Archive | June 2013

The Harvest Begins And I’m Still Planting

We have had some beautiful weather this week (up until today) and it’s been a pleasure to work at my allotment.

I am still harvesting my strawberries and they taste delicious:

SAM_6736

I have also harvested the last broadbeans in my polytunnel:

SAM_6739

My outdoor broadbeans are just about ready to pick now too.

.

My daughter came with me this week to pick the strawberries (and eat them).  I also caught her picking and eating my mangetout when she thought I wasn’t looking, which made me laugh.  It’s a good job she did though, as I hadn’t realised they were ready:

SAM_6728 SAM_6712

.

I finally finished planting my last set of peas and mangetout this week.  I have tried really hard to successionally grow my peas and mangetout, so they aren’t all ready to eat at the same time.  So far it seems to be working.

SAM_6711 SAM_6710

A little bit later I found my daughter under one of my D-I-Y fruit cages (made out of canes and bottles).  She really makes me laugh as she thought I wouldn’t notice that she was pinching my gooseberrys.  I used to love eating raw gooseberrys when I was her age, but now I can only eat them when they are cooked and sweetened.

SAM_6714

.

I have been planting some more lettuces this week, in the hope that we don’t run out.  I try and sow seeds every three or four weeks and plant them out when they are ready.

I am struggling with space now at my allotment, so I planted some next to the peas I planted this week and some in between my courgettes and patty pans.  Hopefully I will harvest them before they run out of room.  The ‘posh’ word for this is ‘intercropping‘.

SAM_6709

.

I have also planted some more cauliflowers under environmesh.  After planting I did my usual ‘cauliflower stomp’ to firm the soil around them, to stop them from ‘blowing’:

SAM_6747

I had some small kohl rabi’s to plant, but as I was short of space, I have planted them in between my cucmbers in my polytunnel:

SAM_6756

.

As usual I have hoed all around my plot.  I find if I hoe everywhere once a week on a dry day, it keeps the weeds down a treat.

SAM_6645

.

This week I checked out the flowers in my wildflower area and they are starting to attract lots of bees and insects.  Already there is the sound of ‘buzzing’ when you stop and listen.  It isn’t yet in full flower and there are still lots of smaller plants still to put on growth:

SAM_6718

SAM_6719

.

The flowers all around my plot are starting to open now that we have had a bit of sun:

SAM_6734 SAM_6733 SAM_6715 SAM_6717

It makes me feel glad to be alive!

Thank you for reading my blog today.  I will be back on Monday at approximately 4pm.

How To Grow Watercress And A Watercress, Leek & Potato Soup

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Before I start today, I thought I would show you the hidden treasure I dug up yesterday:

SAM_6698

These potatoes are a second early variety that I grow every year called ‘Marfona’.  As the potato plants were flowering I thought I would have a root around and see what I could find.

They tasted absolutely wonderful.  I made a homemade lasagne to go with the potatoes and served it with a homegrown salad (except for the cucmber as mine aren’t ready yet).

SAM_6701

Afterwards we had freshly picked home grown strawberries served with natural yoghurt…what bliss!

SAM_6704 SAM_6705

.

Today I thought I would talk about Watercress.

I always thought that you needed running water to grow watercress, until my old allotment neighbour showed me how he always grew it in a great big black pot that he had on his plot.

Sadly, my neighbour gave up his plot up in December 2011 and so I decided to take the plot on myself.   I inherited the old black pot and I also tried to grow watercress in it and it worked really well.   All I did was to replace the top inch of compost with new compost, sprinkle the seeds over it and cover them with a small amount of compost.  I just made sure the compost didn’t dry out and this was the result:

My Watercress 2012

My Watercress 2012

.

When my watercress began to flower, I left it to set seed and I was surprised to get a second growth of useable watercress a few weeks later.

This year I sowed the seeds in the same way, but as our Spring was cold, I placed a pane of glass over it to help with the seed germination and it has grown well again.  I actually only sowed half the big barrel as this really is enough for us.

SAM_6677

.

Watercress is fabulous as it has more than fifteen essential vitamins and minerals.  Apparently, it contains more vitamin C (gram for gram) than oranges, more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach.

Another wonderful thing is that it only contains 11 calories per 100g of raw watercress.

.

