Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Allotment update - May to July...

And so how time flies, it's now almost the end of July and things are moving along at a fair rate although it did take while for things to get going, so here's what's been going on since April.

Here's the plot as of the 7th of May -

Not too bad.
Things are starting to happen, including the usual weed growth, but this year we haven't been quite so ruthless with removing them, instead we've been letting them grow up a bit and then cutting them back and allowing the cuttings to rot down.

We noticed the soil isn't a good as as it could be so this year as well as cutting the weeds back and then digging it all in we are going to have a go with some green manure to help improve the soil, it's always good to try new things.

The relocated Rhubarb is doing okay in it's new spot - 

Well it hasn't died so that's good.

The strawberries are growing some flowers - 

You can't beat freshly picked strawberries.

The Asparagus is starting to grow as well, although it did bolt (as you will see) - 

It's taken a while to grow from seed.

Broad beans showing signs of life - 

A few haven't germinated.
Spuds are sprouting as well - 

Here's to hoping for some nice spuds.

So apart from general weeding and tidying up not much else happened in May, we did more digging over and we also added another water butt to the shed for extra water storage.

More water storage - 

It's a bit of a squeeze.

And that was May done with, here's how we left the plot - 

Ready for next time.

A few weeks later it was June and here's what greeted us - 

More weeds to deal with.

The main jobs this time were to contain the weeds (as usual) and then prepare the ground for some corn and squash plants, so out with the fork and rake and off to work we go.

Corn plants in - 

Looking a bit better now.

Squash plants in - 

Almost all the plot is planted up now.

And that's how we left the plot, we've planted two lots of corn, the main crop being Wilkinsons sweetcorn (Incredible F1) the second lot of corn is from seed we saved and then sowed directly into the ground as an experiment.

We've planted a mix of squashes, courgette (Black beauty), patty pan (Unwins patty pan mix), pumpkin (Johnsons Rocket f1), Wilkinsons pumpkin (Jack o lantern), Wilkinsons butternut squash (hawk f1), Johnsons world kitchen round courgette and various squashes from saved seeds.

So onto July, and as you can see things have taken off some what - 

oops.

So the main job is weeding, to be honest it wasn't actually that bad and didn't take us long to do and once that was done we had a look at what the plants were doing.

The spuds I threw into the compost were growing quite well, so we left them and will dig them out when they're ready.

Spuds in the compost - 

Extra veg is always good.

Raspberries growing - 

Summer raspberries.
It's good the raspberry plants on the plot are fruiting as this means we'll get raspberries for longer than usual, we have a load of autumn fruiting plants in the garden at home.

Rhubarb seems to like it's new spot - 

Ready for picking.

As I mentioned we had sown some saved sweetcorn seeds directly into the ground and they have grown well, just as well as the ones we started off in the green house in fact.

Small sweetcorn patch - 

Could do with weeding.

Here's the other patch of sweet corn (started off in the greenhouse) - 

It's about the same height as the corn sown directly.

Nice fresh strawberries for picking - 

Mice have left them alone this year.

Remember the Asparagus ? - 

It bolted.

As you can see the asparagus bolted, but we're okay with this as next year the crowns will be bigger and we'll get more of a crop, and plus we'll now have more seed with which to start growing more.

Onions doing well, for a change - 

There be onions here !
We have already been harvesting various things from the plot, we've had strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries, turnips, and both round and normal courgettes and there's still a lot of things to be harvested including the spuds, onions, garlic, shallots, chard, more turnips, more rhubarb and there are a load more squashes growing and various other things.

So despite the slow start to the year things are going well, some things failed to germinate, but we've been able to sow more, we did also lose a few squash plants, but again we started more off and those are now in the ground playing catch up so it's not too bad, and we've started off some more veg for over wintering in the greenhouse at home.

The plot as of 25th of July, less weeds and more veg - 

A productive plot.

So until next time intrepid growers, thanks for reading.


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