Wednesday, July 8

Lucifer





Monday, July 6

We've been berry busy

Last week we spent much of the time feeling as though we were living in a cloud. When it wasn’t raining, the air seemed to be full of tiny water droplets and the temperature felt nothing like summery. Our poor plants must be totally confused.  On Sunday, strong winds must have realised that it was time for them to batter everything to a pulp. No doubt our cardoons will look nothing like as stately as they did earlier in the week. This year the winds haven't even waited for the cardoon flowers to open.

Other than to cut the grass and do a bit of general tidying, most of our plot visits have been to do some harvesting however, one job that I steeled myself into doing was a bit of thinning of one of our 'trees' in the apple hedge. The particular tree was loaded with fruit. Lots had been discarded during the June drop but there was still an abundance of small apples. Usually we have left them and been happy to eat two small apples rather than one of a normal size.

This year I decided to carry out a little thinning. To be honest removing the small fruits was a difficult decision but I decided to see whether it made a difference. I don’t think Martyn was keen for me to do it at all. The photo above was taken after thinning and I am sure I'll be told that I haven't removed enough but a bucketful of immature fruits seemed like more than enough.
Last week we picked what was left of our calabrese. There was just enough to make a turkey and broccoli quiche.

The cabbage was used in a batch of coleslaw.
29 June
 We are continuing to harvest our overwintered onions as we need them.
The early cauliflowers are now forming heads so, at the moment, these are providing most of our vegetables. One went into a cauliflower and potato curry.
Add caption
Our blueberries are now ripening. We have four bushes that produce fruit in succession. The earliest variety had lots of ripe berries. The berries on a single bush ripen in batches and there are usually more ripe berries each time we visit the plot. 

I sometimes think more are ripening as I am picking.
4 July
I made the first pulling of the earliest row of Onward peas. To be honest they maybe needed another few days for the peas to swell. I always seem to be over eager when it comes to the first pea harvest of the season.
As well as our reliable Onward variety, we sowed some Oregon Sugar Pod and some Terrain peas. Both of these varieties were devastated by pigeons almost as soon as they emerged. Strangely the Onward peas sown at the same time haven't been touched. 
It's that time of year when lots of different berries are ripening and picking them is quite a time consuming task but well worth it. Some berries are just eaten fresh as a mixed fruit dessert with maybe a dollop of natural yoghurt and the rest is cooked and made into a compote for freezing or topping our morning porridge.

Our Mini Munch cucumbers are now producing small juicy fruits. We’re hoping that there will be lots more to come.

The annual flowers that I sowed earlier in the year haven't really done very well, but I did manage a small posy containing sweet Williams, calendulas and lavender.

I know some of you like to see how Ruby is getting on, Martyn has posted a short video taken of her having her lunch which you may like to take a look at.


Hope everyone is staying well and safe 

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

You don't have to have your own blog in order to join in conversations. It may seem that everyone who comments knows one another but bloggers always welcome new commenters, after all that is how we all started. 

PS: It's not just our gardens that suffer from blight. Martyn and I are currently suffering from an influx of blog blight. It seems that it is the season of the spammer. One in particular is persistently targeting our and what appears to be lots of other people's blogs. Most are sent to the spam or moderation folders as we moderate comments on posts over five days old. These spam comments are deleted and never see the light of day but unfortunately some do sneak through. I apologise for any that sneak through and end up being emailed to those who subscribe to comments, Please do not click on any links in spam comments which gives these nuisances satisfaction and encouragement. They can track where click throughs originate from and will target a blog even more if they think that this is causing more people to visit their site.





Wednesday, July 1

June in pictures













Monday, June 29

A week of two halves

Last week we shared our time between the allotment and garden. The first half of the week, we worked at the allotment. It was the drier part of the week so we were back to watering.

One job was to plant out some savoy cabbages - Cordesa. 
We had already planted annuals and sweet peas in the garden in a bed that was due for renovation. It had been previously cleared and we decided to use annuals as a temporary solution until we decide on how we want to replant it.

We also planted up the annual flowers that we didn't need in the garden. This included three teepees of sweet peas. Unfortunately this coincided with the weather turning, firstly very hot and then heavy rain falling accompanied by gusty wind, so I'm not too hopeful of their survival'
The peas that we sowed last week are now germinating well, however, as usual it is the variety Onward that is doing the best for us.
Towards the end of the week it was sunny and hot so we decided to work in the garden hiding in whatever shade was available.

The area around one of our bird baths was planted up for spring with tete a tete daffodils. The bulbs were planted in pots sunk in the soil. The idea was to remove the pots after flowering to make room for summer bedding. This was done last week. The pots of daffodils have been sunken elsewhere in the garden where they can live until the time comes for them to return when the summer bedding is over.

The bed has been planted up with impatiens 
Currently we are avoiding going into shops including garden centres. Unfortunately despite protocols being in place, too many people are not complying with social distancing so we prefer to stay away. (We had booked a ticket to visit the Yorkshire Wildlife Park on Monday but comments on Facebook relating to how people were ignoring protocols put us off going). People seem to be becoming complacent so I guess this is going to be an ongoing problem. A local garden centre offers a click and collect service whereby plants are ordered online and then picked up from outside in their car park. The only downside of this is that where there are colour choices of the plants offered, you have to accept their choices.

Anyway, we decided that we would just have to work with whatever we could get and spent a day planting up pots on the patio, outside of the summer house and outside of the greenhouse door.

Martyn, emptied the crate containing our International Kidney potatoes. In hindsight they were probably not the best variety to grow in a container that we intended to empty early. The variety maybe needed to be left for a while longer but the tops were enormous and getting in the way.
 There were plenty of potatoes but they were on the small side.
I reused the two tubs that had housed the potato plants, Casablanca had been harvested a couple of weeks ago. One crate has been sown with White Lisbon spring onions and the other with Boltardy beetroot.