I noticed on Friday that my Watercress is starting to go to seed (even though I have been adding loads of it to our salads), so I needed to use it up fairly soon.  Last year I made a Watercress and Potato soup, but one of my daughters didn’t like it as she said it was too ‘silky’ (whatever that means).  So over the weekend, I made a different soup with less watercress and this time I used leeks from my freezer….I’m pleased to say, she loved it:

.

Watercress, Leek and Potato Soup Recipe:

.

100g Watercress

450g Leeks

425g Potatoes (weight after peeling)

1 pint of vegetable stock

½ pint of milk

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to season

 .

Slice the leeks and chop the potatoes into small pieces.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and then fry the leeks over a low heat until they are soft.

SAM_6681

Add the potato and watercress and ‘sweat’ for approximately five minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn at the bottom of the pan.

SAM_6682

Add the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper to your taste.

SAM_6683

Simmer for approximately 20-25 minutes, until the potato is soft.

Heat the milk until it is starting to boil.

SAM_6686

While the milk is boiling, puree the soup with a hand blender or a liquidiser.

SAM_6684

Add the milk to the pan of soup and bring the soup back to the boil, stirring continuously.

SAM_6688

Serve the soup with a swirl of natural yoghurt.

SAM_6691

Enjoy!

.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.

I will be back on Friday at approximately 4pm.

Still Planting And A Walk Around My Allotment

I have usually planted most of my seedlings by now, but as this isn’t a normal year (due to the cold Spring we had), I still have some to plant.

This week I have been busy planting various things and I must say my allotment is getting pretty full.

SAM_6645

I started by planting some more cauliflowers.  As usual I prepared the ground by raking in some blood, fish and bone a couple of weeks ago and then just before I planted them I trod over the area and jumped and danced on it.  Brassica’s all need firm soil and you may remember that I also did this with my brussels a few weeks ago.  One of my readers (Paula) said I had invented the ‘Brussell Sprout Stomp’, which made me laugh.

One of the main reasons for cauliflowers ‘blowing’  (loose heads, where the curds don’t grow together) is the soil isn’t firm enough.  So I suppose you could now name the dance ‘ The Cauliflower Stomp’.

I covered my cauliflowers with environmesh:

SAM_6654

.

This week I planted my ‘outdoor’ cucumbers.  They are a variety called ‘Burpless Tasty Green’, which I have grown for a few years now with great success.  The skin is slightly prickly so I do peel them before eating.  They taste lovely, with no hint of bitterness, which some cucumbers have.

SAM_6653

.

I also planted some more spring onions, as we eat loads of these and I like to make sure we have some available for a long as possible over the summer…

SAM_6655

…and some beetroot and parsley:

SAM_6656 SAM_6660

.

Finally, I planted some Nasturtiums next to my runner beans.  These are great companion plants as they attract blackfly.  The blackfly prefers the nasturtiums to the runner beans, so the nasturtiums act as sacrficial plants.

Nasturtiums next to my runner beans

Nasturtiums next to my runner beans

.

The broad beans in my polytunnel are still producing some lovely pods for picking…

SAM_6670

…and I had a lovely surprise this week as I found my first two strawberries ready for picking.  I took them home and me and my daughters all savoured the lovely, juicy, sweet strawberries together.  There really isn’t anything that tastes as good as freshly picked strawberries.  If you have never eaten homegrown strawberries, you really do not know what you are missing as they taste nothing like supermarket strawberries, that are only bred for a long shelf-life.

SAM_6648

.

.

Now we have had some warm weather and some rain, things have begun to grow nicely.  I had a walk around my plot yesterday and I noticed a few things.  The dahlias that I grew from seed have begun to flower:

 SAM_6676 SAM_6675

The apples and plums are beginning to form nicely:

SAM_6680 SAM_6678

My second early potatoes have begun to flower:

SAM_6674

My spring cabbages are finally ‘hearting up’:

SAM_6673

The first peas that I sowed this year are nearly ready:

SAM_6671

My polytunnel is growing well:

SAM_6667

And the lavender that edges both of my paths, is nearly in flower:

SAM_6663 SAM_6664

The bees will love the lavender after my poached egg plants have stopped flowering.  When I stand amongst the poached egg plants there is still such a buzz of activity there:

SAM_6665

.

.

Finally I thought I would show you what I do with lettuces after I have picked them, if I don’t use them all at once.  After taking off the few leaves I need at the time, I pop the rest of the lettuce into an old pot full of water.  Just like flowers in a vase, the lettuce stays lovely and fresh for quite a few days.

