Invasion

We all know keeping a garden tidy is time-consuming. Keeping on top of the weeds, hoeing and watering in dry months too takes lots of dedication.

Weeds and Poppies

Weeds and Poppies soon overtake when your back is turned

Turn your back for five minutes and the weeds spring up and grow at an amazing pace compared with your crops..  And because we do not use any sprays to curb weeds or kill pests, you have to keep on top of things..

Now we have been so busy with picking, freezing and preserving in recent weeks, that parts of the garden where younger crops were not needed got over looked.

After weeding Beetroot

Weeding out revealed the young beetroot, I am leaving either side with weeds and poppies as beneath are young carrots and these easily disturb when you pull up the weeds, So its good habitat for insects and spiders.. Speaking of which I got two bites.. But nothing venomous here in the UK only red and itching marks.. Thank fully,

It didn’t take long before the weeds over took and covered everything up. So while Hubby was digging out the potatoes I got busy with this patch of weeding.

Potato Picking

Which was only scratching the surface.. Because there was also in-between the raspberries to re-weed, as well as around the Dahlias . I thinned out the raspberries and tied them up. These were the early ones.

Raspberry Canes And Gladioli

Raspberries tied up and thinned out. And Gladioli in front all cleared and weeded out

The Autumn raspberries are producing loads of fruit too which is being made into flans as quickly as I can pick them and frozen too for storage   The sweetcorn we are picking as each cob ripens and to date we must have had around 30 cobs off and frozen for storage.

Raspberries Autumn

Raspberries Autumn variety

The Strawberries finished long ago and were growing runners, These plants were off of last years runners and so this year we read that all you needed to do was cut back the strawberries and allow new growth to form..

Strawberry Bed

Strawberry bed, cut right back in the Autumn and new growth shoots soon sprout.

This is the new growth after only one week.. Even we didn’t believe how they produced new leaves so quickly.. But it has been exceptionally warm this September in what we call our  ‘Indian Summer’ it’s not often the temperatures soar to 24C to 28C this late in the year.. We were not complaining about the good weather. But digging and working in the heat did make both hubby and I wilt a little.

 

We also pulled up what was left of the Pea rows.. I had left some pods on deliberately so we could save and dry the seeds for planting next year.

 Below is the Butternut Squash Remember how we spaced them out and How Hubby put half cut plastic bottles for watering later?

This was redug out again, and we have planted butternut squashes in there. We put bottles into the ground when it was dry to allow water to soak into the roots and not get mildew on the leaves.. Since we did that, we have had rain none stop nearly for a week.. We left the Nasturtiums in from seed set last year. You can see the Old rickerty shed is still standing.. Soon to be demolished when we are on top of everything else.

This was redug out again, and we have planted butternut squashes in there. We put bottles into the ground when it was dry to allow water to soak into the roots and not get mildew on the leaves.. Since we did that, we have had rain none stop nearly for a week..
We left the Nasturtiums in from seed set last year.
You can see the Old rickety shed is still standing.. Soon to be demolished when we are on top of everything else.

Well this is now how it looks

Butternut Squash

You can see how those canes come in handy to detect where the bottles are under the leaves to water.

The water system my hubby did with the cut water bottles at the roots of the Butternut Squash when he planted came in handy. The canes marked the spot of the bottles which got lost among the foliage of the squash.

Watering the leaves can lead to mildew so this proved much better for watering and they are thirsty plants, each one would devour a huge watering can in seconds. My arms felt they had grown in length by several inches after carrying water back and forth.. Thankfully this is why we put the water barrels to catch water near the shed, so it saves on leg and arm power walking to and from the water cistern tanks on the allotments.

Harlequin Bug

Harlequin Bug

We also noted we now not only have got invaded with white fly upon our kale and purple sprouting broccoli. But we have over the years been invaded with the Harlequin Ladybug . This ladybug is not native to our Islands and has flown over from Europe. This is causing a threat to our own red native  Ladybug species, as it not only eats the aphids but will also eat the eggs of other ladybugs and butterfly caterpillar larvae too.. So I reported my find, I spotted two on the allotments to the Ladybug Survey Here  So any one in the UK who spots one of these can report it to their website so data is collected.. More about what these Harlequin bugs and their habitats  can be found here

Here to end, yes there is an end to this post.. (Sorry its been a long one this time)  are  the rest of the pictures taken .

