Saturday, 12 July 2014
Bleah, what a year!
One would think that a month off work would mean that our plots are looking beautiful and we're busy harvesting. Unfortunately that isn't the case as I've been sickly and there are a lot of bare patches where we just haven't had time to sow, plant or grow anything. I hate to admit that as I write this I know there are marigolds, cabbages and leeks drying out in their trays - how awful :-(
I'm still hoping to get some mangetout. I was most disappointed, though not surprised, when I saw that the pigeons had visited...
Friday, 27 June 2014
A couple of weeks away from work and a few sunny days have made all the difference! I feel much better and the plot is looking at least part-loved again. We've been driving to the allotment and parking next to our plot so I can escape to the car (the shed) as necessary!
We've enjoyed quite a lot of air traffic recently because of D Day commemorations and this Dakota flying low over the site was very impressive - take my word for it - the photo does NOT do it justice.
Jamie's just finished sowing some Speedy dwarf French beans for germinating at home, before planting out on the plot. This may mean that our runners and French beans don't all arrive at once...The Scarlet Empire runners are looking happy since being transplanted on the plot and protected from wind damage by fleece.
The raised bed crops are looking ok, though the Pak choi leaves may not be edible due to flea beetle damage. We should get some salad and I live in hope that the beets will pull through (though generally seedlings don't appreciate being completely dried out in the early stages of their lives!)
The Florence fennel continues to need regular protection from slugs. They are beginning to bulb up, so I'm looking forward to that!
I've put a trellis up for purple-podded mangetout and some PeeWee 65 petit pois. I've also sown a row of Asparagus pea, chard and Callalloo. Jamie transplanted the grafted Lizzano tomato plants into high standing pots. We're hoping this will stop us trampling on so many of the toms when they start
I've put a Festival squash to scramble along the ground near the pea trellis and a Sunburst patty pan squash, which is a bush variety, on the legume quarter. Two Zephyr squash have been planted to grow over the squash trellis from last year.
So, we've been pretty busy - well, Jamie's been busy; I've provided vital morale boosting and support :-)
Sunday, 22 June 2014
Luckily Plot 8 is looking a bit better than Plot 7. The rhubarb and strawberries have been serving us very well. We had to net the strawberries as we have a friendly female blackbird who has a very sweet tooth :-)
Slugs are again the bane of the site. They've eaten some potato plants down to stalks - our Chopin rows received a lot of attention, but the Desiree got away with it (at least the foliage has).
I bought a tray of 8 Florence fennel, which have gone into the raised bed, protected by bottle cloches and slug pellets. Everyday we find new dead slugs surrounding each plant - gross, but at least I still have 8 plants...
I've put rows of Pak choi, lettuce and beets into the raised bed too. The slug pellets are saving them too, but there aren't many red fire lettuce left!
The squashes and gherkins germinated well but aren't quite ready to go into the ground yet. The cucamelons didn't grow well, so none of them to try this year - unless anyone else on the allotment site had any luck with theirs.
Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Sunday, 25 May 2014
At last! I made the chive vinegar that I've been thinking about since last August when I saw it made on The Horticultural Channel.
The first jar I made up with white wine vinegar, using the chives which I picked last week and whose buds had opened in water at home. The colour had already started seeping into the water at this point and the flowers weren't so vibrant as the freshly picked ones.