Allotment News

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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.

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

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