Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Re: Allotment update.

On the left is the new herb bed, at the other end of the bed on the right is the flower bed.

I have planted x5 lavendar, bergamont, chives, oregano, several different varieties of thyme, borage, lemon balm, curry plant and at the back bronze fennel.

In the flower end I have transplanted foxgloves (Pam's choice), dahlia's, sunflowers, cottage garden annuals and butterfly mix seeds. It doesn't look much at the moment but I am hoping it will fill out and attract the bees and hooverflies. Whilst I was digging it a frog or toad jumped out at me and gave me a fright! So some wildlife it there already.

On the left are cabbages in their new cages.
I planted out greyhound and hispi varieties about a fortnight ago and they seem to be coming on well.

On the right is the first of the new years asparagus, I have managed to finally cut a few spears this year which will be cooked in butter with a sprinkling of black pepper - oh my mouth is watering already! They are also nice dipped in a soft boiled egg - free range of course. They take an age to grow but are worth the wait.

The chard and broad beans have started to put on some new growth. I have sown extra chard for the chickens.

The broad beans were a spring sowning, I have a few gaps in the row so will do another sowing this week.


These our new arrivals, we have rescued three ex-battery hens who have settled in remarkably well. Gertie, Florrie and Bea. And that is also the pecking order!

We are currently getting 2-3 good sized eggs per day, and the waste is taken to the allotment for the compost heap. They are a joy to keep and all have their own characters. My youngest daughter has really taken to them and is quite often found in the chicken run with them, they are very social animals.

I have been to the allotment a few times over the last few weeks and have manged to get back on track. Early potatoes have been planted into two beds, although I have forgotten which varieties again, I'm pretty sure one of them is charlotte but can't remember the other variety, some how the lbels disappeared when they were laid out to chit. Leeks have been planted in a nursery bed undercover of fleece. Red Onions have started to put on growth.

I have continued to sow peas over the last few weeks for planting out at the allotment as the mice nick directly sown seeds.Runner beans have been sown and are currently in the plastic greenhouse, I decided to to two varieties this year St. George and White Lady. The St.George are through and are growing well but the Whitelady are taking a while longer some are through but not nearly as good germination as St.George.

I have sown french beans and borlotto beans which have all germinated, did a second sowing last week. The greenhouse (glass) is looking quite full and I have to keep moving things about. Since I have planted out a few cabbages, spring onions, chard and spinach I have gained some room in the coldframe so need to move things on again. I have 30 tomatoes plants that I have been growing for an education day at work; which will be gone by 19th May so I will then gain alot more space back.

Cucumbers, melons pumpkin and squash have all been sown as has sweetcorn.

The sweetcorn in in the greenhouse along with the cucumbers and the squash and pumpkins are in the propogator. The melons came up within a few days and are growing on the kitchen window ledge waiting to be potted on. I am going to try these outside this year, maybe keep two back for in the greenhouse to see how they do. The varieties say they can go outside but how they do remains to be seen. All the tender vegetables won't be planted out for a few weeks yet, as our last frost date is early may although I prefer to use that time for hardening off and plant out mid may.

This is the patch of rhubarb which was planted out proper 2 years ago although the crowns were planted in big pots at home. It has done very well this year and I have had 2-3 cuttings of 4-5 stems so far. Because we had had a reletively dry spring it has been trying to flower so the flowers have been despatched to the compost heap.

On the left are the first of this years leek seedings which have been grown in pots at home and transplanted into a nursery bed at the allotment. On the right are last years. I will harvest these as they were attacked by leek miner but made a recovery just ended up very late. Everyone at the lottie had the same problem so this year I will ensure that they remain covered when planted out into their final positions.

On the left are some early sowings that I made of radish lettuce and beetroot. they look very close together but the radish will be harvested first then the lettuce so the beetroot can swell.

On the right are some lettuce that I planted out by the grapevine which is in the shade for part of the day. The lettuce has done ok but I must inspect the grapevine as these were 1 year old cuttings and I'm not sure if they have made it through our artic winter.

The grapevine at home is just sprouting its leaves so need to have a closer inspection before they are taken out.
Happy Gardening xx

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