parsnips and Beetroot with peas on left, brassica’s on the right

And I will leave you with what is blooming in the home garden. Until next time..

Happy Gardening.

Storing the Dahlia Tubas for Winter

Well, we now have had our first frosts here in England, and so it was the perfect time to lift the Dahlia,s and store the Tubas.  As promised I will show the process. Those of you who live in warmer climates will not have to do this, and even in the South of England often tubas are left in because the winters are not as cold as further North.

Here you can see in the first photo how the flowers start to blacken when the frost hits them.  ( If you click the photos, they can be enlarged ) 

 

Now the frost has hit the Dahlias it was time to start digging up the tubas

Hubby getting to grips with the Dahlias

After cutting off the Dahlia tops, the tubas are dug up and placed into  the wheelbarrow

My job was labelling. 

Hubby made a metal grid in the allotment greenhouse, where you place the stalks side down and tuba side up, This helps to drain the moisture out of the stalks .. And here they will stay for a couple of weeks until the soil has completely dried and can be shaken off.
Then they will be stored in the shed and covered with some hessian sacking. And they will be fine until next year when we will plant them out again.

Everything now in the allotment is more or less ship shape, Hubby has now dug where the Dahlias were, and the last of the weed has been hoed from between the leeks and sprouts. Now the frosty mornings are arriving not many more weeds will grow, and what do now will be easily hoed up. 

I took some photos of a couple of plots, just showing you how when you turn your back, or they are left alone for a while just how quickly nature reclaims them back

The plot next to ours, and only a few weeks away it and how its got overgrown with weed just showing you how you have to stay on top of your allotment even in Autumn.

A vacant plot of two years three plots from ours.

 

 

This plot was a once well-kept plot, but the person who held it became ill and could not continue.

 

We also have a plenty of windfall apples, these have been given us by other allotmenteers who have had more than enough for themselves. 

 

All of these apples you see were windfalls which we had given us. And despite their appearances, most are perfect apples beneath their skin and lots of Apple Pie’s have been made and lots more apple crumbles to make too.

And today I made another Apple Pie which goes down a treat with lashings of hot custard.

Homemade Apple Pie

 

Happy Gardening, and Happy Eating all that you produce.

Until next time. Sue 

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~

 

 

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~