Saturday, 31 December 2011
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Today it's very rainy and has got a bit chillier. The thermometer on the plot yesterday showed that it was 7 degrees and that was the minimum temperature!
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Though there are cabbages left in the ground they look pretty ropey, so not sure how they'll be - if we ever get to pull them...
The broad beans look ok so hopefully we'll get some early beans this year.
We put the sweetcorn remains in the compost as they were quite dry to use as 'brown'. Whilst turning the compost we saw a mouse run out and then back again when we'd finished! Really is worth stirring up the compost and not just leaving it to become a mouse sanctuary!
Having said that, we've had lovely chilli pickled onions and pickled beets to go with our cheese and biscuits snacks! The sloe gin and raspberry vodka has also gone down extremely well :-)
We got a couple of lovely allotment books for Christmas so are enjoying looking through those. We also got a couple of journals - one for both us to record what we think is important through the year. Most of the info gets put in the blog, but it's handy to have a book to record some stuff too.
Sunday, 11 December 2011
Not much happening, only a couple of other people were there.
Since our last visit the minimum temperature had been -5° I've had to scrape frost from the car a few times in the last week - brrr. Good for the sprouts though!
Picked some lovely carrots too and pulled the last potatoes (Kestrels). They had started growing but look ok, although there weren't as many as we'd hoped - we ended up having to buy some from Tescos to have enough for the two days (which is always disappointing!).
Friday, 9 December 2011
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Thursday, 1 December 2011
Can't help thinking what it would be like growing veggies here! We've decided that carrots would appreciate the sandy soil; potatoes would be blight free; tomatoes and peppers would be abundant and there'd be lots of squashes and melons. Only trouble is the lack of water - really would need to get that sorted! Here in the North of the island they do get some rain so it is lovely and green, but still even drier than Marsh Lane.
The veggies in the shops are pretty weak looking, the spuds tend to look like seed potatoes. Haven't seen too many bugs apart from butterflies, so there must be some caterpillars about, though I'm surprised any get past the lizards!
Aah, back home tomorrow to see if we've had any frost....
Saturday, 19 November 2011
The weather's causing a bit of confusion - our raspberry canes are flowering again! We're going to clear them late this year or in the new year and just keep a few canes where we want them to grow - it'll be a shame if they've got fruit on them!!
We only went to have a look at the broad beans - the 3 which hadn't grown last week are still pathetic so we've left the cloches on them, the rest look happy enough though something is nibbling the leaves.
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Whilst tidying up the chard - clearing dodgy-looking leaves and removing a couple of plants - I found three of these bright green caterpillars. A hopeless place to hide as they were almost glowing against the red stems. The Wildaboutbritain web forum confirmed that it's probably a Angle Shade moth larva.
They're living over the hedge now :-|
Saturday, 12 November 2011
We cleared Quarter 3 and dug the horse manure in, avoiding the area where the peas are going to stay.
Jamie dug up the last of the purple Congo potatoes and we also took home a giant beetroot and a carrot to have a lovely veggie bake tomorrow.
We left 3 hours later with a much tidier looking plot.
Thursday, 3 November 2011
We've opted for these potato varieties:
Potato 'Kestrel' - 10 seed potatoes (Second Earlies)
Potato 'Orla' - 10 seed potatoes (First Earlies) We found these to be good for mash and baking too this year
Potato 'Belana' - 5 seed potatoes (First Earlies) These should produce lots of small new potatoes
Onion 'Santero' F1 Hybrid - This is an early cropper which is apparently resistant to downy mildew
Shallot 'Golden Gourmet' - Our favourites for making pickled onions
They won't arrive until Jan-mid-May.
We've ordered less than we've had this year, as they just keep going on for too long really. We got a bit fed up with the new potatoes this year and it's a shame to let them grow big.
We've still got a Congo and a Kestrel plant in the ground at the plot at the moment.
We're really hoping the onions will be happier next year so that we get a full season without them succombing to mildew...
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
The next day the pumpkin went to the compost bin - not a home-grown pumpkin this year; they take up so much room, but next year we may grow some small jack-o-lantern squashes...
Sunday, 30 October 2011
I ventured into the sprout cage, weeded and pulled off all the yellowing leaves at the lower level of the sprouts. Masses of white fly under there, while some of the sprouts look really healthy - others look really awful!
Monday, 24 October 2011
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Saturday, 22 October 2011
The temperature had reached -1 and the beans, courgette and tomato plants all collapsed due to the frost. We cleared them all away to the compost - such a lot of runner beans went uneaten. We must sow them earlier next year!
|Frosted Runner Beans|
Jamie dug and put organic chicken manure pellets on the quarter for onions next year and I dug all the areas which had the plants cleared. It's satisfying to clear the areas and nice to be able to dig again - funny how you miss it even though it's tiring!
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
And... the weather people were right! I had to scrape ice from the car this morning and had to find my woolly gloves. May not get up the plot for a couple of days but I've got a feeling the beans will have gone down - luckily Jamie pulled a few pods to get the beans out when he popped up the plot yesterday.
At least it means we can pick some sloes and make sloe gin this weekend - I've been waiting to do this for about 3 months it seems!!
Sunday, 16 October 2011
However, we did chop down and dig in the mustard green manure and planted a couple of rows of broad beans which we're hoping will over-winter. We've put cloches over the beans as the mice are still causing trouble on other people's plots.
The beans are planted on the strip where we thoroughly dug in the horse manure that we're slightly concerned about - our test at home produced 4 broad beans; a couple which look rather fern-like and a couple which look just about perfect - so not such a great result to put our minds at rest! However, we figure the on-plot test will tell us for sure, so fingers crossed that the manure is fine....
Put a lot of corrugated cardboard (ripped into small bits) into the compost bin and gave it a good mix about - it's still a bit stinky, but there is a lot of green in there so not too suprising. It's not too wet so should be ok. The black compost bin has shrunk to about half full and is lovely compost for use next year. We've also bought some bags of Westland Farmyard manure to put under our spuds again next year.
Saturday, 15 October 2011
And we saw a steam train go by - I was shooting into the sun so actually missed the engine, but the smoke looks quite artistic :-)
Sunday, 9 October 2011
Saturday, 8 October 2011
The leeks (all over site) are looking pretty awful - we think it may be leek moth and need to examine for further evidence now we've checked them out on t'internet....
We went up yesterday though and it's desperately in need of some tlc! There are so many weeds and the Congo potato foliage has all died so looks a mess. We'll go up later and do a lot of weeding and clearing.
We picked 2 sweetcorn. Only about half the cob had formed proper kernels. Soo sweet and tasty though! We also had another cucumber, some little turnips and carrots for snacks while we listened to England footie.
Picked 2 courgettes which should have been picked a fortnight ago - they're giant marrow-sized now. Think I may be living on courgette soup all next week!
|Not much room for anything else in our Ka boot!|