I also sowed some wallflower, sweet William and sweet rocket in a large tub.

I had previously grown coriander (cilantro) in a pot in the greenhouse and this was now in danger of running to seed so I harvested it all and have frozen it. I use lots of coriander so I have sown a second batch along with more parsley and basil.

We picked lots of strawberries last week. We had been concerned that the spell of heavy rain would have spoiled any berries but we picked fruit on both sides of the showers.

We are also continuing to dig up the autumn planted onions as they are needed. We may as well leave them in the ground to carry on growing until they are needed in the kitchen.
23 June
As well as picking strawberries we have picked a few, tayberries, purple Glencoe raspberries and some redcurrants. We are disciplining ourselves by not picking punnet after punnet of redcurrants to freeze as we really won’t use so many and the birds will love their share.
22 & 26 June
We also harvested a couple more Regency cabbages.
27 June
If you have half an hour or so to spare, we filmed a tour of the whole of our plot which is interrupted by Ruby's antics. I'm afraid at the moment she is nowhere near as well behaved as Monty Don's furry assistants, hopefully one day!

Stay safe

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

You don't have to have your own blog in order to join in conversations. It may seem that everyone who comments knows one another but bloggers always welcome new commenters, after all that is how we all started. 

PS: It's not just our gardens that suffer from blight. Martyn and I are currently suffering from an influx of blog blight. It seems that it is the season of the spammer. One in particular is persistently targeting our and what appears to be lots of other people's blogs. Most are sent to the spam or moderation folders as we moderate comments on posts over five days old. These spam comments are deleted and never see the light of day but unfortunately some do sneak through. I apologise for any that sneak through and end up being emailed to those who subscribe to comments, Please do not click on any links in spam comments which gives these nuisances satisfaction and encouragement. They can track where click throughs originate from and will target a blog even more if they think that this is causing more people to visit their site.




Wednesday, June 24

Roses and Friends











Monday, June 22

Brassicas and berries

The rain that fell over the last couple of weeks meant that, Martyn was able to go over the remaining beds with the rotavator, but believe it or not one bed was actually a bit too wet.
We managed to plant more vegetables and the beds are now filling up.
Brussels sprouts were added to the bed housing the late brassicas where there is still space for more brassicas as the plants become ready to plant out.
The first two rows of Onward peas that we sowed are now on flower so more seeds were sown. We sowed four more rows of Onwards and half a row each of Oregon Sugar Snap and Terrain. The former is a mangetout and Terrain is reputed to be mildew resistant. As mildew can affect later sown peas it is suited to later sowing.
Alongside one row of the peas we decided to plant a few lettuce which we will add to as plants become available.
The above photo shows our trial potato bed where we grow four tubers each of six varieties that we have never grown before. As you can see growth is variable across the varieties. It will be interesting to compare harvests.
We usually grow some tomatoes outdoors in an old cold frame 'skeleton' covered with enviromesh. Previously this has been a way of using up left over tomato plants which have been crammed into this space. This year we have taken more care and planted a dozen San Marzano plants which will be given more care.
The garden greenhouse was sorted out and the tomatoes are now in their final positions. These plants are being grown in large pots containing potting compost as we are avoiding using growing bags this year due to last year's problems with suspected weedkiller contamination.
The blueberries were on the point of ripening and so it was crucial that they were netted. Without protection, the blackbirds home in on the berries which the birds will strip off before they are fully ripe.

The same is true of the redcurrants, however we have stopped netting these as there are usually more than enough berries for us to share.
The blackbirds still complain noisily when we are picking our quota.
Our overwintering onions are now ready to start harvesting. We have only had to buy one small bag of onions in the tiny gap between our stored summer onions starting to shoot and these being ready to use. Hopefully the overwintered ones will take us up to when this year's summer onions will  be ready.
Onion Senshyu
Our strawberries are now producing lots of tasty berries.
These too are netted but this doesn't stop a mischievous puppy, with a penchant for fruit, stealing the odd berry from the punnet when your back is turned.
Red and green are very much the predominant colours of last week's harvest.
16 June
Some calabrese/broccoli went into a chicken and vegetable stir fry and one cabbage went into a batch of coleslaw whilst the other was a major ingredient in Ethiopian Cabbage - a sort of curried stir fry.
20 June
The strawberries below were picked from the few plants in our garden cold frame.

I popped a few garlic cloves saved from some of the garlic grown last year when they didn't grow very well, in fact I wasn't going to bother planting any again as they never seem to produce for us. In the end, I planted some in a large pot. They still haven't grown very well. They have divided into cloves but the bulbs are very small. These are hard necked garlic. I have another pot in which I planted soft necked garlic but I'm not expecting any better results.
21 June
Keep safe - let's hope that this dreadful virus is on the wane and that people continue to observe the advice. I am concerned about the large groups gathering together for various protests and get togethers. Maybe then we can get back to something approaching normality.

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

You don't have to have your own blog in order to join in conversations. It may seem that everyone who comments knows one another but bloggers always welcome new commenters, after all that is how we all started. 

PS: It's not just our gardens that suffer from blight. Martyn and I are currently suffering from an influx of blog blight. It seems that it is the season of the spammer. One in particular is persistently targeting our and what appears to be lots of other people's blogs. Most are sent to the spam or moderation folders as we moderate comments on posts over five days old. These spam comments are deleted and never see the light of day but unfortunately some do sneak through. I apologise for any that sneak through and end up being emailed to those who subscribe to comments, Please do not click on any links in spam comments which gives these nuisances satisfaction and encouragement. They can track where click throughs originate from and will target a blog even more if they think that this is causing more people to visit their site.

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett