Easter Gardening On the Plot

Hello to those whom are still following here on my garden blog… Its been a long, long while since my last post in November…. I usually fill in my winter blog with stories of my travels, but as for all of us this past year, that has not been available to many. And to be very honest with you, my heart as not been in the world of blog…. As much as in my creative world of crafts… So I have been spending more and more time Off line, during my absent months, and more time within my creative world.. Both with my knitting, my art, and crafts.. My crafts and artwork I will share with you next time.

And look!…. you turn around and EASTER is now here…. Time as we know it is certainly going faster and at times you blink and a week has past…

So how are you all… Have you been keeping busy, and I hope all of your own gardens are thriving..

We have been lucky in that we have obtained another greenhouse by an allotmenteer who was finding his plot too hard to maintain due to ill health in his old age.. At 82, he did remarkably well and has had the plot next to ours for over 30 years… The last year he never came to his plot and that is the first year he has missed in all of his allotment days… We shall miss him and wished him well with his health issues..

Before the glass was put inside..

So hubby was busy in moving the greenhouse and setting up next to ours… Its funny how when you send out a signal to the Universe how its heard… Last year we both said we could do with a bigger greenhouse because of all the things we were finding to put in ours and not enough room…. Then this year we get one… Thank you Universe..

The greenhouse now with glass in and the cold frames and raised beds now moved in line.

We started early with setting onion and shallots sets in January, these are now in the ground but here they were before being put in the ground in the cold frame with the green mesh on top.

We also started our peas this way… And they too are now in the ground… We have two rows now set.
Peas two rows of three each… You can also see Apple trees starting to sprout shoots The

While hubby was busy doing that, I was trimming back the late raspberry bushes dead wood, and clearing out weed from places, along with hoeing over where hubby to putt in the potatoes. We have two and a half row of early potatoes which are Aran Pilot and six and half rows of main crop, which is Picasso..

More of things we are growing are in this gallery.

So Spring is Here….. And I am so pleased to be digging back in Mother Natures earth again…. This gallery is a little different than in the Classic edit.. I thought it would show you the headers of the plants here.. They are from left to right cauliflower broccoli and Cosmos flowers, Leeks, Lettuce.. Peas, and onions and shallots now in the ground, and Asters flowers. These will go in my front home garden this year.

Hope you all of you have a very happy, Easter… and Happy Gardening..

Exercise on Lock-down~ Creative Time.

Another Month has gone, and either ‘Time’ is flying for you right now, or it is dragging out… So what are you all doing in your Lock-down time? Have you taken up your artist brushes, or you ladies, sewing or knitting. Or maybe you found some DIY jobs you needed to do if you had the materials in before the lock-down… If you are lucky enough to have a garden have you been busy in it enjoying getting out in it as Spring starts to bloom. 

 Have you been creative??  Have you been bored? Why not give something new a try… 

I felt like creating something different, and found myself painting in aboriginal art form. This is just part of that watercolour painting

Or are you perhaps seeing this time as a time to reflect and put into perspective all our blessings..  Maybe you are volunteering your time helping others, or maybe you need help.  If you do need help, then do not be afraid to reach out to your neighbours, never be too proud to ask.. There are many who are willing to help right now..  I am witnessing some wonderful neighbours within my own community and a band of volunteers are organising through our neighbourhood watch scheme, and its heart warming to see..  What ever you are doing, where ever you are, I hope each and everyone of your are well, and stay well. 

Have you been able to walk the dog, keeping your social distancing? or have you found time to dig your plot and garden and prepare your gardens ready for the growing season?

We keep on Walking.

We count ourselves very fortunate in that our allotment plot is only a five minute walk away, and when we go early in the morning we hardly see anyone or meet anyone. When we do, we respect each others distance and get on with the job in hand of planting our crops..  ( If you right click the photo’s  you can open up to view larger ) 

We have been busy busy, as those of you know this is sowing time.  So In went the potatoes.. Hubby did this in gradual steps, digging two rows each morning, digging out the deep trench mucking/ putting manure it and placing potatoes in.. Covering up… Hard work, and when you are Three score year and ten plus it doesn’t get any easier.. 

Hubby has now put in Nine rows of potatoes. Two early variety is called Foremost, and seven main crop are Picasso.

While Hubby was busy digging in the potatoes, I got stuck in one morning and planted the onions and shallots..  The quality of the photo below is not good.. It was pretty cold that morning, as off came my gardening gloves to click the photo. 