 Happy Gardening until next time 

~Sue~

 

May time in the Allotments

Its been a while since I posted here. Life is certainly busy. And I am just about getting myself organised again after returning from  a lovely holiday in Scotland.

Garden shed

So for those who can remember, that shed my husband bought from a fellow allotmenteer is now standing proud and upright with the help of my Son who did most of the hard work.

Here you see the Old 'Lean too' shed in the background which is going to be pulled down. The base of the new shed is laid out, Using old concrete fence posts

Here you see the Old ‘Lean too’ shed in the background which is going to be pulled down. The base of the new shed is laid out, Using old concrete fence posts

The shed now errected and with new felt roof and I gave it two coats of wood preserve paint.

The shed now errected and with new felt roof and I gave it two coats of wood preserve paint. The old one is still behind it and is awaiting being pulled down.

You can see how dry the wood was on the shed as you see from my painting it with wood preserve the contrast in colours

You can see how dry the wood was on the shed  from my painting it with wood preserve, the contrast in colours.

When I got back after our vacaction, I set to and weeded. Along with thinning out of plants.  Click to enlarge photo’s and read.

If you look closely you can see the blossom on my young eating apple tree. I have yet to weed this section of the allotment

If you look closely you can see the blossom on my young cooking apple tree. I have yet to weed this section of the allotment The eating apple still has no blossom so hopefully next year it will

This part was where I had all the Gladioli last year.. You can see where the small corms had started to grow, so I set to to weed.

This part was where I had all the Gladioli last year.. You can see where the small corms had started to grow, so I set to to weed.

Now you can see the Gladioli after I weeded.. The main bulbs have been planted nearer the new green house this year as I have moved the flowers around this year.

Now you can see the Gladioli after I weeded.. The main bulbs have been planted nearer the new green house this year as I have moved the flowers around this year.

Here you can see what my hubby has been up to.. He took some old metal ladders that were rickerty apart. Taking out the step runners.. He has laid them out and staked them into the ground..

Here you can see what my hubby has been up to.. He took some old metal ladders that were rickerty apart. Taking out the step runners.. He has laid them out and staked them into the ground.. In the background the canes with the bottles on top are where we have put the Dahlia’s this year. .

The next stage was to get lengths of pipe and bend over putting into the runner holes.. then using canes stabilize the arches using ties to hold firm.

The next stage was to get lengths of pipe and bend over putting into the runner holes.. then using canes stabilize the arches using ties to hold firm.

The next stage we covered the rows with netting.. So as to keep butterflies away and hopefully stop caterpillars eating.

The next stage we covered the rows with netting.. So as to keep butterflies away and hopefully stop caterpillars eating.

Here are two tunnels now completed protecting brassica's and Chard.. The small net, I used to cover the peas, as the birds and pigeons just love young pea shoots, ( as do I in a salad )

Here are two tunnels now completed protecting brassica’s and Chard.. The small net, I used to cover the peas, as the birds and pigeons just love young pea shoots, ( as do I in a salad ) In the forground you can see the Garlic which I also weeded out.

Tomato plants are thriving and will be planted in the allotment green house next week

Tomato plants are thriving and are much larger than this now and will be planted in the allotment green house next week

As you can see, I have been busy planting up hanging baskets and wall hangers,

As you can see, I have been busy planting up hanging baskets and wall hangers in the home Greenhouse. These will go out when the threat of any over night frost is gone at the end of May.

Wishing you all

HAPPY GARDENING

~Sue~

Grow Your Own ~Update May.

This time of year is always busy, the veggie seeds have now grown from the seed trays and been hardened off outdoors.. Most have now been planted into the allotments.  Below is the Picture Progress of what has been planted in recent weeks.

The Bugs that eat Pea Plants can be found Here 

Sowing Peas, make a small drill hole and drop dried pea seed in. cover and water.

Sowing Peas, make a small drill hole and drop dried pea seed in. cover and water.

Now these peas were rescued by me as these were the only ones from a full row of many that came through. So I transplanted into one place, some are sadder looking than others as they have been nibbled by beetles.. But they will survive... We have another long row recently planted.

