Allotment Diary – Everything Is Growing and Looking Great – 21st June 2016

Down at www,OwningAnAllotment.com the battle between man and slug continues, though it is a bit tricky to know who is winning! The brassicas are looking chewed and some are completely decimated, but that may be down to wood pigeons rather than slugs or snails.

The weather has been interesting. After a burst of bright, sunny weather it has become warm and very damp, which of course the weeds and pests love, so the slugs have grown to giant proportions.

Everything is growing fantastically well and the rhubarb in particular is now much sweeter than it was a couple of weeks ago. One unexpected visitor to the plot was a bunch of mushrooms, in fact a lot of mushrooms! One bed became full of them which I am assuming has come in on the manure I dug in last year.

The square foot garden is looking great, the runner beans are growing well and the potatoes are doing well. One thing I have noticed is that the courgette and marrow plants are still very small. I am not sure if that is because of the weather, the fact I am further north than I have been for a long time or that I dug manure in the bed last year and it is a bit too rich for them. Though having checked out a few other plots they are a similar size so it may just be my latitude!

Unfortunately my garlic appears to have got rust which is somewhat annoying. I don’t think there is anything I can do but I am going to pull it all as I really don’t want it to spread any further.

I’ve finally got my squashes in – some butternut squash, jack o’lantern pumpkins, a petty pan squash and a giant pumpkin. I have built two small raised beds to plant the pumpkins in so that they are lifted up off an otherwise waterlogged ground. My aim is they will grow and smother the weeds at one end of the plot! I will publish full details of how to build the beds on my website very soon.

The carrots I transplanted are doing surprisingly well. I know people often struggle to transplant them but these are doing great so fingers crossed as I usually don’t have any luck with carrots at all.

Everything is growing well and I’m not planning some autumn crops so let’s see what happens there! How is it going down on your plot? Remember to follow me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/OwningAnAllotment for regular updates and discussions!

Allotment Diary – 25th May – Mares Tail, Square Foot Garden and Everything Is Growing!

Spring is my favourite time down at the allotment as we get over the cold and grey of winter and start with the long, light days. It’s fantastic and the plants are really appreciating it too!

The big issue down at the allotment is weeds. Because the area was left in such a bad condition for so long the soil is riddled with weed seeds and I’m actually shocked how fast the weeds are growing! I just need to keep at it with the hoe and get as many gone as I can. the trouble is when you plant seeds it can be hard to determine which is a seed germinating and which is a weed!

The major weed problem comes from Mares Tail. This is a horribly invasive weed out of prehistoric times that is literally indestructible. Tell anyone you have this weed and they will sigh and say you are stuck with it for life. I’m pulling it out and removing as much as I can but I know it will be a constant fight now.

In fact the weed problem is so bad that I have now built another compost heap in the corner of my plot as the other two were full!

I decided to replant the square foot garden too. Using the glass over the bed just made the soil grow algae so I’ve left it exposed this time. I will cover the bed soon as the seedlings come up though.

I have discovered through talking to my neighbouring plot owner that the big issue appears to be with wood pigeons. I think I may be getting myself a fake owl or two to scare them off but until then I am covering my seedlings with polytunnels, cloches or horticultural fleece in an attempt to protect them and it seems to be working. Slug and snail damage, so far, has been minimal so I think I’ve found the culprits!

The onions and garlic are doing fantastically as they are loving the wet then warm weather. The bulbs are swelling up nicely though they did start to flower. The flower heads have been removed so they can concentrate on the bulb instead.

Talking of flower heads, I’ve also removed the flower heads from the rhubarb which is, incidentally, delicious!

All the other plants are doing fantastically well, I’m really pleased with them and I have a lot more at home to plant out. I’ve still got two pots of leeks to put in the ground and I hadn’t realised just how many I had until I started planting them. I have planted some carrots in between the leeks as that will discourage carrot fly. I will do more in a later video about companion planting as I’ve learnt some interesting things about it!

Let me know how you are getting on with your plot and how well your plants are doing!