SAM_6647

.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.

  I will be back on Monday at approximately4pm.

The Carrot Root Fly & A Rock Cake Tray Bake

When I studied ‘horticulture’ at college, we looked at various pests and diseases and one thing I learnt was if you ‘know your enemy’, then it is easier to avoid it altogether or make sure it doesn’t do too much damage.

Last year I looked at the life cycle and ways to avoid the allium leaf miner, slugs and codling moths.  Once you know the life cycle of a pest, it is easier to understand how you can avoid it.

Today I thought it would be fun to look at a problem that we all encounter when we grow carrots, the dreaded Carrot Root Fly.

SAM_3410

.

The symptoms:

Unfortunately I haven’t got a photograph to show you, but there is a really good photograph here.

When you are growing carrots, the first symptom of carrot root fly that you may see, is the foliage on older plants turning a red colour and having a stunted growth– but not always.  The first sign, unfortunately, can be when you lift the carrot out of the ground and you see brown, rusty tunnels just below the skin.  If you cut into the carrots, you may find the creamy, yellow maggot inside that causes the damage.  It is approximately 9mm long.

Carrots that are left in the ground a long time are susceptible to more damage, as the maggot will continue feeding over winter and move from carrot to carrot.  The carrots can also start to rot where the damage has occurred.

SAM_2271

.

The Life Cycle Of A Carrot Root Fly:

Usually there are two generations of carrot fly each year, but in some areas there may be three.  In April and May the first generation of adult females will lay their eggs in cracks in the soil near to members of the  ‘Umbelliferae’ family, which includes carrot, celery, dill, fennel, parsley, parsnip and celeriac.

The eggs will hatch after approximately one week and the larvae will start to feed on the carrot roots.  It takes approximately three months for the larvae to develop into mature adults.

So in July or August, the adult will mate and then lay their eggs and the life cycle will begin again.  Some of the larvae will emerge as adults in autumn, but some will overwinter in the carrot roots.

Parsley

Parsley

.

How to avoid the Carrot Root Fly:

The carrot fly, flies low to the ground.  I have read many times that if you erect a barrier surrounding your carrots, approximately 60cm high and no more than one meter wide, the female won’t be able to fly in.  Unfortunately, I have learnt the hard way and I had still had a problem with carrot fly when I did this.  I can only assume that the wind blows the female fly over the barrier.

Below are some easy ways to avoid the pest:

.

  • The easiest way I have found to avoid carrot root fly is to completely cover your crop with environmesh to stop the female fly from laying her eggs.

SAM_2465

  • Before the female carrot fly lays its eggs, it feeds on pollen and nectar.  Her favourite plant to feed from is cow parsley.  So when cow parsley starts to flower, you can safely assume that the first generation of the carrot root fly is around.  With this in mind, make sure you cover your carrots before the cow parsley starts to flower.

.

  • The Carrot root fly is attracted by the smell of bruised roots.  Sow your carrot seed very thinly, so  you will not need to thin them.

.

  • Make sure you don’t grow carrots in the same ground as the year before, as the larvae may still be in the soil when you sow your new carrots.

.

  • Companion planting can help to stop the female smelling the host plants.  Growing plants with strong smells around your carrots can help e.g. onions, garlic, basil and marigolds etc.   From experience, I have found this is only partially effective and needs to be used with other methods of controls.
Calendula

Calendula

.

  • You can use ‘nematodes’ to help with the problem, but personally I find them expensive to use.

.

  • When sowing, use cultivars that are less susceptible to carrot root fly e.g. Fly Away’, or ‘Resistafly etc.  These varieties aren’t completely resistant, but they can be used with other methods to avoid the pest.

.

  • Finally, choose the best time to sow your carrots to avoid the main egg laying period (see the life cycle).  Late sown carrots (after mid-May) avoid the first generation of this pest, similarly carrots harvested before late August avoid the second generation, but again this is best used with other methods of controls, as weather conditions dictate when the flies will be active.
Celeriac

Celeriac

.

I hope you have found the information useful.  I will put it all together with other subjects I have written about, in the link at the top of the top of my blog titled ‘Pests , Diseases, Weeds & Interesting Information’ .

 SAM_4214

 .

A Rock Cake Tray Bake

.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I usually ‘batch bake’ at the weekend, ready for the week ahead.