Onions and Shallots setting, I planted Two rows of each and one row of red onions. Which are Turbo, and the shallots are Golden Orbit.

The next morning while the potato rows were growing, two by two ūüôā  I set too and planted a row of peas.. Growing in the cold frame. 

First lot of Peas sprouting, It was the second lot which the mice ate..
These are Hurst Green-shaft.
My row of Pea planting.. I would be lost without the kneeler. My knees did take the toll. Hubby later came to the rescue with his rolled up jacket as a cushion on the kneeler.

 These I set in rows of three..  And boy did I know about it with my knees and back.

Once the row was set, Hubby helped me put metal steaks in and we put wire netting either side of them. This is for support when they grow

Peas now in neat rows with wire netting each side to help them grow up and support .

Remember the  sweater I was knitting and making up as I went along with left over yarns.. Well hubby took a photo of me wearing it as the peas we netted and I was raking the footprints we had made… 

Me raking up my messy footprints after the pea row is planted and covered with nets until they get a little bigger to flower… Otherwise pigeons and sparrows love young pea-shoots.

Another morning I put the nets in place along the trellis which was where for years we have grown loganberries.. But as these have not been there best for several years, so we decided to dig them out in the autumn.. And I had a plan to plant sweet peas along the row… Hence my dismay in my last post when the mice got in and nibble their way through them… But my new plants are now growing and in the cold frame. This is where they are going.

I mucked under the trellis work in the beginning of January, and now I put netting up for the sweet-peas flowers to climb up when big enough to plant out.

 The greenhouse on is still full of seedlings, brassica’s and leeks, lettuce etc. 

Seedlings and dahlia tubas. There really isn’t a lot of room.. But some now are out in the cold frame.
My Flower bed in the allotments.. Space for Dahlia’s at the side of the sheds.

Well my friends, that’s all for now Stay safe and well and See you next time.

September Harvesting

September evenings are now drawing in quickly, much quicker than I remember in my childhood days, but then again the Summer holidays from school seemed to last and last when we were children, and now it seems within a blink of an eye  they are gone, as children break up for the Summer and now already they are back at school again.

So while the temperatures brought an unexpected Late August heat wave on a holiday weekend here in the UK, its now dipped back to normal with a clear chill in the air first thing in the morning.

So before the rain set it Hubby and I got to work in harvesting the potatoes, along with  the ripe sweetcorn cobs, and clearing out the litter of spent brassica leaves and weeds.

Click onto any photo to enlarge.

Just two rows of potatoes dug up here.

So while Hubby got digging the main crop of potatoes up, Picasso, I got busy picking sweetcorn and also pulling up the spent dwarf beans, collecting the pods for next years seed.

While Hubby dug I sorted into sizes and any damaged with the fork will be used first.

 

 

 

Gathering dwarf bean seeds, the rows covered in weed ..

 

 

 

There were also the Dwarf Beans which had finished to pull up and collect seed pods  for saving next years seeds. The rows had got covered in weeds and so this area of the plot needed a good weeding and clearing out.

It’s very satisfying when¬† its all cleared and raked, I also went under the Brussels sprouts clearing out decaying leaves.

Cleared area after pulling up the dwarf bean rows

Ladybird bug feasting on the aphids and white fly

Look closely for the ladybugs on the  left photo, making a meal of eating the aphids.These little creatures are a gardeners friend, although the invasive species of the Harlequin Bug are now wiping out our UK Ladybird bug..

 

Sweetcorn ready to go into freezer.

Our sweetcorn has done exceptionally well this year, with the heat and often heavy rainfall which would fall in the night. On the left here you see 40 cobs ready for the freezer. There  were cobs still ripening ready to be harvested. Quite a lot, but when we went to collect today it seems our thief had got there first leaving only six small ones..

We are having problems with produce being stolen again on the plot.. We had onions go, and the odd cabbage, broad beans we knew were ripe also went.  You do not mind the odd thing missing but when they take a  lot.. or a whole row.. It can be quite soul destroying when you put so much time and effort into your plot to grow your own veggies..  We have thought of putting our Motion camera on the plot, but as this was a gift we do not want this stolen, as we get a lot of pleasure watching the hedgehogs roam on our garden during the night via watching the play back.

Hedgehog out earlier in the Summer on our patio

I have no problems sharing, we always plant more than we need and give family and neighbours that which we cannot store.

