Allotment News

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18/07/2012 at 09:26

emptied the 1st bag of spuds (Swifts) yesterday to see what the crop was like - effing useless springs to mind.   hardly a couple of meals worth - very disappointing.  if the other 2 bags go the same way (mid croppers) then I am giving up on spuds in bags.   this will be the 3rd year I've grown spuds in bags and each year it's not been up to my expectations.  

on the upside - drowning in courgettes

18/07/2012 at 11:23

Pah, send some over.  My courgettes get no bigger than fingers then rot

18/07/2012 at 14:45

hi all, can I join please

not exactly allotment land here, just pots in the communal rear yard but worth a go

courgettes rotting, HP, have you tried hand pollinating them? I've only got 2 surviving courgettes, one is nearly harvestable size they are the two I hand pollinated after doing some research on the internet on why they might be rotting.

anyway other stuff, tomatoes starting to appear, will be interesting to see how they go, loads of lettuce, carrots were a disaster, pots in a bag, but late ones so got to wait until around september but not holding out too much hope. spinach has been a success, after managing to identify what it was

have got one of those plastic greenhouses, size of a shed, as part of the whole new to gardening and learning experience ... the sides flap against the shelves and knock all the seedlings onto the floor, resulting on me not knowing what anything is. problem solved by putting up some metalwork along the front of the shelves to stop stuff being knocked down.

slugs and snails are a bloody nuisance, I stamp on any i find.

18/07/2012 at 14:55

could I suggest other reasons for courgettes rotting:

- not enough air around the plants, or too close to the ground, so they hold moisture in like a microclimate.  mine are in bags with a fair bit of space around them and the fruit don't touch the ground.  botrytis loves damp conditions!

- leaving flowers on the fruits.  the flowers rot quickly when wet and this transfers quickly to the courgette.  just pick the flowers off as soon as they start wilting but be careful not to damage the end.

I've never hand pollinated courgettes and never suffered that much rot - most of which you can blame on the shit weather so far.

18/07/2012 at 14:56

thanks FB

01/08/2012 at 21:28

having mixed success with the courgettes, have had two really healthy courgettes, the rest have rotted when small and one rotted when it was almost big enough to harvest. but have loads more growing and a few look promising

quick question, does anyone eat the brussel sprout leaves? have got loads and loads of very healthy looking leaves at the top of the plants, have googled and not a huge amount of info, am tempted to just go for it, just don't particularly want to die

01/08/2012 at 21:34
Brussels sprout tops are lovely Loon, go for it.

Courgettes still rotting here too :0(.

But, the runner beans are finally doing something and we've already had a healthy crop of blackberries.
01/08/2012 at 21:39

thanks happychap, I shall give them a go

loads of tomatoes here but not starting to ripen yet, all looking good though

cucumber babies are starting to vaguely resemble cucumbers pretty limited stuff planted as it's my first attempt and it's all in pots as I dont' have a garden just a paved over communal area. Have gone to the council though and am applying for a transfer on medical grounds (terrible area and suffering depression, stress etc etc etc, long list of bad things) and it's not helping. so hoping to get a place (eventually) with my own private garden so I can enjoy it in peace.  neighbour had some of the cabbage and lettuce today it's great fun

03/08/2012 at 10:23

Hi all, I have a numpty question about my tomatoes. I have about a dozen green ones at the moment but the leaves around them are turning brown. Does anyone know if this a good thing? or any advice about how to remedy it?

03/08/2012 at 10:37

How are everyone's fruit trees doing?  We'll be lucky if we get enough plums to make a crumble!  No pears, apples or cherries.  I reckon the blossom was destroyed by the rain and wind. 

03/08/2012 at 11:03
So another newbie numpty question - is there anything I can plant now to crop this year?
03/08/2012 at 12:50

numpty question, my garden is currently overrun with raspberries, I didn't expect 6ft of growth in the first year given the last lot I grew before I moved sprouted a leaf and then died.  What do I do in terms of this pruning lark, they are currently fruiting at the moment, when/what/how much pruning do I do?

04/08/2012 at 15:09

If they're summer fruiting (and I'm going to guess they are if they're fruiting now) wait until after they've finished fruiting, then cut off at the ground any stem that had fruit on it this year. You should have stems growing now that don't have fruit - leave them, they're next year's crop.

You may want to tie them into a wire frame. You can also trim them in height as well, but I suspect that's mainly to stop them growing out the top of the cage, and make them easier to pick than because of any furiting reasons. 

They can get out of control as they grow by runners under the ground. to keep them in an area, you just need to lift the stems growing too far out & cut the runner. (note, best done when the stems are small!)

04/08/2012 at 20:45

Thank you very much!

12/08/2012 at 09:08

Agree with Happychap - Brussel tops are lovely!

I planted Jersey Royals in tubs this year and they've done really well - did some maincrop in the plot of land (ok a slight exaggeration a bit of lawn dug up!) and am waiting patiently for them to grow - they've flowered etc not sure how long to wait now though?

Also did beetroot for the first time - done really well! Made some beetroot houmus which was lovely - any other ideas for what to do with it - raw and grated in salads is also lovely.

Need some sunshine though.........

12/08/2012 at 22:50
Lovely beetroot; good in tarte tatin (don't use too much sugar), pickle, juiced, good in chutney too.You can never have too much beet in your life,
Edited: 13/08/2012 at 09:04
17/08/2012 at 18:20

A rubbish year for me... spuds totally rubbish, leeks non existent, beetroot just didn't grow at all, fruit trees have been rubbish, got a few apples but nothing else, onions and garlic are okay, must get all the onions in this weekend, runners are going okay so far but were very slow to start, finally getting some flowers on now. So frustrating when you've spent the time and effort planing stuff  Will give it all a dig over and get rid of the weeds and manure the lot and leave it to settle over the winter..... and maybe try again in the spring!

Blisters    pirate
17/08/2012 at 23:30

Hi there diggers.

Mixed fortunes here.
Spuds in bags were lovely. We grew Vivaldi and Pentland Javelin, harvested as new potatoes when the stems started to die back. Those (few) in the soggy ground were less happy.
Apples look fantastic. They are James Grieve on a dwarf tree.
Strawberries were a wet disaster.
Tomatoes (outside in bags) are late and just starting to crop on the earliest cherry tom: Sungold. It's going to be a chutney year, or compost.
Our crab apple has totally failed for the first year ever in 21 years.

At least some of the flowers look nice, like the dahlias.

18/08/2012 at 08:01
Massive sweet peas, parsnips are looking good. Soft fruit not too bad apart from the Strawberries which were a soggy rotting disaster. The runner beans are starting to come good but courgettes have been rubbish.

Really having a fight to get the tomatoes off the plants before the slugs get them. Horrid things. Great crop of onions brewing. Kale superb. Beet root none existent. Turnips and swede appear to have carrot root fly? Is that possible?

Cucumbers have been fabulous :0)
21/08/2012 at 09:29

my toms have succumbed to some disease so I am cutting bits off at a rapid rate.  I thought it might be blight but I'm not certain as I've managed to keep a lot in check and usually when blight strikes it's game over.  I think it might be some sort of bacterial canker instead.  the crop is ripening so I'm hoping I can keep the toms going to see most through to ripeness, but otherwise there'll be a lot of green tomato chutney...

courgettes have been OK but coming to an end, outdoor cucumbers a bit of a mixed bag.  the big winner this year has been climbing french beans - drowning in them!  and my salad leaves have now gone and it's too hot to reseed so I'll have to wait until it's a lot cooler before planting more.

my chillies have been disappointing - the cold wet weather hasn't allowed them to develop properly so yet again, a poor crop this year.

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