Sunday, 30 September 2012

at this rate there won't be anything to do in Spring !

The Douce Provence early peas that I planted up into drainpipes a couple of weeks ago are finally just poking through the soil. The drainpipes are suspended from the metal railings lining my garden wall, to try and keep them out of harms way. My biggest problem so far has been the incessant rain that the UK is currently enjoying. The drainpipes don't have any caps on the ends, so at least the rain is draining away. So far so good - hopefully they'll stay safe from the meeces ... actually I think my cats will see to that. They have turned into trained assassins every since we moved and there is now a weekly line up of little bodies :( I'm hoping word spreads and the meeces find somewhere safer to live soon.

Douce Provence early peas:

Sweet Peas:

This weekend I went home to Whitby to visit my folks and we had a trip out to Reighton Nursery in Humnanby, Scarborough. I finally got a bottle of liquid seaweed feed - quite a difficult thing to find in Sheffield ! I also got some plants for the garden: a lovely purple honeysuckle - looks like it's first year and a beautiful white clematis called 'Henri' (a nod to OH's stepdad whom we lost during my early allotment days), some beautiful purple 'Verbena', a lovely silver succulent and something called 'dancing butterflies', which is a very pretty and delicate little thing. Apparently it may need some protection over winter. I also got some onion sets - 25 Radar (white) and 25 Electric Red and they are now nestled into bed no. 1.

"Dancing Butterflies":

There is a bit of space left at the end of the bed for the Broad Beans, Bunyards Exhibition, that I sowed last week. No sign of them yet but hopefully not long :)

My globe artichokes are looking superb, despite the little leaf burrowing bug. They are filling out nicely.

My leeks are safely tucked up under their metal 'cages' and it appears that the culprit was most likely naughty kittie no. 3, as all leeks are now thriving ! He came to watch me plant my onion sets earlier, wonder if I'll need to protect those next ! Something has dug up and eaten some of the garlic - a squirrel maybe ?? they are now also under metal cage protection LOL courtesy of Vic :)

Naughty kittie no. 3 ... loving the allotments as suspected

So season prep is going pretty well so far ! Off to look at the seed sites now to see what else I can sow before winter :)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Autumn is here

It's very hard to dial down my impatience to get started, having missed a whole season and so the garlic that was planted just a couple of weeks ago is just starting to appear :)

My baby leeks are starting to thicken - although a few have disappeared ! I'm investigating the culprit ... there are three suspects:

1. the super fat pigeons
2. kittie no. 3
3. bloody slugs

I've narrowed it down to no. 2 & no. 3. I've developed a cunning plan to narrow it further and they are now encased in a chicken wire cage. Beat that kittie !

This weekend I've planted two enormous elephant garlic cloves. I've never grown them before and the chappie I bought them from has told me that they need a lot more feed than normal garlic. I paid £2 per clove (blimey) and was disappointed to realise that one of them was soft and mouldy on one side - won't have an opportunity to take it back to the food festival, so will have to cross my fingers instead. I meant to take a photo but forgot - the cloves were as big as the palm of my hand ! Need to order some seaweed feed now.

I've also got some globe artichokes on the go. I've potted them on and transferred them to the plot, where they appear to have some leaf mining insect :( Hopefully they'll 'grow out of it' - will have to google and see what natural remedies there are.

Last week I sowed some sweetpeas and today I've been busy setting off my 1st early peas !! I've never been this organised LOL. Yes it is a little early for my first early peas ;) but the packet says October and we are only a week away. Next weekend I'll be setting off my broadbeans :0

Vic's cabbages, which were battered by the slugs & caterpillars last month are starting to look a bit better as they are maturing

This is one of the raspberry patches. Vic has been told that the soil is too fertile, so the plants have just thrown up lots of green growth and no fruit. He's recommended that we dig them out, so that's one of my autumn jobs.

This is the jerusalem artichoke bed - it wasn't dug out last year, so we think it will have lots of very small roots. You might be wondering where the plant tops are - they're in the magnificent compost heap !

I think these must be Golden Delicious or a similar apple - the trees are miniature and there is so much fruit that it's falling off

Another apple tree - not sure of the variety. I think I'll have to start reading up on grease bands and the like

There are also three crab apple trees on the plot

 I've been on watering duties for Vic's tomatoes for the last 2 weeks. The leaves are looking a little mildewy, but the fruits are doing well

 He's got quite a few different varieties - none that I've grown before

plum tomatoes

 The ice plant is just colouring up

and the bees are sucking up the last of the summer nectar

The plot has lots of flowers

Vic's hops are looking very pretty - not sure if there will be enough for a brew tho !