I would gladly give produce away rather than someone think its there right to take it..  Though I am under no illusions people have no qualms with taking what is not theirs..  I just hope they enjoyed what they have taken.. They obviously must need it more than we do.. So we keep planting more than we need .. And are thankful we can do so.

So until next time.

Take care.. and be thankful for what you have, for there are always those less fortunate than ourselves..

Through the Sweetcorn view of plot

Happy Gardening!

Sue

 

 

August Update~ On the Plot.

August has been a very good month, lots of warm Sunshine, hot days, and short sharp heavy bursts of rain.. Though in the beginning of August we did have three days of solid rain..

This has been good for our growing crops, but also ideal conditions for our main enemy~ The Weeds!.. whose relentless battle goes on and on..

Click on the photos to Enlarge:

Even when you have weeded, set seeds, the battle is constant. Click photos to enlarge.

Now I have no problem with weeds, they are all beautiful in their own right, but some are just so invasive and spring up like a carpet, choking and taking nutrients from the crops. The plots are full of them

now re-weeded you can now see the lettuce, swedes, the carrots are too tiny to weed out too close.

 

 

 

 

 

We had several weeks of redecorating our home, so the plot was neglected apart from watering in the heatwave every morning.

This beautiful weather ideal for our Sweetcorn which has grown to the size of me now, and it has some lovely huge cobs just about ready for harvest.

The sweetcorn has loved the heat wave and we have some huge cobs ripening

We have enjoyed strawberries right up into the middle of July, when this next picture was taken. While the early Raspberry canes are now finished, our late raspberries are just beginning to ripen and I have already had three such punnets off, with lots left to ripen.

While this photo was taken in July, These raspberries were the early ones, we are now getting raspberries from our Autumn late crop

We have had some lovely tasty new first early potatoes these were called Foremost  we planted three rows of earlies and six rows of the main crop, which are Picasso Below you see hubby  who yesterday weeded out the rows as the tops had died down, though he is not digging them out yet until the end of Sept, as everything seems to be about a month in front of itself this year, probably due to the mild Spring.

Hubby weeded out the potatoes now the tops have died down, We have 6 rows of main crop and still two rows of early potatoes to dig up.

Above you can see the onions drying out in our home greenhouse, in the middle on the bottom shelf are tulip bulbs from our home garden, I dug up and dried out ready for replanting in the Autumn. On the right these are shallots  which can either be used for pickles or I like to add in stews. 

My Dahlia’s and Gladioli’s have been lovely again this year and they are still¬† producing lots of bloom

 Inside the Allotment green house we have yellow tomatoes ripening and we have fallen in love with these Crystal  Lemon Cucumbers  

Well that is what is happening on the Plot this month, I will leave you with some busy lizzie plants on our patio.

Until next time

Busy Lizzie’s in one of our patio pots

Happy Gardening!

March Update~ Came in like a Lion.

Well I think we have certainly had everything thrown at us this month. Gales, heavy rain, with flooding in some parts of the UK, while others had snow on higher ground.  The Wind battered our lean too shed, which we were going to pull down last year, which we never got around to so the Wind saved us the job.. It was a second-hand shed when we got it, which if its true age be known, must have been over 40 yrs old, we had it for 15 yrs.. So it owed us nothing.

Here it is before, you can see why we called it our lean-too. We built our other second-hand shed using fence posts as a foundation base.

Hubby cleared the area and burnt the wood, spreading the potash on the garden. Nothing is ever wasted . And he put the compost and manure barrels on the foundations.  This is the rough area behind the sheds, and will get levelled out and dug over when some of the waste vegetation has rotted down.. This was where the Pumpkins were grown last year. 

This last week the weather has been better so we have worked hard on the plot. Hubby has now planted 3 rows of early potatoes, and 6 rows of Late potatoes.. 

Click to enlarge

 

The Peas are growing well, and will be put into a cold frame to harden off a bit.. Though you can sow straight into the ground, but we have found we have had more success planting them this way, as birds and mice do not eat them, so there are less misses in the row.. We will set more pea seeds later to stagger the harvest. 

Peas growing well

Cabbage, cauliflower, spouts, broccoli, seeds have been set along with Leeks.

Leeks and young strawberry plants before they were planted in their beds

We also made a new Strawberry bed, replenishing our plants with some bought off the local market..  We will add straw around them a little later. 

