Allotment News

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21/08/2012 at 12:29

Just had the first red tomato yesterday - lots of green ones but whether we'll get enough sun to ripen them is another matter!

However out of fun I planted some pumpkin seeds (don't know what sort - container was for chiildren!), but I now have several plants that seem to be overtaking the veg plot! They have flowers on them but nothing else, and are obviously the trailing/creeping variety, but what do I do to keep them in check or do I leave them??? The Day of the Triffids springs to mind.........there's also a bit of grey white stuff- is this mildew do I do anything?

Made some lovely beetroot and chick pea hummus last week - my beetroot has been great this year - last year they were eaten overnight!

21/08/2012 at 14:36

I have beetroot envy

27/08/2012 at 22:56
Finally coming good - loads of peas, broad beans, spinach, the jerusalems look promising, the land cress has been fab, chard too, and the kale/cabbage/sprouts are going to be good. What success stories has anyone else had this "summer"?
28/08/2012 at 19:49

Been offered an allotment today, went straight up there to have a look....... nice gently sloping south facing plot, slightly overgrown with weeds and a clay soil, in a very rural location.

Very small 30sq metre plot, but very excited, will be down the council offices tomorrow to sign the tenancy agreement and pay the rent (£10.50 per year)

Might just have time to start digging before going on holiday, a few test spadefuls indicate it should be fairly easy going, mostly grass with few perennial weeds

Can almost taste those fresh veg next year



Edited: 28/08/2012 at 19:50
29/08/2012 at 02:33
All that and south facing, that's a result - enjoy the digging.

What does anyone else pay in council rent? Mine is 6 quid for a 1/4 plot.
29/08/2012 at 07:55

Cheers Poacher, I  will enjoy the digging, theres nothing like the satifaction of seeing a well turned over patch. Think I will double dig it, it will take a bit longer but I think its worth the effort. What size is a 1/4 plot ?

29/08/2012 at 18:04
I think that historically a whole plot was deemed to be about 250 square metres but in practice many people now have half or quarter plots. Mine seems to be about 15x4m i.e. 60 sq.m. Thats big enough for all the seasonal veg I want, but it would be nice to have more space for fruit bushes and spuds. Enjoy the double digging, time spent preparing and being ruthless with weeds is never wasted.
Blisters    pirate
31/08/2012 at 23:01

Allotment envy.
I've had my name down for a couple of years now, and people aren't dying fast enough. They've also changed to rules so that anyone from "over the motorway bridge" like me will always be leapfrogged in the queue, no matter how long they've been patient.

However, there is a result to brag about. Today we harvested our first courgette. Yup. I won't say that we have had 20 consecutive years of disasters, but we have tried on 2 or 3 occasions. Each time blossom end rot was the killer. This time we had one plant produce slug-slime fruits, so my wife pronounced it diseased and it was uprooted. I know that most of you drown under courgettes, but we finally grew one!

01/09/2012 at 20:00

In my experience with Courgette plants, the first one or two fruits often rot at the blossom end, but from then on, go forward and produce plenty of normal courgettes.

I keep a close eye on new plants, as soon as they show any sign of the young courgettes going bad, I pick them off.

It is quite a good idea to grow them on a mound so that the plants are well drained and the early fruits get plenty of air.

Nicko. Hdau    pirate
03/09/2012 at 18:17

I always grow watery based veg {Courgette, cucumber, melon etc} high for better drainage.Grow on a compost heap too.
Ref allotment size, they are normally classed by Pole. 10 poles is an average,1 pole = 3m x10m approx = 

03/09/2012 at 20:31

It goes from bad to worse.... the ants are munching their way through my apples! How do I stop the little blighters?  I thought 'something' was eating them but blamed either the squirrel or the birds... but no! Ants!!

Blisters    pirate
04/09/2012 at 00:42

Squishy, try using that grease band paper that you tie onto the trunk of the tree. It's designed to stop codling moth grubs climbing the trunk but will surely piss off most ants. Of course, if you have espalier trained plants on a wall you're pretty much stuffed.
There are however two kinds of ant deterrent. Ant powder, and a spray. Both contain pyrmethrin which kills all the ants/wasps/bees family, so use it carefully. It's also not the sort of stuff you want on your food.
I'll use the spray inside the house to stop the pests at floor level, on non absorbent surfaces for preference. The powder needs to be kept dry, but is effective. We use that under external doorways for example.

Blisters    pirate
04/09/2012 at 00:44

Er, yeah I came here to ask whether anyone used the trick mentioned in a gardening mag that arrived today. They rest their courgettes on ceramic tiles to prevent them getting cold and damp from the soil. Anyone tried this?

04/09/2012 at 11:23

I don't see that the ceramic tiles will stop the cold overnight as they will be at the same temp as the groiund, but they should warm up nicely in the sun during the day and help keep moisture levels down around the fruit and release the heat as it gets cooler.  never tried it though.

my courgettes are grown in tubs so the fruit never touches the ground

07/09/2012 at 22:12

Tiles would have cracked under the weight of the enormous marrow I found yesterday - it was a tiny courgette when I last looked . It's now making rum in a corner of the kitchen

Surprising success of the summer = florence some lovely bulbs with good foliage...never thought it would grow properly in the hills.

Anyway....winter crops - thinking about trying broad beans and peas as well as onions - anyone has success with these crops over winter?

Edited: 07/09/2012 at 22:14
09/09/2012 at 19:48

I've done OK with the greenhouse stuff, salad, toms & cuecumbers. Strawbs gave a reasonable picking too.

Carrots aren't great, but I'll do a load of soup & it won;t matter that they're all a daft shape or split.

Spud question though. Again. Dug up the first 2 plants & there's something really magical about the soil comming up with these globes of yumminess in there.. About half of them have little holes, a few mm in diameter that go into the spud. nothing seems to be in the bottom of them, they're just there. what might it be &  how do I stop it for next year?

02/10/2012 at 16:40

Not really allotment related, but I'll ask anyway.

Has anyone been out picking sloes ( for gin obv.) recently? I tried this afternoon at one of my favourite spots and found none at all - not one. I did find enough bullaces (similar but bigger) to make it worth making a brew.

I'm no later than I've been in recent years - was it jus a bad year?

02/10/2012 at 20:10
Not sure about sloes and bullaces but Initial sightings suggest a decent damson crop - they also make excellent gin/vodka...
A piece of orange peel in with the damsons adds stg too
06/05/2013 at 18:28

So, it's finally Spring and after being so far behind I think I've managed to catch up this weekend.

Beds are all cleared and topped up with soil improver/top soil. 

Spuds, strawberries, spinach, carrots, beetroot, onions, parsnip, shallots, turnips, radish and salad are in.  Runner beans, chillis, tarragon, courgettes, cucumbers are in seed trays in the greenhouse. 

Gooseberries are flowering, Raspberries are starting to grow, currants are flowering and blueberries plus rhubarb are finally out of the greenhouse.


06/05/2013 at 20:23

Happychap, did you have any time for a run this w/e!

 Rhubarb almost ready for its first picking.

Had to weed the strawberry plot last week, so don't expect any soon.

Lots of onions showing their heads above ground, no sign of the spuds tho.

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