Saturday, 7 June 2014

munch, munch, munch ... !!!

Well the next Allotment Open Day is fast approaching, but at this rate the slugs & snails will have eaten everything in sight !

It looks quite nice, until you get up close and see the damage !

The courgettes are a shadow of their former selves !

The Crown Prince and Queensland Blue are growing OK, despite losing a couple of leaves

Queensland Blue

Even the onions are being attacked :(

The dwarf french beans have started to flower

but they are under heavy attack !

The ChaCha squash have started to produce fruits, if we get a little sunshine then we might see some flowers !  The plants have grown quite a lot, so I've now got them trained into the trellis. Hopefully that will keep them safe from the all night buffet

Pea pods are starting to appear !  The plants seem to be escaping the slugs, as the broad beans next to them are bearing the brunt of the onslaught

Ughh !! I didn't see this web full of baby spiders until it was too late ... my skin is still crawling at the thought of them

I found the cat sat on the cabbages earlier ... as if we've not got enough to contend with, with slugs

I've had to replant the sweetcorn - I think the Magpies that are nesting in the tree above them have been pulling them out when looking for nesting material.  I failed to get my sweetcorn to germinate for the second year running, so these are ones that my folks bought from a local nursery

In the greenhouse, all 6 cucumbers are still alive, but they are being attacked by something - flea beetle perhaps ?  I can't see any creatures, but the evidence is there for all to see

the leaves are like paper lace

I'm afraid to say I've resorted to a spray to try and fix the problem

Basil seedlings ready to be transplanted

I've got hundreds of lettuce plantlets 

The rocket is doing well and the next batch has just germinated

The raised planters at the bottom of my garden are doing much better than the allotment, with little eveidence of slugs or snails and the plants are much bigger and healthier.
Box one has strawberries, beetroot, fennel, cosmos & raspberries

beetroot & fennel


Box two has carrots, onions, courgettes, fig & tayberry

The garden courgettes have leaves & flowers

The fig only has a couple of fruits on it this year, but I'm sure next year it will be better

The Tayberry is settling into it's corner

The third box has potatoes and a Globe Artichoke.  The artichoke really needs to be moved to the other side of the garden, but I've got a lot more digging to do first

I am very pleased with them even if I do say so myself - with a little more sunshine the allotment might catchup and put on a good show for the open day !

Monday, 19 May 2014

Heatwave !

The beans were going great guns in the greenhouse and with a turn in the weather resulting in a mini-heatwave I decided to plant them out this weekend

Here is the new bean bed - it looks rather good !  This is where the raspberries were last year - the raspberries just put on green growth and it was decided the soil was too rich for them, so I have my fingers crossed that the beans like it

This is Borlotto

Cobra climbing bean

Vick's runners

and these are supposedly 'dwarf' beans .. but they are bigger than the others !  well we'll see, so long as they grow beans I don't mind how tall they grow.

This is my sacrificial bean which has been growing for a couple of years ... the slugs & snails have stripped it - they love the new shoots.  It flowered last month, but there is no chance of any beans ... I'm leaving it in situ a bit longer as a sacrifice

The garlic & onions are doing pretty well, but I found two onions going to seed already, so clearly the hot dry spell is having an impact

The courgettes have taken a bit of a battering ... the day they were planted we had torrential and hurricane winds (well not quite).  Then the slugs & snails discovered them and ate almost all of their leaves which was a bit of a worry.  Now they are turning themselves around to face the sun which is very interesting to watch.  The plants have lots of tiny courgettes forming, so I don't think it will be long until they flower

These are two Cha Cha squash (back) and a Sweet Dumpling (front).  Not entirely convinced by the string & cane for them to grow up and may change it before they get any bigger

This is a Golden Hubbard.  I have two - they have been growing very vigorously. 

I still need to plant up the Queensland Blue & Crown Prince ... not sure where they will go yet ... got two and a bit beds left !

This is the comfrey that I cut down last week and put onto the compost heap

The compost heap is already pretty big

The beetroot seedlings have appeared

These are carrot seedlings, wonder if I'll avoid carrot fly this year.  One of the things I enjoy doing is brushing the foliage with my fingers, but it seems that this is actually what attracts the flies ... so this year I shall be leaving them alone to see if it makes a difference.

The broadies are in full flower.  Sadly the slugs have discovered them, so we'll see how they fare :/

The peas are also in full flower, although the set nearest to the Chives are not doing very well - too much shade I think

I've sown spinach & radishes in the main beds, where the cauliflowers were - that's because the caulis have been eaten !!

There are still 6 caulis ... but I'm not hopeful :/

The greenhouse is getting a bit emptier

but I think it is harbouring all sorts of horrors - looks like there is a leaf miner in the pepper

The lettuces are starting to fill out - I've planted some more in trays - I might go to the trouble of pricking them out

This rocket ... I can't decide whether to plant it outside or not.  The greenhouse is boiling, even with the door and the vents open

This is a sweet potato that started to grow whilst in my vegetable bowl - I was hoping it would produce slips but it's not done much at all since I started to look after it.  Perhaps I should have continued to ignore it

Only two melons left !  They are so small I don't think they are going to do anything, but it's still a bit early, so I'll let them be a little longer

Remember my cucumber that I dropped something on last week, well it seems that it might survive.  You can see the damage on the leaves. 

Still got 6 cucumbers.  I did notice though that two of them have some strange whitish round marks that I need to investigate.

Here are the chives - in full flower.  The look really pretty ... but I'm not sure whether I should have removed the flower heads or whether it ok to leave them on

The transplanted mint is very happy in its new home and I'm pleased to report that it has already adorned several jugs of Pimms !

I have four of these seedlings ... I saved them thinking they were parsley, but now I'm not so sure.  Even more so when I think back to last year and can't actually remember growing parsley !  Will give them a bit longer to be sure :)

It looks like this year will be a bumper year for fruit again - this is the kiwi fruit ... this might be the year !!

The Gooseberries have swelled and are getting big ... I really can't imagine why anyone would want to eat a gooseberry !

 The apple trees were dripping in blossom

and now the fruit has set - the trees are going to be bowed with weight

the strawberries are flowering & have started to set fruits

I learnt over the weekend that rhubarb needs to be watered frequently due to it's umbrella like leaves keeping the roots dry.  On reflection it is a wonder rhubarb survives on its own, let alone manages such a magnificent display.  I've recently discovered oven roasted rhubarb, which retains the colour & shape of the fruit

Vick's peaches look magnificent, the trees are dripping with fruit

These are my Rudbeker, I've manage to keep 11 alive !  I think this is the first year I've grown flowers - they are surprisingly difficult to grow

Make the most of this ... it might not survive for much longer - it is a green aster ... only 4 survived to be potted up, but 2 of those have been attacked by something that has eaten the stem.  I'm too nervous to plant them outside LOL

Stocks !  more flowers.  Now these I'm really nervous about as I suspect the slugs are camping at the greenhouse door waiting for them to go out into the big scary world !

The aqueligia's are in full flower

This is some sort of purple beared iris ?  it is very striking

The Snapdragons are so pretty

The cornflowers didn't flower for long, but they looked beautiful ... summer is on its way folks !