Allotment News

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15/06/2011 at 11:51
Think I got out of bed on the wrong side this morning...
15/06/2011 at 11:56
LP - I guessed so but thought, just in case....

" I quite like having the blackbirds around as their song is nice"

'cept at 4am.........

#blackbird singing in the dead of night....

BANG - sod off ya little fecker!!

as for the cats - don't worry about catching them in the act - just water them every time they come into the garden - they'll quickly get the hint and stay away.
19/06/2011 at 11:35

*excited update*

 First cucumber picked today, a bit on the short, fat side, but perfectly edible. And the strawbs are yummy.

Lettuce still growing like blazes - and there is only so much lettuce you can eat!

Slightly worried the toms haven't started to turn yet, there are a load of them on the plants but so far all green.

02/07/2011 at 14:08
hmm, a fortnight later and I'm still wating for a tomato to ripen. Is there anything I can do to hasten the process? There's loads of them, but they're all resolutely green. I don't recall buying a special new variety of green tomato.
04/07/2011 at 09:35
HL - toms will ripen when they want to ripen. and as soon as one starts, the rest will follow. at the end of the season pick any left over green ones and stick them in a bag with a ripe banana - that will help them ripen. but for ones on the vine, don't try and force them - let nature do it's bit. gardening needs patience some time!!

my toms are all outdoors so will be slower than greenhouse - the plum ones are setting nicely but the GDs are setting unevenly this year which is a concern but we'll see what happens. first courgettes picked yesterday and 1st french bean crop soon.

04/07/2011 at 13:15

Ta FB. I guessed that would be the answer - unfortunately patience isn't always my strong suit.  And I'm everso slightly miffed at having lettuce & cucumbers for my salads, but no toms as yet. Making lunch involves a trip to the greenhouse on a daily basis at the moment.

04/07/2011 at 13:49

Hi all,

Am new to this thread after trying to unearth my green fingers in our new garden. It's slightly worrying how obsessive i'm becoming with these! Luckily we dont have to worry too much about birds/other pests...they dont seem to even come near the garden!

In March/April i planted carrots and onions and they are growing fantastically - but i have a very elementary question: When are they ready to be picked? What should i be looking for? The onions are already sprouting out of the ground but some of the carrots look a little green. What is the "normal" growing period?

04/07/2011 at 14:07
welcome to the wonderful world of gardening Emmy

onions usually ripen up around August - the tell tale sign that they are ripening is that the green leaves will start going brown and withering. most people leave them in the soil for a while after to help the bulb swell further, but once all the green has died back, lift them and dry them.

what you can see of the carrots is probably just the shoulders as they peek out of the ground - and because they are in light they will go green but underneath they will be carrot coloured. to see what they are like, just pull one up! we're eating ours now so yours should be OK
04/07/2011 at 14:13

Hi fat buddha,

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll take a look at the carrots tonight. i feel like a little kid at christmas waiting to unwrap the presents! To be honest, i started this gardening out as an experiment to see if anything would grow..... now my garden is filled full of herbs and vegetables! I'll start on the fruit next year!

How do you dry the onions? Leave them outside for the sun to dry them? or put them in a humid place (e.g. laundry room)?

04/07/2011 at 14:22
you can dry onions in the sun or a warm cupboard for a few days so the skins dry out - but NOT in a humid environment as that will promote mould growth on the bulbs. if you have an airing cupboard that will usually be OK as long as it's dry. when the skins are nicely dry, either plait the dried leaves together and hang them up, or remove the bulbs and keep them in a bag (not plastic) as you would in a kitchen.
04/07/2011 at 16:19

I find the right time for pulling carrots is when I'm walking down the garden and am feeling a little pekish.

OK - so I thought that the drawf in drawf beans was the sie of the plant not the size of the bean. What do you do with microscopic beans I wonder?

05/07/2011 at 13:37

Afternoon all!

Welcome, Emmy!

I have decided that from next year we will not be growing onions or garlic again.  They really don't work in our garden, and there's really no monetary benefit.  I think I'm going to give that portion of the garden over to a permanent strawberry patch.

Strawberries are doing fantastically well in the big planter, but are suckering like crazy.  I've just decided that given how much I like soft fruit, how much nicer and better value it is homegrown, and how easy it is, it would be a much better use of space.

Raspberries are now doing really well - early yields had a really disappointing lack of flavour because of the crap weather , but now we've had a prolonged spell of decent sunshine the flavour and sweetness has definitely improved.

In my experience, Dottie, dwarf beans do indeed produce small pods. Ours are yet to get that far, though...

Our French beans are still rubbish.

Courgette plants coming along nicely.

Spuds excellent.  Dug up some Red Duke of Yorks - not an amazing yield, but pretty respectable, and very tasty indeed.   Charlottes shouldn't be long, Nadines and Picassos I'll leave some while longer...

Waaaaay too much salad, though. 

05/07/2011 at 14:24
after all that, the first hint of colour on the toms is there. Just a few days longer...
05/07/2011 at 14:38

my tom plants are tiny as well. Must be dwarf hormone or something.

I'm loving my blueberries though. the plants are attractive and beautiful when they flower and very attractive with all the fruit on. For aesthetics they beat the blackcurrents but they don't smell as wonderful as my blackcurrent bushes.

11/07/2011 at 15:43

We're going to be getting some blueberries, morse-mouse.

My parents have two bushes that they haven't really got room for in their garden anymore since they re-landscaped it, so want them to go to a good home.

They certainly are very pretty plants.

I'm definitely moving towards growing more soft fruit.  Seems to be far better value than some of the annual veg crops I've been struggling with.

Certain things I shall still continue with, though - courgettes, spuds and salady stuff, and possibly broad beans (I only had a small number of plants this year, but they did well; far better than the french beans seem to be doing...)

Our Red Duke of York potatoes have been fabulous.

13/07/2011 at 00:01

Swiss Chard. Vast quantities.

Also the hybrid spinach.  Been eating it every day.

Enjoy your gluts


13/07/2011 at 16:34

Blueberries are fab plants.  I have mine in pots and they're doing just dandy

Been repotting all the Strawberry runners.  Got another 25 or so plants scattered around the garden now.  This years crop have been amazing.

But the beetroot has been very disappointing.  Lots of leaves but no beetroots developing bigger than marbles.  Any ideas why?  I normally use Bolthardy which are yummy and very good growers but changed this year.   Really regretting changing

13/07/2011 at 16:57

My beetroots are exactly the same, Happychap - I've pretty much given up on them TBH.

I think the changeable weather is to blame.

13/07/2011 at 17:09
Ah well, at least it's not just us LP
13/07/2011 at 17:25
"Swiss Chard. Vast quantities."

wish I could say the same - mine have been shite this year (very poor growth) and what leaves have developed have been attacked by leaf miners so I've thrown a lot away. I wonder if it's the seed - it's a couple of seasons old so may have lost it's viability. I'm going to buy a new packet and plant some more up - should be fine for Autumn/Winter if it comes up OK.

we're about to drown in courgettes.....
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