Friday, June 13

Allotment snippets

At last we are making some progress on the allotment. We seem to have got on top of planting. Now we need the weather to stay fine so that the remaining empty beds can be tilled ready to plant the things that, at the moment, are growing on - things like sweet corn, beetroot, leeks and French beans.

The onions continue to do well although many of the plants are trying to set seed and I have to be vigilant and quickly remove the flower heads. We are harvesting the autumn sown onions which is a real bonus as last year's were a complete failure. 

The broad beans have grown through the weevil problem and have plenty of flowers which we are hoping will set. 

Most of the peas and mangetout are now growing well except one lot which failed to germinate. We have resowed in the hope that it is second time lucky. 
Shallots, onions, mangetout and broad beans
We have resown carrots as these were mown down by slugs  as were the parsnips. The resown carrots have germinated well so it's fingers crossed that the slugs leave them alone. As for the parsnips we are trying a pre-germination technique which Martyn described on his blog here

Slugs are also making a meal of some of our bean plants. The runner beans so far are not too badly affected - it's early days though as these are newly planted out. The first lot of French beans have been devastated. Time will tell whether these will survive, at the moment it looks doubtful.

The courgettes, squash plants and Inca berries are so far being left alone.
Courgettes, runner beans, carrots, parsnips and Inca berries
The brassica plants that are managing to avoid slug attack are growing well so we must have managed to find some club root free beds, (Oh why did I have to say that?), we are even managing to harvest spring cabbage.

The tomatoes in the plot greenhouse are starting to flower as are our early potatoes. At the moment the potatoes planted under weed control fabric are at exactly the same stage as those which have been earthed up. The real test will be when we start to dig them up and see what sort of a crop they have produced.
Potato flower, brassicas and tomato flowers.
The berry fruits for the most part seem to be doing OK. We have started to pick strawberries. The tayberry and Glencoe raspberry have set lots of fruit and it looks as though we may even manage a few unexpected raspberries from the newly planted canes.

The Loch Ness blackberry also has set plenty of fruit. 

The redcurrants are ripening although it looks as though lots of berries have either dropped off or the flowers didn't set fruit. 

It's always hard to tell at this stage how well the gooseberries and jostaberries are faring as the small green fruits are well camouflaged amongst the leaves.

The blueberries are promising - I just wish the fruit wouldn't ripen in dribs and drabs
Strawberries, raspberries, tayberries, Loch Ness blackberries, redcurrants and blueberries.
The quince tree is loaded with fruit although last year what we thought was a fairly good harvest was disappointing as the fruit had bitter pit.

The apples are variable with some varieties loaded and other not. As for the pears - the least said the better. Most of the fruitlets have dropped off. The Red Williams which is the sparsest looking tree that had the least blossom is the only one managing to hang on to any of its fruit.
Quince, apples and Red Williams pear.
The plum, greengage and cherry trees have been devastated by pests. The cherry leaves have almost been totally eaten and all immature fruits have disappeared. The greengage and plums are suffering from plum aphid which we usually manage to control using a winter wash, (see here) however this year the weather and the failure of the sprayer at the worst possible time meant we didn't managed to treat the trees. At least we now know that using a winter wash isn't a wasted effort. We may get some fruit which will be a bonus. This year should be a lean year as both types of fruit seem to crop biennially for us. 

The wallflowers and sweet rocket have been replaced by sweet Williams and dog daisies which are providing us with cut flowers. The sweet peas haven't really got going yet but the plants look fit and well.

The old raspberry bed has now been transformed into a flower bed where I have planted campanulas, dahlias, verbena, primroses, crocosmia and gladioli.
Sweet Williams, sweet peas, campanula bed and dog daisies
The roses are providing colour and perfume.  The pink rose climbs up the back of our compost bin. I've no idea what variety it is as it came from a cutting given to us some years ago. It has a lovely perfume. 

Other shrubs providing colour are the potentillas.
Roses and potentilla
Finally the aluminium cold frame has now been transported from the garden to the plot .

Things are moving on a pace and there's lots more I could mention but I think that is enough for now. Have a good weekend and don't work too hard in the garden. Make some time to just stand and stare.

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments author S Garrett


  1. I think your Situation Report is a testament to the merits of bio-diversity. As you have graphically demonstrated, you always Win Some, Lose Some in the battle against the elements and the pests. If it's any comfort, my pears are a complete washout too this year. What few fruits set dropped off in the "June Drop".

    1. Our pearlets went black and disappeared during the wet weather, Mark. I also think sowing batches at different times helps too

  2. I do really love your allotment. Especially the fruits patch, so promising. And the flower bed is so beautiful and colorful. So lovely!
    I guess you have a friendly weather

    1. Not really very friendly at all at the moment, Endah, The plants that are thriving are doing so despite the weather not because of it

  3. Plum aphid, I've never even heard of that, something else to look out for! One of my apples has a huge amount of aphids at its tips, distorting the leaves. Another year it was a different apple - at least they are taking it in turns. I can't use Ecover washing up liquid on it as it's over the pond, so I'm just hoping for the best. I love the sweet williams. Are they biennial? I'd like to try some next year. Quite a few pears here this year, for the first time ever on my six year old trees. I'm very envious of your carrots. I need to re-sow if I can find a little space somewhere.

    1. Yes sweet Williams are biennial, CJ - I've just sown next years batch. I wish we had never heard of plum aphid it sends all the plum leaves brown and the tree looks dead.

  4. Oh Sue your post is much more than 'snippets' Touch wood I have four promising pears, most of my sweet cherries have been eaten by the blackbirds but they don't seem to be touching the sour ones (yet). All your flowers look fabulous. Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Our cherries never really swelled, Jo. As for the birds leaving the sour cherries I'd not blame them. We used to have a tree and the fruit really ar face pullingly sour!

  5. Wow, in the main everything is doing so well! What harvests you will have. Hope your new sowing take, I have lots of carrots this year, as I've said before, no broad beans are almost ready for eating, although the slugs have stripped all the leaves from them. I really love those roses, I bet they smell

    1. Just hope the parsnip technique works, Snowbird and the second lot of carrots escape the slugs attention.

  6. Lots of colour! Man, the s**gs have hut you pretty hard this year? Interested to see how the spud experiment turns out

    1. They have Lee. Strangely they have left some things they normally go for and attacked other things - like the gunnera in our garden.


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