>The last few weeks have been spent digging up comfrey, nettles and thistles which seem to grow as you watch. With such dry weather watering has been necessary every evening, which is fun to do but is playing havoc with my work shoes.
I have been harvesting lots of courgettes and runner beans, load of lettuce, radish and red chard and one or two more exotics such as kohl rabi, aubergine and two very small globe artichokes.
The Eden Project
is a wonderful resource for gardeners and those interested in plant use, production and development. They have many great ideas that can be used domestically an on an allotment or as above just to make the flower boarder look stunning In this case a mixture of Alliumns and Globe Artichokes with climbing beans growing in patches will give great structure to your borders.
One of the most interesting areas was the Global Gardening area- here are how they keep their slugs at bay
Below are two different ways to create arches for growing climbers such as cucumbers, gourds or even beans. The first photo is of two painted concrete reinforcing mesh sheets which has been bent into an ‘s’ shape and overlapped on the top – square on it is keyhole shaped.
The other arch is made from pleached trees joined by bamboo poles- a spectacular but somewhat permanent arch.
A close up of the gourds growing up the trees is below complete with some useful signage ideas.
Some of the more interesting things being grown included cucumbers, Okra and chilies
Although the area of the world garden was small it had a lot of plant and was full of produce.
There were also various ways of scaring the birds- child not included!
In the tropical dome the Malaysian house had a ‘typical’ garden with beans and other food growing much like an allotment.
Finally there was rice growing in the tropical dome- I could not resist a photo!
This week is scorching, there is a high demand for water and for some reason the weeds seem to grow as I watch. The cages are keeping the birds off the cabbages for now, my potatoes are in leaf, the onions are about 10 cms tall, and the first flowers are showing on my beans. The mixed salad is growing well but not enough to eat. Radishes are coming up well but the leaves seem to attract flea beetles so are full of holes.
Pictures below show the current state of play and the strange cage constructions,
>I am amazed by the generosity of allotment holders. Not only will you get a cheery wave and hello, free ( but not aways wanted) advise and an excuse to chat but there are gifts. I have been given, french and runner bean plants, purple sprouting and Kale and just recently a lot of pak choi seedlings which I love. If anyone has anything to excess they share it. With a bit of luck I will be able to do the same. Anyway- thank you to those who help others.
>Spent Sunday afternoon weeding and hoeing. I am sure some of the weeds were back before I got to the end. The thistles and comfrey are the most difficult to deal with. Comfrey leaves grow before your eyes.
Put in some yellow carrot seeds, more salad, parsley and basil. Transplanted some rainbow chard. Oh yes, watered and watered . Plots very dry and exposed.
Looks like I should get some salad soon and some French beans now in flower.
>My first crop from the new allotment. 6 red, round radishes. Peppery and wonderful. They probably cost £15 each to grow! Worth it though.
>The wind is blowing down the hill and has already blown one of the brassica cages away. On my daily watering visit I was able to capture it, make a few repairs and reposition it. The crows had not managed to get at the cabbages and the wind kept he butterflies away so no damage done.
We have not had any rain since last Thursday and I really need to water every day. The potatoes on plot 20A are in leaf, the runner beans, on 20 B are finally running up the canes, the shallots and onions are showing leaf. Some carrots seeds and rainbow chard is sprouting as is the mixed leaf salad. Other plants are coming on but slowly. Again it is cold around 18C so I imagine slow growth. However the thistles and comfry are sprouting everywhere as fast as I can hoe or dig them up. Homebase has run out of canes which I need for the french beans and the tomato plants both of which are rather windblown.
>I have finally finished digging and planting most of the second plot 20B.
This is what it looked like when half done
The plan is as follows:
The space is for brassicas and I have created two large movable cages to keep the birds and butterflies away. More on this to come
The new plot 20B is now over 2/3rds dug and already has my blackberry and tayberry bushes in place. As an experiment I put them into a buried container to stop them taking over. But will this stop them fruiting?
A nice neighbour from down the allotment hill gave me some runner bean plants – so these are now in and staked up. My courgette plans have also be put in and surrounded by a stone mulch.
I have lost three sweetcorn plants to a combination of not enough water and being a bit heavy handed with their removal from the seed tray. Other plants seem to be surviving. Some radish seeds are sprouting as are the Chard.
The plan for 20 A is now like this
The plan for 20B is still being created but my Cypriot barber has inspired me with talk of Seeds of Italy
. I ordered everything I could that said June was still a planting date. Losts of rain over the weekend up to 2 June when the Sun seems to be out and it is warming up again. I bet the weeds have taken advantage!
>Light rain last night helped to wet the ground but was it enough? I
Have also committed to the next door plot so officially have a full blown allotment. My former neighbough moved plots due to a minor border disagreement on the other side. So the new plot is half dug so I should have a head start. Planning still to be done.