Most weeks I bake bread and cakes and freeze them.  This way, they stay fresh for the week ahead, ready for packed lunches etc.

I made my daughters favourite this weekend, which is a chocolate brownie tray bake, which is easy to make and freezes really well.  You can find the recipe here.  I also made a tray bake that I haven’t made for a while, a ‘Rock Cake Tray bake’, which is also really nice:

SAM_6623

.

Rock Cake Tray Bake Recipe:

450g self-raising flour

200g soft margarine

100g granulated sugar

200g sultanas

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

50g Demerara sugar

.

Preheat your oven Gas mark 6 / 400F / 200C

Rub the flour and margarine together until it resembles bread crumbs.

SAM_6613

Stir in the granulated sugar and sultanas.

SAM_6614

Stir in the eggs and milk until it is all combined.

SAM_6616

Press the mixture into a tin (approximately 23cm x 33cm) lined with greaseproof paper, using the back of a metal spoon.

SAM_6618

Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top and lightly press it into the cake mixture.

SAM_6620

Bake for 30 minutes.

Cut into slices while it is still warm.

SAM_6621

Enjoy!

SAM_6625

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will back on Friday at approximately 4pm.

Laundry Liquid, Planting Leeks And Training ‘Cordon’ Tomatoes

It’s Friday already and I’m not sure where the week has gone to.

I started the week by making some of my homemade laundry liquid.  I’ve been using homemade laundry liquid to wash my clothes for quite some time now and it washes well and is so much cheaper than shop bought wash powders and liquids.  Infact, a few months ago I worked out that it cost me approximately £1.75 to make and I managed to get 71 washes out of it, which worked out to be a staggering 2.5p per wash. I challenge any of the supermarkets to beat that!

SAM_6596

I really don’t know where I got the recipe for homemade laundry liquid from, it was somewhere on the net, so I can’t take any credit for it. As it’s been some time since I last wrote how to make it on my blog, I thought I would write the recipe again for anyone who didn’t see it the first time around.  It only takes about fifteen minutes to make, but I think it’s time well spent:

.

Laundry Liquid

1 cup of soap flakes

½ cup Soda Crystals (also known as washing soda)

½ Cup Borax (in the UK it is a substitute of borax which works well)

1 ½ litres of water

SAM_3621

Put the above ingredients into a saucepan and heat, stirring until the soap flakes have dissolved.

SAM_3623

Pour the mixture into a very large bucket and then add a further 8 litres of cold water.

SAM_3625

Stir and then pour into containers, leaving space at the top so you can easily shake the container before you use it.

SAM_3634

You only need approximately a quarter of a cup of washing liquid for each wash.

SAM_6601

I use old plastic milk containers to store my liquid in. The recipe makes just over 10 litres of liquid which I found was enough for 71 washes.

One thing to remember is you won’t see lots of bubbles when it washes, but this doesn’t matter. Wash powders that you buy actually have bubbles added, not because they are needed, but because people think their clothes aren’t washing properly if they don’t see bubbles.

.

Tomatoes

SAM_6594

This week I removed most of my staging from my greenhouse, so I could put my tomatoes and cucumbers neatly, as it was getting a bit cramped in there.  I have four tomatoes called ‘Moneymaker’ and four of a heritage variety called ‘Wladecks’.  The heritage variety is a beefsteak tomato.  I also have two cucumber plants.

As the above plants grow, I tie them to the canes that I have put in the pots, to help support them.

Just in case you haven’t grown tomatoes before, it is very easy.  There are two different types of tomato, a ‘bush’ tomato and a ‘cordon’.

I am growing a’ cordon’ and it is trained up a support, by tying it to the support as it grows,   Also, side shoots will grow between the leaf stem and the main stem (called the leaf axil) and all you need to do is ‘pinch out’ the side shoots as they begin to grow (which means removing it by pinching it off using your thumb and finger nails).  There is a photograph of a side shoot below:

SAM_6592

The only other thing to do is to feed your tomato plants regularly after you can see your first tiny tomato has formed and started to grow.  Also keep the plants well watered and you will have lovely tomatoes soon.

SAM_2975

.

Planting Leeks

One of the jobs I did at my the allotment this week was to clear the kale that I left to flower for the bees, as it had just about finished flowering.  I put it all in my compost heap, as the thick stems will eventually rot down, though it does take quite some time.

