A regularly updated blog where you can follow the progress of Belinda and Jamie on our beloved allotment in Hungerford. Includes photos of plantings, pickings, (occasional) vegetarian cooking and wildlife showing what makes Plot 7 (and Plot 8) such a great place to spend time!
We had such a lovely day on the allotment today. It was warm (16°) and sunny with no wind - yay! And, look! We finished digging Plot 8! Unfortunately whilst excavating one of five huge chunks of concrete the spade broke :}
Here are the squashes, no sign of the Cornells Bush Delicata yet, but the courgettes look happy and the winter squash (Uchiki Kuri) is getting there,,,
Unfortunately the celeriac hasn't germinated yet, but hopefully it will get going soon. The florence fennel, silverskin and salad onions have all started to germinate as have the mangetout.
We did a bit of clearing up - this potato was a rogue spud from last year. Really don't want a potato plant amongst our shallots!
Lucky we covered up; the temperature hit zero in the small hours of Thursday. We saw a bit of frost-burn around the site but nothing too devastating ~apart from for those people who had dared to put their runners out :-(
The temperatures for Thursday night were forecast to be about 4° so we decided to be brave and leave the strawberries uncovered. At least one seed of each squash variety has germinated and so have some sprouts and cabbages but still no sign of either variety of runner bean. And I think a mouse may have eaten all the peas that I sowed, there are some strange markings on the soil...
We were chatting with Malcolm and listening to a cuckoo when Paul drew our attention to a barn owl flying gracefully across the site. So lovely to see! We've never seen one on site before. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera ready, but I did (just about) manage to snap it later as we walked home across Freemans Marsh. It had been flying around for a while and then rested on a fence post.
Our preferred weather site forecasts that it's going to be 2° and clear at dawn tomorrow. So, we went to the allotment after work and have earthed up our potatoes - covering every sign of foliage. It's such a setback if they get frosted so simply not worth the risk at this point (we don't think!)
We also covered our strawberries - not sure the enviromesh piled on top will actually work, but it shouldn't be a severe frost so they may get away with it...
A few of the seeds in the greenhouse have germinated; some of the squashes and brassicas but didn't have time to check.
Hopefully they and the other little seedlings around the place will get away with whatever frost hits Marsh Lane. And hopefully it'll be the last frost risk till November!
We had a couple of hours on the plot this afternoon before it started raining. It was quite nice and warm 16°), though cloudy and the ever-present wind was there again.
The lettuce seedlings are good enough to eat but I'm going to let them get bigger and will plant some outside to grow into full-size lettuces - hopefully I'll get to eat them before the slugs!
These are the Moneta beets. They need to get at least a couple more leaves (and get bigger!) before they get transplanted into the raised bed - lots have germinated though.
And this is looking down the cloche at the parsnip seedlings - very tiny at the moment. Only one will be kept so we'll let them grow a bit till we can see which looks the healthiest and then snip the other two off (it's a cruel World!).
Jamie and I were digging Plot 8B, still have the last bit to dig but finding a bucketful of stones with every half metre dug, it's hard work but we'll get there. It's needs to be dug well as that's where the salsify is going - as a long root vegetable it really needs earth, not bricks, under it!
Jamie spread and dug 6x fertiliser into the area where the sweetcorn and Jack-be-Little pumpkins will be going.
Wildlife blog updated with Robbie News :-)
We've been backwards and forwards to the plot during the rainy, sunny, windy week; opening and closing the greenhouse and the last two days checking that the wind hasn't blown everything away! We've lost a couple of the bottle cloches and had gained a bucket but everything else was where we'd left it!
Very pleased to say that nearly all the parsnips have germinated, as have quite a few of the newly sown broad beans, Tom Thumb lettuce and the night stocks. Most of the potatoes are up but we're missing International Kidney and Arran Pilot at the moment - hopefully they'll appear in the next couple of days.
Today I spent the day doing HAHA stuff. We've quite a few empty plots on site and not many people on the waiting list - probably because of the issues with the lease renewal - still no news :-(
Jamie potted on the Lizzano tomatoes which are getting rather leggy but have at least a week before we can risk putting them up the plot - they've even got some tiny buds on them!