Friday, June 8

Plot activity - an update

We have been really busy on the plot as there were lots of plants waiting to leave home and seek relative independence on the plot. This, however, hasn't been as straightforward this year. It's not that we don't have the space; almost a fifth of out plot has empty beds. The problem is that the hot dry conditions on top of soggy conditions have almost acted as a kiln and baked our clay soil. Consequently lots of beds are just not workable.

Even where beds were in not too bad a condition, in order to till the soil before planting, we had to water the ground the previous afternoon. The next day the bed had to be hand dug before tilling was possible. All this has meant that planting up the plot has been a slow process.

Half of the bed shown above is now home to half of our squash plants with the other half being planted in front on one of our sweet peas structures.

We are growing Crown Prince this year and another variety called Butterbush.

We also planted the green courgettes. The variety is Zucchini. Disappointingly, some of the yellow - Atena Polka courgettes, planted earlier, have attracted the attentions of slugs and/or snails. The best plants are in facts 'spares' that were planted between the two plantings of broad beans.
You may be able to spot those courgettes at the top left of the photo below - the green colour is more a yellowish green than the bluish green of the broad beans.

The second batch of broad beans were planted this week. This variety is Masterpiece Green Longpod. They are off to a stronger start than the earlier planted Witkiem Manita, although the later are now producing young beans.

All the climbing beans are now planted. This year we have cut down on varieties and have planted runner beans - Firestorn and Celebration and climbing French beans - Cobra and Cosse Violette. So far, and I hope that I am not tempting fate, these seem to have taken to their new home. There has been no initial nervousness and they seem just raring to grow.

We planted up one of our brassica beds. This bed is now the living quarters to cauliflower - Clapton, cabbage Kalibro, red cabbage - Red Lodero and calabrese - Monclano. All these varieties are club root resistant. We have slightly adapted our growing technique for some plants this year. Instead of growing through holes in the weed control fabric, we prepared wide trenches. Compost and fertiliser was added to the trench before planting and then the fabric placed back around the plants.



On our site brassicas need protecting as soon as they hit the soil as the ever alert pigeon population will take full advantage of any opportunity to dine on fresh green leaves. As it is they have started to feast on immature plums. Unfortunately the trees are too big to net so we can only hope at least the pigeons leave some fruit for us. This year we are using the half hoop system. As the brassicas are also attacked by cabbage white caterpillars and whitefly, the brassicas are protected by draping enviromesh over the hoops.

The same system has been used for the strawberries but as we only need to keep the birds off the fruit, we use soft netting to protect them.


Peas are growing well. The first two rows of Onward are now heading up the pea sticks.

The later sown two rows of Onward are now almost ready for staking and the Oregon Sugarsnap and Nairobi are growing well.

I sowed a the third row of Onward on 28 May and this sowing has germinated well. Alongside this I sowed a row of seeds that included, spinach, beetroot.  leaf beet, swede, chard and wild rocket, These also germinated well, I just hope that the slugs either don't have a taste for them or don't find them. They certainly found and enjoyed my annual flower seedlings which I have had to resow. I'm just hoping that the second sowing survives.

The greenhouse tomatoes have been planted in both our garden and plot greenhouses. They have settled in well and the 'spares' are just waiting to be planted on the plot.
The carrots and parsnips are starting to speed up their growth but it was with some trepidation that I thinned out the parsnips. Usually sporadic germination means that thinning isn't necessary. My worry was that the seedlings left after thinning would give up the ghost but this hasn't happened yet.

A less delicate thinning job that was undertaken was to reduce the number of new canes being sent up by the tayberry. I chose three or four strong canes from each clump and cut out the rest. The new canes will be tied in later when this year's fruiting canes have been removed. 
That's about it, I think that you are now fully up to date - that is until tomorrow. It's just that time of year!

By the way Blogger has stopped sending me email notifications of comments made on my posts or follow up comments from other blogs so if I miss one of your comments I apologise and officially blame Blogger. Is this affecting anyone else? I wonder whether it's something to do with the new data protection laws that seem OTT to me.
Copyright: Original post from 
Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

12 comments:

  1. Whether it's flowers or produce, it's a mental and physical work out this year to combat what nature has thrown at us with the weather.

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  2. Yes on the comments; I have to look for new ones to approve. It sounds like blogger is doing it to everyone.

    Your garden already looks amazing. Hoping for a bountiful season.

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    1. Apparently Blogger are working on a resolution, tpals.

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  3. it all looks fabulous to me! best wishes x

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  4. Thank you for sharing Sue blessings to you both

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  5. Forward progress indeed. Glad (?) it's not just me with the email alerts. Busy Busy.

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    1. Apparently the email problem is a known issue Mal.

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  6. I did wonder why so many cleared beds on the plot were not planted, that soil of yours sounds similar to Monty Don's....sighs....clay and claggy, then baked in a kiln. Ours is totally different, sandy soil holds no moisture and needs improving, so hard to grow anything here apart from herbs and wildflowers! So pleased to see you have plants in the ground!xxx

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    1. Having just watched GW I wish our soil was just like his. He speaks of it being wet and craggy but it certainly looks workable which ours isn’t at the moment.

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