Allotment News

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03/05/2011 at 12:34
Astro turf then.
Nicko. Hdau    pirate
05/05/2011 at 08:56
How about part decking nearest the tree out for 15 or so feet. Then rotavate the ground and rake soil to level adding some sand and cheap compost {Asda 210L for £10}. Then returf part and set ground cover plants as wide borders or bark and chip borders.
Where do you live I do decking
11/05/2011 at 17:13
Hello all... thanks for the comments about the rogue tatties. I've got a couple that I must have missed last year but they seem to have wilted a bit now. I think I'll dig them up. New ones are doing well though. Beets are up and thinned out, raddish going well, onions a bit slow to start, beans planted... then 2 days later we had a ground frost  Hopefully my sprout plants will arrive middle of this month. I hope I've left enough space in my plot for them!  Just got to keep the birds off the cherry tree now
11/05/2011 at 20:19
I am drowning in spinach
11/05/2011 at 20:44
We're having a courgette crisis in Surrey. Anyone else having problems?
12/05/2011 at 12:34

Woohoo - strawberry and raspberry plants starting to form fruits. Could potentially be a good yield.

It was a really good decision to choose three different strawberry varieties to grow, given the Great Sheffield Hailstorm - we haven't lost nearly as much potential fruit as we might have done.

Salads are abundant, spuds growing well (but still a lot of rogue ones to dig out! ) courgette plants, dwarf and french beans are coming on, and the little polythene greenhouse is fabulous.

Onions are still a bit pathetic.

I have managed to kill the tomato and pepper seedlings because I missed the boat with potting on , but I'm less concerned about these than everything else - tomatoes are a pain in the arse anyway, and my sister-in-law's parents always have a good supply of spare pepper/chilli plants.

Now could someone lend me an air rifle for whichever cat it is that ignores all possible forms of deterrent and continues to use one part of my garden as a toilet?

What do you mean by courgette crisis, Happychap?

12/05/2011 at 13:37
"I am drowning in spinach"

likewise - with salad greens - so much that we can't keep up and resorting to stir frys with them!

HC - waddya mean by courgette crisis?? nothing or too much??

Nicko. Hdau    pirate
12/05/2011 at 14:40
As it's so early I'm guessing the young plants have died.
12/05/2011 at 18:54
mmm, just come in from watering the plants & picking out side shoots on the tomato plants. Don't you just love that smell of tomato plants? Everything seems to be comming on in leaps & bounds, just spotted the first strawberry flower too.
Basil Brush Mk II    pirate
12/05/2011 at 20:22
Helen Liz - yes, I do love the smell of tomato plants. Odd, as I don't much like raw tomatoes (I am mainly growing them to make into passata and the like) but I think it's a memory thing for me - happy evenings spent helping my Dad in the greenhouse and all that.
12/05/2011 at 22:45

I love the smell of tomato plants as well. Better still is the smell of Blackcurrent plants. I think my fav flower is elderberry - I so love them. Also love honeysuckle.

Strawberry flower? I have baby strawberries already.

13/05/2011 at 06:47
I know, I didn't put the strawbs in until recently, so they were a bit on the late side, but working on the principle of better late than never, they went in late.
Nicko. Hdau    pirate
14/05/2011 at 08:42
Mine are shop sized and taste lubberly. Tom plants outside are coming up well, the ones for the greenhouse still a bit little but will go in this week as will maincrop tatties. Picked letuce leaves for ham salad sarnie yesterday, young and tender.
15/05/2011 at 20:03

None of them germinated at all   I've planted the last of the seeds this evening in the hope that some of them take.

On a positive note the strawberries are going crazy as are the runner and broad beans.  The raspberries are also starting to fruit which is a bit bemusing as they are Joan J, an autumn variety.  Also got currants and berries in abundance.

16/05/2011 at 10:37


Strong winds blew our polythene greenhouse over at the weekend!

Luckily, much of the stuff is still okay, but some of the courgette plants are a bit bent, I had to compost the sorrel and pepper seedlings as I couldn't find them amidst all the spilt compost, and I had a job to salvage the CCA peashoots and cress, which I had to use there and then rather than letting them grow more to my liking.

Have now moved said greenhouse, and have had to punch holes in the polythene to thread string through in an attempt to attach it to the fence.

Gah I hate the weather conditions where I live !

Re: raspberries, Happychap - I have autumn ones too (Polka) but I forgot to prune down last year's canes when we re-planted them (parents were clearing a lot of theirs as they didn't have space, so we got a big donation ) and then we had that big blizzard and it was too late.

They're now fruiting as earlies, but also throwing up autumn canes left, right and centre, which should behave in the normal manner.

It's normal for autumns to have a second, earlier crop on the previous year's canes if you don't prune them to the ground after the first crop.

Ken Muir suggests you can actually work with autumn canes so you prune down some but not others to give a summer and autumn crop in the same year - you do compromise yield, however. 

I'm hoping to get back into a normal cycle with them this autumn - Polka has a long summer-autumn fruiting season so I want to make the most of this in future.

Sorry to hear about the courgettes - there's still time to sow more, though.

Edited: 16/05/2011 at 10:41
16/05/2011 at 10:53
talking of smells - I was putting in some salad seedlings into the deepbed yesterday afternoon and leaning on top of a large sage plant as I was so doing thinking "this sage doesn't half smell like marijuana!" took me back to my student days......

everything is coming on apace now - toms are growing strongly and my chillies and aubergines are now in their large pots and looking good. still have squash, cucumber and courgette to pot up yet - next w/e
16/05/2011 at 11:18
Apparently you can actually smoke sage...
16/05/2011 at 11:35
so I understand - but I'd rather eat it these days though as I gave up the fags too many years ago to go back to smoking.....

strange thing is that having to give up the odd joint is one of the only things I really miss about not smoking. it just doesn't cut it for me to use it in food - never gave the same kick that way..
16/05/2011 at 11:38

Have now moved said greenhouse, and have had to punch holes in the polythene to thread string through in an attempt to attach it to the fence.

Been there done that. Thought it was just cos I'd been given a cheap one.

16/05/2011 at 12:07

Mine was quite a pricey, upmarket one, BM.

Oh well, guess it's just one of those things that happens.

As for cloches, polytunnels etc, I think in the future I will stick to homemade/makeshift 'constructions' rather than buying stuff.  The ready-made polytunnel I got earlier this year was semi-destroyed in wind, although I managed to mend if after a fashion...

We get a lot of sun on our garden but also far too much wind.

Edited: 16/05/2011 at 12:07
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