Wednesday, June 23

Just Yellow

Day lily


Rose Golden Showers

Rose Golden Showers

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

Monday, June 21

Things are filling up

We've had another busy week. It's been a case of, not so much making hay while the sun shines, as filling the plot while the rain holds off. I have to be honest though, the allotment could really do with some 'proper' rain. We've had a couple of light showers but nothing like the forecasts promised. Any rain falling on the UK has fizzled out before reaching us, or has swerved to avoid us. This has meant one task has been to water everything - no mean task, as now we have so much planted and the water pressure, on our site, is such that if two people try to water at the same time it can take ages to fill a watering can.

We haven't spent all our time at the allotment though, as usual we had an afternoon walk in the parkland at Nostell. It's interesting to see how the dominant plant in the flower meadows change in just a week. The week before, buttercups took centre stage and last week, Ruby was running through clover.
Pathways have been mown through the long grass. Ruby doesn't stick to them, but she leaves no trace in the long grass to give away where she has been.

As well as clover, there are large patches of bird's foot trefoil and dog daisies,

I wonder what next will take over from the clover as the star flower?

The good news is all four cygnets are still doing well.
The family was some distance away, so the photos aren't brilliant, but hopefully, you can see how quickly the cygnets are growing.

Back at the allotment, Things are filling up ...
... but planting goes on.

 I planted some of the remaining climbing French and runner beans.
We planted more brassicas. This time, these were calabrese - Montclano, purple sprouting broccoli - Rudolf and Claret, red cabbage - Red Lodero and savoy - Wintessa, Cordessa and Rigoletto. Some filled a bed already half planted, and the others filled a second bed. As the ground was so dry, we filled the planting hole with water before planting. As brassicas are hungry plants each was given a helping of fertiliser to give them a boost and lime to help thwart club root.
The brassicas planted earlier are now starting to take off.
It also looks as though, this year, we will actually have some broad beans to harvest. The first batch is now producing pods, and the second batch is flowering.
It's always a tense time after sowing seed or planting out, when nothing seems to be happening so it is satisfying when things start to grow away.
I've planted out more annual flowers. This year they have been sown in trays, as conditions for sowing directly into the soil were never right, too dry or too wet! In this bed are planted, dahlias, cosmos, cornflowers, calendulas, godetia, scabious, poppies, sunflowers, nigella and one or two zinnias.

Sweet Williams that were sown last year are now flowering and producing the first cut flowers of the season.
As well as planting on the allotment, I have also been adding plants to our new bed at home.
As we are not yet adventurous enough to visit garden centres so plants were ordered online. They were quite small specimens, so once they arrived plants were potted up to grow on. Growers are, like us behind schedule so some plants have arrived later than expected. In fact, some have still to be delivered. I've chosen perennials with a long flowering period for this bed, although I don't expect many flowers this year. I planted, penstemon, rudbeckia, sedum. achillea, astrantia and geraniums. Each was a collection of a few varieties. There are some lythrums growing on in pots and we are awaiting delivery of some heleniums.

We managed to take time out from busily planting to smell the roses on the allotment and in the garden.
As others have mentioned on their blogs, the roses seem to be beautiful this year. Maybe they know that we need cheering up!
When it came to harvesting we had a treat last week. At the beginning of the week, we picked our first punnet of strawberries.
Then on Sunday, we came home with six large punnets full of lovely ripe strawberries. This poses a bit of a dilemma as they were produced by Elsanta and Sweetheart, two of the varieties in the old strawberry bed which we are digging up at the end of the year. I am intending to root runners from these two varieties, but we are now wondering whether we should leave these two varieties in situ. It's a decision for later.
Another first harvest was a cucumber - Pepinex, from a plant growing in the garden greenhouse.

As well as gardening at the allotment, we also filmed a plot tour which, if you are interested is posted here.

As always wherever you are keep safe and well.
This week, once again,  I'm going to join in with Dave’s Harvest Monday collection of posts over at Our Happy Acres.

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

Monday, June 14

A very busy week - part two at the allotment

We made the most of the good weather last week, and spent four afternoons on the allotment, so we managed to get a lot of planting done and seeds that were sown directly are now making an effort.

Parsnip germination has, in the end, turned out quite well. As I sowed two seeds to every station, I will soon need to carry out the heart-breaking task of removing one seedling where both seeds have germinated. It's such a shame that we can't transplant the thinned seedlings elsewhere.

The carrots are also starting to grow away.
The peas that were resown, after the first sowing failed to show, have grown really well which means, at least, the seeds were fine. We covered the second sowing with enviromesh so did that protect the seeds or did the drier conditions mean that the seeds didn't rot? Who knows? At least now we have peas that will soon need to be given twiggy supports.
The runner and climbing French bean supports were already in place so we just needed to plant the beans which is done. 

One planting that didn't go so well was the sweet corn. Every time we plant out our sweet corn there seems to be a fairly strong wind blowing, and last week was no exception. To try to thwart the wind, I popped up a temporary barrier of enviromesh. Unfortunately this didn't prevent the wind from flattening the young plants. Time will tell whether or not any plants recover.
Whilst I did some planting and general tidying, Martyn set to with the rotovator and prepared all the remaining beds so that they were ready to plant up.
In some of the beds were planted the curcurbits. We planted three varieties of squash - Crown Prince, Autumn Crown and Pink Banana and three varieties of courgette - Ambassador, Boldenice, a round fruiting variety, and Black Forest, a climbing courgette. We've never grown a climbing courgette before so it should be interesting.
I crawled into the makeshift, open topped tent to plant the left over tomato plants. We don't expect too much from them, but hate to throw plants away, so they are given a chance to grow. As well as working in a rather cramped position, I also had to keep a wary eye out for my nemeses - the ants!

This year our annual flower seeds were sown in the greenhouse, so some of these were planted alongside our new dahlia plants, and some extra dahlias given to us by a fellow plotter.
A bed has been prepared, and covered with an enviromesh tunnel  in readiness to plant more brassicas - hopefully next week.
Alongside the tunnel, another climbing bean frame has been erected, ready for our left over bean plants. 

Where flowering plants self seed, unless they choose an inconvenient position, they are left to just get on with life. Foxgloves growing, in the fruit beds, and sweet rocket growing in various random positions, are now flowering and putting on a display. The sweet rocket is providing some attractive perfume too.
As we have been doing for some weeks now, we harvested a few sticks of rhubarb. The variety was Raspberry Red which when stewed is a deep pink colour.

As well as harvesting rhubarb we had a couple of firsts. We picked a couple of small helpings of strawberries from our fading strawberry bed.
I also cut our first bunch of cut flowers. The sweet Williams are from our plot and the sweet peas were cut from a neighbour's plot. He did tell me to pick some as he had too many for himself. Our sweet peas won't be flowering for a few weeks. The scent is perfuming the house as I type.

One meal that used some of our frozen French beans was a vegetable rice dish based on this recipe.
In another I used some of our frozen squash to make a Thai style curry based on this recipe.

All in all it was a very busy week, after all you never know when all that wet weather is going to descend on us again. Now at least we don't have lots of empty beds to look at and the plot looks lived in!

I nearly forgot - I said that I would put the link to the video showing how we planted our leeks the week before last. If you are interested it is posted here. The leeks, by the way, are now starting to perk up nicely.

As well as working on the allotment we managed to get out and about. I posted about this in my last post.

As always wherever you are keep safe and well.
This week, once again,  I'm going to join in with Dave’s Harvest Monday collection of posts over at Our Happy Acres.

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