The late, late May allotment latest

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

The allotment looks at it's best between May and early July. I really enjoy the sight of it looking lush with small, tidy and identifiable plants. The weeds, however, are at their most prolific and so any break from removing them and you know about it pretty quickly. We've taken holidays in May before and it takes so long to make up the time at the plot. Even recently I can tell I haven't been tending the ground as much as I want, with unwanted scoundrels popping up here there and everywhere and (alarmingly) trying to seed. You REALLY don't want seeds but when you mulch manure in the soil it's inevitable the animal has passed some along to you. Swings and roundabouts.

I took most of these pictures on Friday evening but already they are out of date as things have changed but I'll try to point out what's new. 
Above: brassicas out and under netting. We learned the hard way last year than any just left in the open will be annihilated by birds which will have wasted the weeks you spent tending in the greenhouse. (These are probably sprouts or cauliflower, I didn't check.
Below: The asparagus patch at the front has not provided much at all. It must try harder! Only one or two spears every few days! The strawberries have just started to fruit and are lovely, a good dollop of cream compliments them perfectly.

Above, the opposite view of the brassica patch and some more cauliflower. There is now some more onions either side of this.  Along the fenceline are gherkins.
Above, watering is needed for newly planted seedlings, it's so, so dry that many went straight into dust...
Below, illustrated the issue. These onion had to have troughs hoed out and plopped in as you cannot dig a small hole nor use a dibber. 

First courgette
Above, The raised beds C made this spring. Covered are the carrots. Will probably be a disaster as the mole ran riot through the bed plus it's probably too rich with manure which may cause splitting. Carrot fly hopefully won't get it.... I despair. Middle bay has spinach and more beetroot, next to that just visible are the beetroot then under the green net it's swede.
Below, 3 muck bays. We add a bit of topsoil to plant into but most of the roots will grow straight into muck and they seem ok with this, it's worked for years. Closest bay are courgettes, then I have some red kuri squash and butternut squash.

Above, different view of the raised beds.
Below, the other new raised bed with parsnips and radishes. 
Below, the onions are usually tricky. This year has been merciless again. The over-winter ones, half have bolted. This means the centre is too hard to eat, they won't grow more nor store, so you have to pick them, salvage what you can and use/freeze it. The new ones are going the same way. We just put more in to try to give us an actual crop to store but the spring planted ones are less suited to be being stored. There's always something!!!
Below, along the fenceline I've planted my tomatoes. I'm growing 1 of each variety in the greenhouse and the rest out here. They are mostly doing well, with fruit on already.

Above, the potato patch. The first earlies 'Swift' were planted 14th March and we've been using them for a couple of weeks. Nice enough but overcook far too easily. The main crops are a while away yet. As the late frosts meant we earthed them up to vast heights it might mean the moisture is trapped in the  soil more than might usually. 
Below, I hate runner beans so obviously there are loads. I think we have climbing bean and french bean too and lima bean but I haven't taken enough notice. Up the posh trellis will grow my 'sweet dumpling' squashes, nasturtiums and a red kuri squash plus there's a courgette lurking there too. Climbers never seem to appreciate what you provide for them to climb and instead try to head elsewhere. 

Under the white net are the peas. We never usually have much joy with these but they are so nice to eat we wanted to try again. Then there's a micellany of garlic from 2 years ago. In that empty space berween that and the strawberries there are now our 2 types of heritage sweetcorn. Apparently they won't be affected by cross pollination but I'll report back on those.
Below, the final other lot of beans near the shed. And the pot of horseradish.
Over on the fruit plot (first picture at the top) most of the fruit trees are empty due to late frosts. The gooseberries are nearing ripeness, currants are coming along, rhubarb is winding down, raspberries -  who knows and the hops is having a wild party.

Who knows what I've forgotten to mention but that's all for today.

Take care,

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