2015

The giant cucumber week

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I made it to the plot on Sunday. Time runs away with me on the plot, in a happy way (especially in the sunshine) so complete with suncream I set to work!

Things I did:
-dug up my remaining early potatoes (not so early…but looking lovely) and they have not been attacked by bugs this year! I only stabbed a few. So generally it wasn’t the disaster I was predicting! Yay!!
– dug over the whole bed… watered and then in went… (shop sources plugs ….sorry wanted to give them a running start!) kale, broccoli, cauliflower. Thanks for the suggestions on my last post.

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Back bed

-I removed my final black fly ridden bean plants and spaced out my chard seedlings a little more…the seedlings are doing really well now and perhaps this is a lesson in patience (as I should have let them get a bit bigger before I moved the first lot) however I am sure they will catch up

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Chard, peas and leeks

-covered my beetroot plants again as they are determined to push themselves out of the soil
-sowed a new lot of spring onions
-then my assistant came to join me; we sat in the hammock read books and ate chocolate fingers 🙂

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Hammock time

On the eat/pick list:
-tomatoes from greenhouse… Just
-Courgette and one huge giant marrow!
-potatoes, all the earliest are stored now
-spring onions, just picking as and when
-rocket and spinach
-one giant cucumber!

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Giant cucumber

What’s happening:
-my first sunflowers is nearly ready to flower! perhaps by the end of this week!? Only 11 more to go!

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Sunflower

– my carrot seeds sown on a whim have shooted! So although I don’t really like carrots there is hope for carrots on my plot and will keep assistant happy as he likes then!
– my late sown flower seeds are taking hold and I think I wil need to try and recall what I planted and space then out…. Possibly around the plot. Fingers crossed they might flower before the end of summer!
-sweet peas are making lots of lovely seed pods and drying off nicely! A lovely friend gave me some ‘seed saver’ pots so I can get these into action!
– my snap draggons (sorry I don’t know the grown up name yet) look amazing, as does the cosmos (is that what they are even called?)!! So I am going to try and save some of the for next year.

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The plot in all its madness

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Complete with sunflower wall 🌻🌻🌻🌻

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….just add water

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The plot has been plodding along. It’s a great time as it mostly takes care of itself… Just add water!

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Plot madness

The eat list:
-the final onions red and white
-spring onions
-tomatoes! at last!!
-padron peppers
-rocket and spinach
-potatoes

Over the weekend: 2 hours quick visit
-Pulled up my final onions
-moved and spaced my chard seedlings to take up the onions space
-spaced out my sweet pea seedlings

Things I’m excited about this week:
-my sunflowers are looking pretty awesome. Most are lined up along the front edge of my plot. Can’t wait for them to flower!! Think I have about 12 sunflowers dotted around my plot this year.
-more padron peppers. We had our first last week! they were amazing fried in a pan with my courgettes.
-Put another potted courgette in… Taking up the first potatoes spot.

Things I need to do:
-Strawberry runners in pots. I have moved plants every year, but this year the oldies are going to be replaced with baby runners! (finally a chance to tidy up) So I need to get some strong runners set.
-Get some raspberry training wires set up.. As they are starting to get a bit crazy!
-Look at collecting sweet pea seedlings. So I know the colours!!
– Get potatoes up… Asap! As it rained so much I’m just waiting for the right moment!!
-Decide what I can grow in potato bed over Autumn to winter. Any ideas?

I’m reading ‘The Jewel Garden’ by Sarah and Monty Don at the moment. Feeling very inspired!!

Harvest time…. At least the start!

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Just a few hours on the plot this weekend.

Harvest list:
-First potatoes…. I dug up the ones that had flopped or looked unhappy. But they have grown a reasonable amount of potatoes! Not the total fail I was expecting.
-Spring onions. I’m just picking off the big ones.
-Red and white onions. My first year of these being a decent size! clearly watering more helped! Again I have only taken the flopped and dried looking.
-Sweetpeas

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Saturday harvest

-I also have about 3 courgettes ready! One being yellow!! Very exciting. Have picked these now and having Courgette style pasta tonight.

Exciting developments:
-Sunflowers are getting taller, and forming flowerheads!! Can’t wait for these pops of colour!
-tomatoes are just turning, but I don’t have many new flowers. So I shut the greenhouse door today in the hope a bit of humidity might help…
-my late sown flower seeds have germinated outside. So I’m going to space these out a bit…my sowing technique really is a work in progress! Then just hope they speed along… as they are so late going in!

As I take things out I am filling the gaps with what ever I can get my hands on… I had some spare leeks that have gone into my onions gaps. I moved some of my small beetroot seedling to given them a bit more room to grow.

