Allotment News

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Nicko. Hdau    pirate
23/08/2008 at 18:42
Or even better come late sept/oct lay manure over the top of the areas as a mulch, rain will wash nutrients into the soil over the winter time.
Edited: 23/08/2008 at 18:43
Blisters    pirate
24/08/2008 at 03:19
wifey's just bought tulips, so what's the veg equivalent in terms of things for spring?
24/08/2008 at 06:41

Cabbage and sprouts?  Personally I'd be happy to be presented with a bunch of sprouts, but I guess we're all different!

Got half a chicken run built

Blisters    pirate
24/08/2008 at 23:08
You going to keep half a chicken?
24/08/2008 at 23:32
Edited: 24/08/2008 at 23:33
Nicko. Hdau    pirate
25/08/2008 at 11:19
It doesn't look very well !!!
25/08/2008 at 11:24

It's a Norwegian Blue, that's why.  It's restin'.  Beautiful plumage.......

Nicko. Hdau    pirate
25/08/2008 at 11:39

25/08/2008 at 11:48

Pure class

Busy fixing up the chook house, the previous owner won't recognise it.  Also I may not need any more Oil of Olay as I'm completely covered in ronseal wood preservative, and now have a dark oak tan

29/08/2008 at 09:10

I must be officially the worst gardner ever.

52 tomato vines = one ripe tomato.

Masses of green that will not ripen.

Even my chillies are struggling over 100 plants plenty with flowers,one plant with 4 on that could be eaten.

20 ish pepper plants 1 plant with 3 peppers the size of ping pong balls.

29/08/2008 at 09:46

Nope - you're not the worst gardener ever, BRT!  Believe me.

I'm in exactly the same boat with my tomatoes - lovely healthy green plants, fed and watered regularly, pinched out base growth/side shoots, limited the number of flower trusses etc etc etc, lots of rock-hard green fruits but still only one red tom, and that's on the puniest plant!

I haven't even got any fruit at all on my pepper plants - just the beginings of flowers.  Think they'll be moved indoors into the spare room soon (sadly no room for a greenhouse in my garden)....

It's the weather - not enough warmth and not enough light.  Outdoor tomatoes and peppers etc are not the most reliable crop in the British climes.

I'm currently doing battle with caterpillars on the perpetual spinach patch - have only actually found one creature itself, but there are loads of tiny white eggs to scrape off, and endless holes and trails!  Still managing to get a fairly prolific amount of usable leaves, though.  Grows back bloody quickly, that stuff!

Carrots look to be doing well, courgettes are still pathetically small but absolutely delicious, and still a few broad beans left to pick - they've actually done really well considering it was only a short row of plants.  Just finishing off the last of our new potatoes - they were truly brilliant, tasty and a really high yield, so I'm definitely going to grow them again!

I'm contemplating what to sow/plant next.

Missed the boat with leeks, baby turnips and kale methinks, but have a fair variety of seeds for winter salad leaves and radishes which should yield pretty quickly, and spring onions to sow in September to be ready next spring.

29/08/2008 at 10:34

Morning LP.

Sorry to say it LP but you've made me feel a whole lot better.

All my peppers & chillies are in the polytunnel.

I've chickened out of planting all my now very healthy seedlings until,but I am going for it this weekend as I think I am winning my battle with the slugs,they love my beer traps.

 Leeks & cabbages are the only success story in my garden this year,but I am hoping the freshly dug in manure will pay dividends.

My spuds went weeks ago & although very nice the yeild was pathetic.

I am going to try sweet corn next year.

What do ya reckon,these last few vines in the tunnel stick with them a while longer or admit defeat & make more chutney?

29/08/2008 at 10:46

I would stick with 'em for a bit longer (sorry, no idea about how long exactly!) - it seems to happen now and then that September ends up being warmer and sunnier than August, so you might see some changes.

I'm now annoyed I actually planted most of my tom plants in the garden rather than keeping them in pots - I've got one plant in a pot that I'll probably move indoors with the peppers (they ripened up a treat when I did this in September last year), but I think I'm going to have to bend down the stems of the other plants and cover them with cloches. that's an idea.  Definitely want to be a bit more organised next year and grow some leeks - I love 'em!