New varieties of strawberry plants..

It is wonderful to have some fine weather again and Spring to be in the air, the birds are now gathering worms and insects to feed their young and the home garden although it got quite battered by the high winds and rains for a solid week.  Now is beginning to show more colour. So the remaining gallery are flowers in bloom. 

So Until Next time..

Happy Gardening and Planting. 

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 

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~

 

Great Growing Weather

Well we have gone from Cold to Warm and Wet in a matter of weeks. As the UK is hit by rains, flash floods and thunderstorms almost none stop for over a week now.

But the weather has also been humid too, so although my flowers in my home garden have taken a bit of a bashing, the allotment plot is thriving.. Plus we have only had to water the green house.. So a bonus on not carrying cans of water.

I can not believe how fast June is speeding away, as on Tuesday of next week it will be Summer Solstice on the 21st.  Half way through the year, where did those last 6 months go?

Here is my updates in picture format and everything is coming along as they say in leaps and bounds..

Potato crop

The Potatoes are thriving with all the rain we have had.

Veggies, Sweetcorn

Bottom left corner is the parsnips, then two rows of turnips, and two rows of beetroot. The square of Sweetcorn are growing, I also planted a couple of Sunflowers amongst them

Tiny Leeks

You can barely see them, But here are the leeks, we planted them at intervals. The Three black pots you can see in the ground are courgettes.. We were protecting them from slugs until they get going.

Tiny Leeks

You can barely see them, But here are the leeks, we planted them at intervals. The Three black pots you can see in the ground are courgettes.. We were protecting them from slugs until they get going.

Peas

Here you see my rows of peas, I have now netted them with wire and string to help them grow upward. You will see lots of plastic bottles on ends of sticks.. Its our allotment rules cover canes to avoid poked eyes.. You can soon not see a stick when focusing on a weed when you bend down.. These white poles are metal, so are also sharp on the ends..

Dahlia's

What a difference a week makes, I can not believe how these have grown in a week.. I also took out all of the weeds around them last week, just look how the weeds have grown in a couple of days

Strawberry bed

We made a lovely little frame for the netting to go over the strawberries.. Most have now set, so to keep birds from them they are now netted.

Fruit Bushes

Here is the Fruit section, the one I tackled last time with the fork in the ground.. You can now see how I weeded out near the flag stones, and how my Hubby has put netting over the Blueberry bushes now the flowers are set.

The space at the back of the sheds

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.

Mr Friendly Toad

This lovely Mr Toad is most welcome on our plot.. He is sat on top of the net above our lettuce’s He never moved an inch either when my hubby moved the net to pick one. He will eat the slugs and pests and he looks to be thriving..

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and

Happy Gardening 

~Sue~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allotment ~update June

At last all is planted and now growing well in our allotments. 

Looking up the plot from the shed..

Looking up the plot from the shed..

The month of May has been up and down with the weather and it began with some chilling winds which didn’t do our newly planted sweetcorn any good.. We thought we might have lost it as it turned very pale yellow and the leaves began to die back.. but then some Sun shines and Magic happens.¬†

Sweet corn has now got much bigger now the chill winds have stopped

Sweet corn in the background  has now got much bigger now the chill winds have stopped

We have both been busy weeding, it seems no amount of chill keeps the weeds from flourishing and between us we have kept it pretty much clear.

I Planted the lupins last year, The four canes are my granddaughters Sunflower plants.. and I planted marigold and Asters

I Planted the lupins last year, The four canes are my granddaughters Sunflower plants.. and I planted marigold and Asters

I wanted some flowers in the allotments this year so I grew some Asters from seed and the canes are my granddaughters Sunflowers.. there are more seeds in the ground.. but these were her special ones she grew in pots. 

One Potato Two Potato Three. Our Granddaughter enjoying picking the first boiling of New Potatoes

One Potato Two Potato Three. Our  4 yr old Granddaughter enjoying picking the first boiling of New Potatoes

Here she is laughing she wanted to gather up the potatoes her granddad had dug up and put them into a bag.. She even allowed a spider to crawl over her hand as it ran across them.. I was so pleased she showed no fear of it.. ( I am trying to teach her how everything has a place in the garden.. as the spiders eat the flies etc ) And that all creatures have a right to life..

More photos of what is growing can be viewed in this Gallery section..Please click the photo’s to view what is growing.

I hope all of your gardens are doing well?..

Happy Gardening

~Sue~