Now these peas were rescued by me as these were the only ones from a full row of many that came through. So I transplanted into one place, some are sadder looking than others as they have been nibbled by beetles.. But they will survive… We have another long row recently planted.

Kidney Beans, grown in the green house then transplanted out.. Beans are very susceptible to Frosts  so should only be planted out or sown so they come through the grown late may when threat of frosts have gone.

Kidney Beans, grown in the green house then transplanted out.. Beans are very susceptible to Frosts so should only be planted out or sown so they come through the ground  late may when threat of frosts have gone. Seeds should be planted in the ground not before the 13th May to avoid frosts

 

Making use of an old swing frame to tie the bean sticks to.

Making use of an old swing frame to tie the bean sticks to.

Parsnips, Beetroot, onions and shallots.  The two lines are where I planted swedes .

Parsnips, Beetroot, onions and shallots. The two lines are where I planted swedes .

Both early and late crops doing well. Fingers crossed, as we had potato blight last year.

Both early and late crops doing well. Fingers crossed, as we had potato blight last year.

Brassica Family  Brussels sprout  , Red, and Curly Kale  under nets to stop the pigeons and white cabbage butterfly from laying eggs.

Brassica Family Brussels sprout , and Curly Kale under nets to stop the pigeons and white cabbage butterfly from laying eggs.

Cauliflower and Broccoli are under netting so as the butterflies white cabbage fly will not lay their eggs..

Cauliflower and Broccoli are under netting so as the butterflies white cabbage fly will not lay their eggs.. We do not use any pesticides

Lettuce, There  was also some spring onions Hubby set here, but I forgot and hoed them up :-( so will have to plant some more..  :-)

Lettuce, There was also some spring onions Hubby set here, but I forgot and hoed them up 😦 so will have to plant some more.. 🙂 Even I make mistakes LOL

Sweet corn at the far end  and Chard and Kale under the other two large green cloches

Sweet corn at the far end and Chard and Kale under the other two large green cloches The grids over the brassica family are to stop the pigeons eating the young leaves, There is a lot of wood pigeon near by who are busy feeding young. Who are partial to a few veggies!

Below now are the flower beds.. This year I wanted to have more cut flowers so below are the beds we planted Dahlia, I also planted Sweet Williams, and Calendula.. We already have lots of self set seeds of Marigolds growing which I will transplant around the veggies as they get bigger. Marigolds are easy to grow and they help keep  away aphids. “The relationship between plants and insects is known as ‘companion planting.’  it’s by far the safest, natural way to garden organically.” 

Dahlias  starting to come through we over wintered some and bought some new tuba's this year.. I wanted more for cut flowers this year,

Dahlias starting to come through we over wintered some and bought some new tuba’s this year.. I wanted more for cut flowers this year, Those things sticking up are just to hold a piece of plastic over them while we had threats of frost.

In the foreground is the flowers seeds in the small box, then the other 3 have strawberries with Gladioli behind them .

In the foreground is the flowers seeds in the small box, then the other 3 have strawberries with Gladioli behind them  just poking through.

Gladioli starting to shoot where the canes are. Always wise to cover low canes with a can or empty carton. its so easy to bend down and not see the cane and poke your eye.. So please be aware especially if you have youngsters around your garden too.

Gladioli starting to shoot where the canes are. Always wise to cover low canes with a can or empty carton. its so easy to bend down and not see the cane and poke your eye.. So please be aware especially if you have youngsters around your garden too.

Lupins in the allotments grown from seed last year.

Lupins in the allotments grown from seed last year.

The small ones are Butternut squash the three larger ones are courgettes ..

The small ones are Butter-nut squash the three larger ones are courgettes .. This was compost heap of several years which hubby flattened and straightened to make more planting room.

The Logan Berries are in full flower so looks like we shall have lots of fruit if we get to them before the birds.. But we will net them later on after the flowers have set after the bees and insects have done their work.

The Logan Berries are in full flower so looks like we shall have lots of fruit if we get to them before the birds.. But we will net them later on after the flowers have set after the bees and insects have done their work.

Red Currents starting to form. the bush is laden .

Red Currents starting to form. the bush is laden .

 And there you have it.. Our Update for May..

How is your Garden Growing?