Stick with it all, BRT - is this the first year you've had a go at growing veg?

It normally takes a while for a garden to establish itself and produce the yields you're after - I think I've just been very lucky because we have the most amazingly good topsoil - beautiful consistency, well-drained, extremely deep and full of worms.

That manure should help - I would leave it a while before planting anything though, unless your manure was already well-rotted.

29/08/2008 at 11:06

the manure was very well rotted

Be just my luck that I will stick them & they will all ripen while I am away sunning myself in a couple of weeks time.

Most of my toms were in very large post & then grow bags in side the tunnel

Any chance you can pop in and water the tunnel for 2 weeks while I am away???

Theory behind sweet corn being,

Tinned is vile

Plenty of plants in a small amount of space

And it seems to be a very hardy,low maintainace crop.

With you on the organisation!!

Next year will be better!

29/08/2008 at 11:23
BigRedToe wrote (see)

Any chance you can pop in and water the tunnel for 2 weeks while I am away???


Depends where you're based, BRT!  If you're in a certain small area of Sheffield (I don't drive) I'd be happy to!

What you could do is have bowls of water next to each plant with some kind of 'wick' leading into the soil/compost around the plant to seep water into it.

I think this generally only works when you're away for a few days, but might be worth a go - it's recommended in the Joy Larkcom book.

29/08/2008 at 11:28

So west wales is a bit beyond you ??

But you can guarantee that for 2 weeks from the Sept 24th it's going to scorching hot & your toms will be lovely,mine will be very red shriveled up sun dried toms by the time I get back

29/08/2008 at 11:34


Sun dried toms are lovely!  Should be a stock ingredient in every pantry

(er, if you have a 'pantry', that is - we just have cupboards in a kitchen).

Blisters    pirate
30/08/2008 at 00:14

Having done toms for several years we now have the secret sorted. That is the question of what to do with the variable harvest. Still no furkin idea why this year has been the carpiest on record, apart from the lack of sunlight, warmth, and excess of dampness.

Anyway, just keep persevering until the first threat of frosts. If you feel it necessary then treat them to the poly tents like it was early spring. Once the first overnight frost is due, harvest the lot of em, green or otherwise. Those with promise can live in the kitchen. Those that are embarrassing go into a spare drawer, lined with newspaper, and get checked weekly for signs of a) turning mouldy or b) turning red. OK they won't taste as good as a truly ripe tom picked off the vine whilst having a beer and BBQ, but you can still cook them into sauce.

Of course there's always the threat of green tomato chutney. We're half way through last year's and it's nicely mature now. It needs three months in the jar as a minimum.

Meanwhile, I'm eyeing up my chard. It's the first year of them for me. Do they suffer in the first frosts?

30/08/2008 at 01:54


Chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla), also known as Swiss Chard, Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach, Crab Beet and Mangold, is a vegetable. While the leaves are eaten, it is in the same species as the garden beetroot, which is grown primarily for its edible roots.

The word Swiss was used to distinguish chard from French spinach varieties by nineteenth century seed catalog publishers. The chard is very popular among Mediterranean cooks. The first varieties have been traced back to Sicily.

Chard can be harvested while the leaves are young and tender or after maturity when they are larger and have slightly tougher stems. Chard is extremely perishable.

Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow and red depending on the cultivar. It has a slightly bitter taste. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked or sauteed; the bitter flavor fades with cooking.

Cultivars of chard include green forms, such as 'Lucullus' and 'Fordhook Giant', as well as red-ribbed forms such as 'Ruby Chard', 'Rainbow Chard', and 'Rhubarb Chard'.

 Being that it says Chard is 'extremly perishable' I would suggest it doesn't like a frost!

<returns to lurking>

Edited: 30/08/2008 at 01:58
30/08/2008 at 12:54
Has anyone any idea how to pick apples from the top branches of the tree  prob about 15-20 foot up?
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