SAM_6606 SAM_6608

I then dug the area over and raked in some blood, fish and bone, ready to plant my leeks.

I sowed the leeks back in January, so I was very careful not to drop them when I transported them to my plot (as I did with my sweetcorn last week).

My dad taught me how to transplant leeks and just in case you are reading this and you have never grown leeks before, I thought I would show you how I do it:

First I use a dibber to make a hole approximately 15cm deep.

SAM_6627

Then I cut the end of the roots off each leek.  This was done in the past as it was thought to stimulate the roots into growth, but I have read that it doen’t really make a difference.  I still do this, simply because I find it helps to make it easier to push the leek into the hole that you have made with your dibber.

SAM_6629

I push the leek into the hole I made with the dibber (sometimes it’s easier to twist the leek to get the roots to go down into the hole).

SAM_6631

Plant the leeks 15cm apart, in rows 30cm apart.

You don’t need to backfill the hole with soil, just water each leek and let the water settle the soil around the roots.

I don’t do anything more to my leeks, except weed around them.  They sit happily over winter too.

SAM_6632

.

.

Just to finish off with today, I thought I would show you my beautiful oriental poppies that have just begun to flower this year:

SAM_6611

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.

I will be back on Monday at approximately 4pm.

Mouldy Banana’s And Beneficial Insects

To begin with, I thought I’d show you my first broad beans of the season.  These are an over-wintering variety that I sowed in pots at the beginning of November.  As the weather was dreadful, I didn’t plant them out until February and to be honest I nearly put them in the compost bin as they were so ‘leggy’ by then.  However, I had room in my polytunnel so I put them in there, tying each one to a cane to try and stand them up.  I didn’t think they would come to anything and I have been proved wrong, so I am very pleased.

SAM_6591

The above broad beans went straight down to my father-in-law, as he absolutely loves them.  He has been very poorly recently and has only just come out of hospital again, so this put a smile on his face.

.

SAM_6568

My strawberries are finally growing well, even though they are slightly later than usual, due to the cold spring we have had.  I always lay straw around my strawberries, as this stops the strawberries from rotting when they lay on wet ground and it also helps to stop annual weeds from germinating around them.

Another job I do is to put a net over them, or the greedy birds will eat all of them.

SAM_6581

.

A long time ago, I was told I wasted space at my allotment by growing too many flowers. Yes I agree, if I didn’t grow so many flowers I would have more space for vegetable plants. However, I strongly believe I would also have fewer vegetables to harvest, as there would be less insects around to pollinate my crops.

You only needed to stand and watch my wild flower patch last year, to see the buzz of activity there. It was absolutely amazing to watch and took my breath away every time I stopped and stared.

As an organic gardener, I try really hard to encourage beneficial insects into my plot , as they keep the ‘bad bugs’ at bay. As an example, if you watch blackflies, within a few days you will see the ladybirds having a feast on them. I don’t use pesticides as these will not only kill the ‘bad’ insects, but it will also kill the ‘good’ ones too.

I try to let nature do the work for me.

SAM_3153

I try really hard to attract bees onto my plot from early spring until late autumn, by planting a continuous range of flowers. As an example, I stood amongst my poached egg plants for less than ten seconds a couple of days ago and managed to easily take photos of four separate bees:

SAM_6589 SAM_6588 SAM_6587

 After the success of last years wildflower patch, I decided to have another go.  Last month I sowed the seeds and they have started to come up now, together with seeds that self sowed themself from last year.

SAM_6584

The plants that are growing from last years seeds are far more advanced than the seeds I sowed last month and I have even got a flower on one of them:

Phacelia

Phacelia

 If this years display is half as good as last years, I will be happy.  Below are a few photo’s of last years patch:

SAM_3641 SAM_3950 SAM_4144 SAM_3640 SAM_4143 SAM_3642

.

Two Mouldy Banana’s:

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I hate waste.  However, there is always something that you find lurking at the back of the fridge or the bottom of the fruit bowl that you have to think hard about how you can use it.  So what on earth could you do with two mouldy, black bananas’ that only look fit for the compost bin?….

SAM_6528

…..I made a lovely banana cake:

.

Banana cake

2 very ripe bananas’s mashed

170g caster sugar

170g self-rising flour

170g soft margarine

3 eggs

Half a teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Plus extra margarine and flour for lining the tin

A little icing sugar for dusting.

