Tag Archive | Flowers at the allotment

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:

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I have also harvested the last broadbeans in my polytunnel:

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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‘.

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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’:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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

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It makes me feel glad to be alive!

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

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My Back Garden And My Allotment Too

I have finally taken some time this week to do some weeding in our back garden.  Unfortunately, I don’t spend as much time as I should in our back garden as i’m always at my allotment.  So the garden really has to look after itself.

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We are very lucky as our house isn’t overlooked and there is a lovely view from my daughters bedroom window:

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You can see from the photo above that the lilac tree is in full flower.  I love lilac trees, they remind me of the first house I owned, as it had one in the back garden too.

If you look closely at the photo below, you can see my ‘clematis montana’ climbing through the photinia ‘red robin’.  I planted the clematis about five years ago and I had forgotten all about it until I spotted it this week.

What a lovely surprise:

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This week at my allotment I have been earthing up my potatoes.  I have twelve rows to do altogether and as I find it such hard work I earth up one row a day:

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I planted some spring onions that I have grown in modules.  I always had a problem getting spring onion seed to germinate in my heavy clay soil, so now I grow them in modules filled with compost.  I put a small pinch of seed into each module and I don’t bother to thin the seedlings out, as the spring onions grow in a bunch.

When the spring onions are large enough, I transplant them:

Spring onions transplanted next to my garlic

Spring onions transplanted next to my garlic

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This week I have planted my runner beans.  I sowed the seed at the beginning of May and I have been hardening the plants off.  As it is still quite cold for this time of year, I have put old panes of glass around them to give a bit of protection.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will remember I dug trenches in the autumn and filled them with all my old peelings, etc until they were full and then I covered them over with soil again.  My runnerbeans were planted exactly where the trenches were, so this soil will now hold the moisture and runner beans like to grow in moist soil.

The runnerbeans I planted this week

The runner beans I planted this week

A runnerbean trench

My runner beans trench in autumn

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As my comfrey was coming into flower, I cut it all down and added it to my compost bins.

Comfrey is a fantastic compost activator and anything that speeds up compost making, is good to me.  What is even better is, it is free!  You can read about growing comfrey and making ‘comfrey tea’ here.  (Comfrey tea is a fabulous organic feed that is high in potash, which means it is good for fruits and flowers e.g. tomatoes)

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I also chopped some of my chives down this week.  My daughter used to love chives so I dedicated a whole bed to them….yes you have guessed it…she doesn’t like them now, a typical teenager!

I haven’t dug them up as we still use loads of them and the flowers are so pretty and the bees love them.

I have three rows altogether and I find if I chop them down after they have flowered, then they start to re-grow again.

As my three rows were about to flower, I decided to chop two rows down and leave the middle row for the bees.  I will chop this after the flowers have gone over, so I can stagger the crop.

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Just before I did this, I managed to take a photo of the female blackbird that has been following me around for the last couple of months at my allotment.  She must have a nest nearby.  She comes so close to me sometimes that she makes me jump.  She doesn’t seem scared of me at all, which is unusual for a blackbird.

My blackbird friend

My blackbird friend

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I repotted my mint a few weeks ago and I finally planted the pot back into the ground.  I find it is better to keep mint in a pot as it helps to stop the plant from taking over, as it does spread rather a lot.

I have two mints, a normal mint and an apple mint.  I also planted an oregano plant that my local garden centre was giving away free a few weeks ago:

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I have given my strawberry patch a good weed this week.  These strawberries are three years old now, so I I have planted some new ones in a different place.  Strawberries usually only last three to four years, as their yields become less after this time due to a build up of pests and diseases.

My daughter loves strawberry jam, so I grow loads.

They are flowering well now.  I will shortly buy a bale of straw and put it all around the fruit.  The straw acts as a mulch, so the fruit isn’t sitting on cold wet soil and it also helps to keep the weeds down.  I will then net the plants so the birds don’t eat all the lovely fruit.

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One of the last jobs I have done this week, is to refill a plum moth trap on my big old plum tree.  The picture below shows the sticky paper that trapped all the plum moths last year.  As you can see there is obviously a problem on this tree:

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To finish off I thought I would show you a few pictures of my woodland area.  This area was part of my fourth plot that I took over in January 2012 and it was covered in overgrown couch grass.  I covered the area in weed suppressant straight away to kill the couch grass and by autumn it had worked well.  From then on, I planted loads of bulbs and transplanted different flowers that I had.  Afterwards, I covered the whole area in leaves to suppress any weed seeds from growing.

This is how it looks today:

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The bulbs have nearly all finished flowering now, but there are still a few around.  I have noticed it’s now the turn of the aquilegia’s, together with my wallflowers and the English bluebells (that I bought in the autumn with my birthday money).  I’m very pleased with my woodland area so far, but it still has a long way to go:

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Thank you for reading blog today.

I will be back on Monday.