Monday, June 11

Plenty of exercise!

Last week I walked 13.8 kilometres, (just over 8.5 miles) when working on the plot and most of that distance was carrying watering cans as we still haven't had any rain. Torrential rain had been threatened in some weather forecasts but it hasn't yet materialised. Not that we actually want torrential rain as it wouldn't actually be good for all the young plants and emerging seedings but some good steady rain would do the allotment a power of good. The potatoes especially could do with a boost. There is only so much watering that we can do and the potatoes have rather been left to get on with growing unaided and they are not really flourishing.

Besides watering we have spent most of our time planting. I described lots of last week's planting activity in an earlier post but since them we have planted more.

A second lot of brassicas have been planted. This time the varieties were Brussels sprouts - Crispus, cabbage - Kilaton and the remaining cauliflowers - Clapton. Like the rest of the brassicas planted earlier, these are all club root resistant varieties and like the other bed they have been protected in an enviromesh tunnel.
The sweetcorn - Earlibird has been planted out in a block. Last year the planting of the sweetcorn triggered gale force winds which flattened the young plants. The wind god obviously had the timing wrong as the plants were not ready to be wind pollinated. We thought that was an early end to our potential sweetcorn crop but incredibly the flattened plants rallied and sprung up to grown on. The will to grow was stronger than we anticipated and we ended up with a good crop
The tomato plants left over from the greenhouse plantings have all been planted. This year we have reduced the varieties and confined ourselves to three tall growing varieties -Shirley, Sungold and Tigerella. Still living in the greenhouse is a small bush variety -Red Robin.

We have more to plant out but with the remaining beds being as hard as concrete we need that day of steady rain to give us a chance at creating more planting spaces.
Strawberries have been the main crop of the week. We even managed a punnet of alpine strawberries which if memory serves me is quite early for alpines. 

Although there will be no glut of strawberries to freeze this year the plants that have survived are keeping up a steady supply. I'm not watering them at the moment and the flavour has improved.

Although the rhubarb is flagging in the dry heat we are still managing to pick some stems. It is not the sort of conditions rhubarb enjoys with those huge leaves losing any moisture that the plants can access.
The only other food harvesting is salad based. I think the lettuce below is All Year Round and the white radishes are a variety called White Icicle.
Other than that we have a supply of fresh herbs which are picked as needed.  Worthy of particular mention are the two pots of sage - one purple and one green - in our cold frame area. They are producing lots of large, fresh leaves.
Finally we picked a few sweet Williams that survived the winter to flower again this year. The new plants that I planted last year were eaten by slugs!
In the vase are also the last of the sprigs of sweet rocket so I guess you could say it was a vase of sweeties!

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 


Dave's blog Our Happy Acres



24 comments:

  1. Watering is taking up a lot of my time on the allotment, and my plot is much smaller than yours, Sue. We do so badly need some rain

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  2. Oh my what a wonderful haul of strawberries! Your corn is so nice and green. The soil must not be great for my corn as it is a very pale green. Your sweet william look beautiful. I just planted some very red ones the other day! I hope they survive here.

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    1. Good luck with the sweet Williams Shawn Ann

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  3. That is a lot of walking to and fro carrying watering cans - talk about exercise! I would send you some of our rain if I could since we have had twice as much as we need. The local strawberries have been watery and rotting as a result. Yours look lovely!

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    1. We’ve never had such a lot of watering to do for so long, Dave.

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  4. Wonderful strawberries! I'm still hopeful for mine this year even though we are also struggling with dry conditions.

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    1. We have ordered a few new plants, tpals which are supposed to fruit this tear in August.

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  5. Your arms must be getting incredibly strong from all that hand watering. And you're tomato plants look amazing. The strawberries you've managed to harvest look wonderful despite the strange weather.

    I'm still trying to get summer greens to germinate but it's hard to get them to come up in this oppressive heat. Our soil was baked rock hard as well, makes it so difficult to weed. It's shaping up to be a strange growing season.

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    1. Weeds just are not growing on our hard baked soil, Phuong.

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  6. Exercise is nice, but I can think of better ways of getting it than lugging a watering can around! I hope you get some good rain soon. The plot is looking good even without rain, the grass is still green. The Sweeties are lovely.

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    1. What’s more it’s two watering cans, Michelle one in each hand. Cuts down the walking distance and makes sure both arms end up the same length.:-)

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  7. It's been so dry hasn't it. Well done on all the watering, and fingers crossed for some steady rain soon. So often we seem to get a deluge which flattens everything. Strawberries here as well, but they're not as big as they have been in the past. Maybe the plants are old and need replacing. I do have a bed of newer strawberries, the variety that do very well for you, beginning with an 'M', the name escapes me, but they seem to be a much later variety. Lots of good salad as well, although the rocket is going to seed and I don't ever seem to be able to grow radishes in the height of summer.

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    1. No rain still, CJ. The variety is Malwina, they actually are the best looking plants and we’re planted at the same time as the rest. They even have some flowers already. I think many of our other strawberry plants have had it!

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  8. I'm curious to know how you support your tall growing tomatoes, Sue. I assume they're planted out in open ground on the allotment so do you stake them? Also what's the distance between corn plants in your grid? I've read variously 12 - 16" for a good crop so might have space for a few more.

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    1. We use a cane to support the tomatoes, Caro but the outdoor plants do not grow as tall as the indoor grown tomatoes so do not use as tall canes as indoors. Our sweet corn are about 12” apart.

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  9. Awesome update thank you for sharing we had some lettuce from our garden so far blessings

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    1. Hope that you enjoyed your lettuce, Linda

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  10. Watering takes soooo long we have a rota now for the beds! Your club root resistant brassicas look heathier than ours, which were a mixed offer from a well known nursery. The cabbages were ones we grew last year and they were hue so I hope yours do as well!

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    1. I hope that they do well too, Kathy. As for watering we have four cans, two each, on the go for over an hour this morning!

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  11. Your caked dry soil must be a nightmare at the moment. I'm with you hoping for rain, we had a little last night but the garden is still as dry as a bone. Those strawberries have my mouth watering, I'm still waiting on mine to ripen.xxx

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    1. It certainly is a nightmare, Dina and the gales yesterday just about put the finishing touches, especially to our leeks!

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  12. I still think everyone should have an allotment, rather than paying for gym membership - all the lifting, squatting, stretching, carrying. No wonder I ache so much :-)

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    1. I guess one problem is that you can’t Watch TV whilst allotmenting, Belinda.

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