Wednesday, August 5

July in Pictures








Monday, August 3

Hot, wet or windy - give us a break!

The bizarre weather, last week, meant that we didn't really get as much done on the allotment as we would have liked. At times we were collecting equipment and dashing into the shed to shelter from a sudden downpour. We then had gale force winds that battered everything including us. On Friday, after spending much of July in clothes more befitting late autumn, the celestial thermostat was suddenly turned up and we had to shelter indoors from temperatures above 30C or 86F. I think the weathergods need to call in an engineer as the thermostat must be in need of replacement.

As far as allotment tasks, we had a few priorities. The first was to run the cultivator over the beds that had been previously cleared so that they were ready to be replanted.
 
This was achieved during gaps between the sudden, sometimes heavy showers
A second priority was to cut the grass. It's growth should have slowed down by now but not this year! 
No sooner is it cut than it seems to grow back and be in need cutting again.
The persistent showers thwarted any attempts to achieve this aim until Sunday when it remained dry and, Martyn managed to strim the grass to a more acceptable length.
When I wasn't weeding or generally tidying, I harvested a few things. I was doubly grateful that our blackberry is a thomless variety. This time, not only were my hands and arms spared of scratches but, with the winds lashing my face with the canes,  that part of my body came away unscathed too.
28 July
The Oullins gage plums are ripening quickly now, but we were robbed of some fruits by the winds, as quite a few had been blown from the tree. Something had taken advantage of the windfall as many fallen plums were partially eaten. I picked up as many of the fruits as I could find and consigned them to the compost heap. Not only is it likely that wasps will take advantage of the discarded fruit, in the compost, and stay away from the trees but the fruits are very messy  and slippery if accidentally trodden on. Another problem, this year, is that Ruby is a fruitaholic. Being just a puppy, she will also pick up anything that looks remotely chewable. Plums are not good for little canine stomachs and even worse, the stones can be toxic or cause internal injuries if crunched.

The potatoes in the above photo were produced by a volunteer plant.
30 July
The Monclano calabrese is producing the main heads giving us plenty to harvest. Cauliflowers are close on their heels.
Another priority was to dig up more early potatoes. We decided to harvest another of our trial potato varieties. This time it was the turn of Ulster Prince and I must say we were surprised by what we unearthed. Many of potatoes were huge. 
The contents of the bucket below was the product of just four seed potatoes.
Not only were the potatoes larger than expected but they were also free of damage, other than a tiny hole in one tuber. It looks as if Ulster Prince may be a contender for next year's variety list.
1 August
Whilst the potatoes were large the cucumbers, that we harvested, were the diminutive Mini Munch. I rarely photograph the cucumbers, that we are now picking regularly and eating fresh from the plants, but this time I did.
The carrots, being harvested from the crates in the garden greenhouse, rarely make a phototshoot either, however we decided to dig some of the first of the carrots grown on the allotment.
Last year the carrots grown on the plot were a disaster, so we were readying ourselves for disappointment as we pulled the first few roots of one of the variety, Romance. This variety was new to us this year. We were pleasantly surprised when we lifted some near perfect specimens. We're just hoping that the rest are as good.  

Another couple of jobs that I managed on Sunday, but don't have photographic proof of, were to cut back the apple hedge and to cut out all this year's fruiting canes of our purple fruiting - Glencoe - raspberry. It had finished providing us with fruit and as with other summer fruiting raspberries and blackberries, next year it will fruit on canes produced this year. It's habit is more like a blackberry than a raspberry and so the long, new canes needed tying in.

We weren't the only ones harvesting. One or two hardy butterflies and several bees were feeding from our buddleias. Hopefully more will turn up soon.
Other butterflies were making the most of some Sunday sunshine.


The video of the second part of the tour of our allotment has now been posted here 

If you like to see dogs having fun you may like to watch a video of Ruby which is on our YouTube channel here.

Stay safe and healthy

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

Wednesday, July 29

Windflower - seemed very appropriate

Monday, July 27

The cycle of allotment life

No sooner have we nearly filled the beds on the allotment and are beginning to wonder where we will plant later crops than we start to empty beds. It seems just a short time that we have a full allotment before things start to look bare again.

Last week we cleared three beds, One had housed our first brassicas which have now been eaten and the bed will now be made ready for some dwarf French beans.
All the autumn planted onions have been dug from another bed. We had planted two varieties, Radar and Senshyu Yellow, both are rounded onions rather than the flatter types. I prefer the rounder ones for cooking as I seem to have more waste and less usable onion when preparing the flatter ones.

The third bed was cleared of our first batch of peas. The tops have been cut off and the roots left in the ground to release nitrogen into the soil.
Our second and third sowings of peas have been given, twiggy supports. The first lot of were rather disappointing. I can excuse them for their poor performance as they really were up against all that the weather could throw at them this year.
23 July

The courgette plants are now coming into production. I'm trying to catch the fruits before they become too large before harvesting and so far I am keeping up. The yellow variety hasn't got into its stride yet. I'm pleased to say that so far all the courgettes have passed the lick test.
The blueberry bushes are really confused by the unseasonal weather. Although the later fruiting varieties have berries just beginning to ripen, the same bushes are beginning to show autumnal colours.