I’m starting to think about next year… Just a bit… And that I might make a growing worksheet. To try and max out each bed all year around!

Cancelled train…time for day dreams!

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Once upon a time we had a frog visitor on our allotment. Which I thought was very good… Till I realised i couldn’t squashing it! Oh the fear!! But think of the slugs being eaten….yipee!!

I have seen ponds on other plots and it seems such a good idea. Does anybody else have a pond on the plot and any advice? I’m thinking a mini wildlife pond.

And then I saw this….

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Which I think is amazing and once I have a big enough garden I am going on a sourcing mission! But it’s not especially wildlife friendly….

I do fancy a pond in a pot… But I think it’s all a bit fancy pants… When I just need a waterproof hole in ground 🙂 I’m thinking a hole I can’t fall into would be ideal!!

A week of funshine!

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It’s been a busy week….so a quick review….
Birthday. 30. Just enough time to water and save a bee at the plot. Then a mystery day out. Amazing Indian lunch with chocolate samosa. Garden museum. Crazy cocktails at Purl.  And japanese dinner. Lovely day and sunset!

And then we had a week off work. And possibly the best UK weather. Ever!! I have to admit its been much to hot for me at the allotment. Instead we have been rather lazy sitting at the park/ reading/ bbqing/ drinking bubbly/going to the beach/going to Hampton court flower show… All in the glorious sun and heat!! 🙂

With it being so hot the plot has needed a lot of water. And we have started getting crops in, which is always exciting! And it’s non stop sweet pea season.

This week we have had:
Red currants
Broad beans
Spring onions
Sweet peas
Blueberries
Raspberries
Cucumber

Growing success:
-Cucumbers and going like crazy (1st year growing)
-Chillies have flowers!
-Lots of courgette on the way!
-Spring onions (1st year growing)
-Leeks
-Onions!! (First year these have worked!!)

Growing worries:
-Tomatoes seem slow… But making progress
-Potatoes. Only my maincrop have flowered. But we shall see what unfolds.
-garlic epic, but a little less than last year! So that’s a positive at least!

I have started tagging my sweet peas so I know the colours for next year. I ended up with so much white this year! Struggling to know when to stop cutting and just let them go to seed. Any advice?

I’m really pleased with the plot as I feel we have maxed out our growing space this year. The last few years of trail and error are teaching me so much. But there is always a little gap or project to be worked on!!

Photos to follow! And Hampton court show post to follow also!! 🌱

Last weekends plot activities!

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I spent a large chunk of Sunday on the plot. Yay!!

– And I got new gardening gloves! Mine either have bee’s living in them or ends of fingers missing. So new gloves are amazing!!

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-I used up some more of my mountain of stones (word of advice… A mountain of stones… Bad idea. Takes agggges to sort out). But that space is now flat!… Or at least flat enough for one of my new ‘mobile’ grow bags. (Mobile if you have super human strength!) Anyway it’s extra grow space that was not there before… Yippee! I have 3 of these grow bags and waited an age for them to arrive. I need to go back with seeds to get things growing! They take lots more soil than I realised

– I fixed and set a new path with those stones! 🙂

– I did some good old weeding! 3 years in the weeding is getting easier.

– I evaluated my dead garlic bulbs… About 1/3 and replaced with two tomato plants (back ups that never made it) from my greenhouse. I get mixed results from outdoor toms… But I would rather have the space busy.

-I sorted out my sweet peas and tied them in. Flowers clipped and home for sharing.

– and I potted up my sole soybean plant… My 2nd cucumber plant… And one of the caped gooseberry plants.

My lovely husband has been taking care of the plot for the last 2 days. So tonight will be my first visit in a few days. I love these visits as everything grows like crazy whilst your not looking!

Weekend away…photos to be added

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It was our anniversary last weekend.

One year has flown by and the sweet peas generation 2 have bloomed!
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This year we took ourselves to Devon.
And spent the weekend in this bell tent.
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Words cannot describe how lovely this place is!
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These lovely ladies supplied us with fresh eggs. I might have fallen in love (just a bit) with chickens now!! And we did actually leave the farm.

We went to…. Overbeck’s We had a great 6 mile coastal walk to the house (3 miles each way) and the garden was stunning! One of my favourites!..
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I have a list of plants I want which is always a good sign! The house told a quirky story and was very much like a mini natural history museum. We also went to Saltram. Again lovely gardens, but we had a great cup of tea and cake here!
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I was very inspired by the Orangarie. And the bees thought the same!!
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And we even spotted the Devon chilli farm! And had a little stop off and treated ourselves to a plant! WordPress for android is driving me crackers so check out  bloomorbustblog for some photos. I will try persist with WordPress.