.

Preheat your oven to gas 3 / 325F / 170C

Line a medium loaf tin by greasing the tin with margarine and dusting with flour

SAM_6530

Put all the ingredients into a bowl

SAM_6531

Mix until they are all combined and pour into your loaf tin.

SAM_6532

Bake for approximately 1 hour. 

(Test the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean then it is cooked).

Dust with icing sugar when cool.

SAM_6533

Enjoy!

SAM_6535

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Friday at approximately 4pm.

 

A Week Of Planting Tender Crops

The weather has been beautiful this week, making it a real pleasure to work at my allotment.

I’ve had a good week there, as I have started to plant out my tender plants.  These plants are the ones that can’t tolerate any frost, so I have kept them at home until this week.

Two weeks ago, I prepared the soil by spreading some blood, fish and bone fertiliser over the area where the plants were to go.

Unfortunately, the week didn’t start off too well as I had an accident with my first set of plants…I dropped a whole tray of sweetcorn, face down on my path!  Every one of my home sown plants either bent, or snapped in half and they were unusable. Only a ‘gardener’ can understand how upsetting this was for me, I just kept looking at them in disbelief!

SAM_6537 SAM_6536

Luckily, a wonderful nursery in Syston came to the rescue and I managed to get some replacements.  They were really reasonable in price too, as they were £2.00 for twelve plants, which isn’t as cheap as growing them from seed but cheaper than buying ready grown, tasteless ones from the supermarket.

I planted the sweetcorn in a block.  Sweetcorn is wind pollinated and by planting them in a block it gives the male flowers at the top of each plant more opportunity to shed their pollen on the female tassels below.

Afterwards, I planted my butternut squash plants in between the sweetcorn.  I do this as it saves space, but also because the leaves of the squashes are quite large they help to prevent weeds from growing and help to keep moisture in the ground (as the ground is shaded from the sun).  I have grown my sweetcorn like this for a number of years and I have always had a good result.

My sweetcorn with butternut squashes between them

My sweetcorn with butternut squashes planted between them

.

This week I planted my outdoor tomato plants.  They are a variety called ‘Outdoor Girl’.  I use this variety as they fruit slightly earlier than other outdoor varieties and this gives me a chance to get a decent crop before the dreaded ‘blight’ hits.  You can read about tomato blight here.

If you live in the UK, you can use a wonderful website called Blightwatch UK.  If you register, they will email or text you (free of charge), when the conditions are perfect for ‘blight’ in your area.  It doesn’t necessarily follow that you will suffer from blight, but it will remind you to check your plants.   You can find their website here.

I also planted some ‘Tagetes’ in between my tomatoes, as they are one of the best organic controls against aphid infestations, as their foliage has a scent which aphids hate….and they look nice when they are in flower.

My tomatoes

My tomatoes

 .

My courgettes and patty pans went in this week and my pumpkins too.  The allotment society is having a pumpkin competition this year and we were all given two or three seeds each to grow.  My daughter won last year’s pumpkin competition with a pumpkin that weighed 24.4 kg.  I wonder if we will be lucky again this year.

Last year's winner

Last year’s winner

This year's plant

This year’s plant

.

I like to make sure we always have salad leaves, as we eat a lot of them in our house.  So I sow lettuces often through the spring and summer.  I planted some this week and I covered them to keep the birds away:

SAM_6557

.

Finally, I planted my celeriac (which incidentally need lots of water to get decent sized plants) and I also planted my swedes.  My swedes were still very small, so I put mini cloches over them (made out of pop bottles), to protect them from slugs, snails and flea beatles.  The mini cloches will also keep them in a sheltered environment until they are bigger.  You can see from the picture below that I also put a small cane in the cloche, this stops the wind from blowing them over:

SAM_6558

.

Things seam to be growing well around the plot at the moment.  I noticed my gooseberries seemed to have appeared since I last looked:

SAM_6567

and my strawberries seem to have grown just as quick…

SAM_6568

My poached egg plants that attract the bees and hoverflies are looking beautiful now…

SAM_6545

and the flowers in my flower bed have sprung into life, together with my ‘sink’ of alpines:

SAM_6565 SAM_6571

.

I love days at my allotment when the sun is shining and the weather is warm.  Days like these make me very grateful for living the life I do.

SAM_6553

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Monday at 4pm.