At last the runner and climbing French beans have decided to climb up the canes. Some vines already have flowers despite them having quite a lot of growing to do. Hopefully now they seem to have got the idea they will speed up their ascent.
24 July

We made a concerted effort to pick blackcurrants last week. I wonder is it just us that doesn't top and tail the berries? We make sure the tail - the stems - are removed when we pick them but the tops we leave. We haven't suffered any ill effects from this negligence, in fact once the blackcurrants are cooked you don't notice.
The blackberries are now beginning to ripen. The canes are loaded with fruits. Fortunately the canes are thornless so picking is a painless activity.
We started harvesting brassicas from the second bed. The Kalibro cabbage haven't solid hearts up but the decision was made to cut one. We're guessing that these cabbages will all heart at the same time so this way we can spread the harvest out a little.
26 July

The Oullins Gage plums are beginning to ripen so I only just hung the waspinators in time. There was also a very pleasant surprise. Usually many of the first plums to ripen have plum moth maggots hiding inside, but this year so far they have been clear. I wonder if the moths were deterred by the weather. I hope this doesn't mean that we will find them at a later stage.

We're still picking cucumbers from the raised bed in the garden. The time between picking and eating is so short that I rarely get a photo.
The crate in the garden greenhouse is still yielding mini carrots. This time they are all the same shape.

We're not the only ones harvesting. Now that the buddleias have finally flowered - I'm sure that they are later than usual this year - the bees have homed in. So far, as far as butterfly visitors I have only spotted the odd small tortoiseshell and the ubiquitous whites. I'm hoping more species will arrive soon.











The bees quite like verbena bonariensis too.

If you fancy taking a look around half of our allotment with us, we have posted a video here.

I hope that everyone is still keeping 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 22

Agapanthus





Monday, July 20

Rooting about

Last week was a landmark in our Covid 19 dominated lifestyle, we all - including Ruby - had our hair cut. 
This was our first cut - at least for Martyn, my sister and I - since January and we were heading towards our 1970's style.

As well as doing some work at the allotment we spent some time tidying the garden. I also potted up some lupins grown from seed. There are more than I need but the seed packet contained mixed colours so I'll need to grow them on to find out which colours I'd like to keep.
Martyn potted on some cucumber plants which have been placed outside of the garden greenhouse. These are Burpless Tasty Green. 

We also have some Mini Munch plants from which we are harvesting mini cucumbers as we need them. 
The beetroot that I sowed in a crate germinated well and so I thinned out the seedlings. As they grow they will probably need more thinning although I am aiming to harvest small roots.
On the allotment we did a bit more tidying which included preparing another couple of beds for planting.
The bed below was prepared for more brassicas which will hopefully provide us with a late crop.
The plants had been waiting in one of our cold frames for the bed to become ready.
On Sunday the bed was planted up with cabbages and cauliflower. The soil in this bed is very rough and lumpy so we are somewhat concerned that the plants may not thrive, however there was nowhere else for them to go so we are just hoping for the best.

I made another couple of waspinators which I hope will deter the wasps from attacking our plums and greengages. Picking the fruits is no fun when you are likely to also inadvertently grasp a wasp.
Our harvests are much the same as in previous weeks. The courgettes were subjected to the lick test before cooking. In case you are wondering I didn't use the bit that I licked!
14 July
Whilst some of the cane fruit is winding down, other fruits such as the blackcurrants are ripening. 
Picking the blackcurrants is tedious and time consuming but worth the effort.
16 July
The first lot of peas were battered by the winds and I don't think that they produced as many flowers this year so consequently haven't produced as many pods. Many of the pods show evidence of the battering but fortunately the peas inside are fine.

We decided to dig the four roots of one of our trial early potatoes. We chose Pentland Javelin as the tops of these were the most badly affected by the strong winds. The tops were flattened and yellowed so didn't look as though any more growing would take place below ground.
The haul was modest in size, probably the growing had been curtailed due to the haulms being damaged. The tubers that we did harvest however, were clean, disease and pest free. They also passed the taste test. We posted a video here
You may remember that as well as sowing carrots in open ground on the allotment we sowed some in crates in our garden greenhouse. This was more or less as insurance in case the lockdown prevented us going to the allotment. Last week we decided to pull some roots and were please with what we found, although I'm not sure why one carrots is a different shape to its crate mates.
19 July
The damp weather is definitely suiting some wildlife, The frog below was patrolling the allotment. A smaller specimen was spotted in the garden. This was probably one of the offspring of the frogs that had used our pond as a spawning ground. I'm hoping that as well as eating slugs and snails the frogs have a taste for the ants that seem to be everywhere in the garden and on the allotment.

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.