Sunday, 19 May 2013

Grrr slugs & snails !!

Here are the challenges of gardening with a kittie in tow.  Everywhere I go, he follows me ... here he is checking out the melons.

Here is my first casualty of the season.  This is, or was, my Goldena courgette ... I planted it in the covered bed where dratted slugs and snails have been munching away quite happily.

Another casualty of the covered bed is my beetroot seedlings ... out of sight, out of mind :(

My two courgettes that are in the outside bed are faring well, no munching yet !!

Here is my first broadie ... very exciting !!

I've still not managed to get any pea sticks yet for my pea bed ... they will need netting too very soon otherwise the pigeon buffet will be well and truely open ...

Here are my squashes & spare courgettes.  I've left the courgettes outside, I hope it isn't too cold for them.  The squashes are now in the greenhouse during the night and out during the day.  I picked 12 snails off the squash plant pots when I took them out of the greenhouse :(  They went for a flying lesson :)

I planted out the cauliflowers yesterday.  I hope they are not too small.  I've heard that the bigger the space between them, the more time they spend growing foliage, so I've planted them quite tightly - there are 5 across the bed.  I've got three varieties in total:  All Year Round, Purple Violet Cauliflower:

and Romanesco Cauliflower

The nectarines are developing nicely ... these are just bigger than a thumb nail at the moment.  There are quite a lot developing on the tree ... not sure if I'm supposed to remove some or not. Vic is back soon, so for now I'll just keep watering them. The trees look really healthy

Here is a miniature bunches of grapes developing on one of the vines.  They are so small, its inconceivable to believe they'll develop into huge bunches dripping with grapes by the end of the season.

This spider was in Vic's greenhouse.  It was just about to wrap a wasp up in its silk, until I intervened.  I don't think it was very happy about its lost meal.

The salad greenhouse is progressing nicely, here is a selection of the salads:

I think this might be my first cucumber casualty ... I've been very careful not to get water on its neck, but its leaves have flopped and it is definitely looking droopy ... I don't usually have much luck with them, so I'm surprised that I still have 5, well maybe 4 now ... we'll see.

My french beans look lovely ... I'm having to resist the temptation to plant them out ... I know its too early and they are still too small.  My neighbour planted his out yesterday - they are already 1-2 feet high !

I've still got space for three tomatoes ... but no tomatoes yet haha.  My mum & dad have some for me and my next door neighbour said he is growing on his side shoots for me, so hopefully I'll be able to fill the space soon.

Here are the Strawberries in the raised bed .. lots of flowers !

The damson blossom disappeared during last weeks heavy rain & wind - I wonder whether it had chance to set during its brief appearance.  The pear is just holding on, but the apple trees are still in full bloom.  The apples are in a slightly more sheltered spot or are on dwarf stock.  Last year most of the fruit was left to fall to the ground and rotted ... I will have to encourage Vic to do something with them this year, they were too good to waste last year.

This is the Brambly apple, it's the biggest tree on the plot.  I love looking up into its branches dripping with pink against the blue sky

The allotment was buzzing with bees today, so nice to have them back

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Calling all Sheffield Allotment Tenants - meeting with council to discuss allotment rent increases: Monday 20 May @ 7pm

The Sheffield Allotment & Leisure Gardeners Federation have organised a meeting on Monday 20 May with Councillor Jack Scott & Chris Heeley (Head Of Countryside and the Environment) to discuss the rent rises for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

Date:    Monday 20 May 2013
Time:  7pm
Venue:  Quaker Meeting House
            10 St James' St  Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 2EW

The SALG would like to submit questions in advance to help the council prepare for the meeting, so it is as informative and covers as much ground as possible.  Questions can be submitted via the following emails:

The SALG would like the support of Sheffield Allotment holders at this meeting, so please do attend if you are able to.

For those of you who are unaware, here are the charges:

1st April 2013 - 31st March 2014
Plot Size       Rent       Water    Total
up to 200m²  £30         £20        £50
201 - 300m²  £42.50    £27.50   £70
over 301m²   £65         £35        £100

1st April 2014 - 31st March 2015
Plot Size          Rent     Water    Total
Up to 200m²    £52       £28       £80
201 - 300m²    £72        £40       £112
over 301m²     £112       £48       £160
Source:  Sheffield Council Website

Here is a link to the original rent increase proposals back in 2011

Thanks !
Michelle :)

Monday, 13 May 2013

please don't be frosty !!!

My main tomato plants are now in situ - I've got some baby Roma & Gardeners Delight in the greenhouse, but they are still tiny ... which is a good job as the squashes are still sheltering in the small greenhouse.  It's getting pretty crowded now as I've also planted up my pepper.

From the front is:  Chocolate Cherry, Gardeners Delight, Roma & Golden Sunrise.

The A Team have suffered snail damage !  I caught the dratted thing in the act, helping itself to lunch !!!!!!!!

Fortunately I have some spares - the C team maybe !!

I think this is the first time my beans have germinated at first go :)  These are my French Beans .. the Borlottos are still popping up:

Here's where the magic happens haha

These are my two courgettes that have been outside for a week or so.  One is lovely & green, but one is quite yellow ... I thought it might grow out of it, but now I'm not sure whether it's got a virus.  I'll give it some seaweed feed at the weekend and see if that picks it up.

Here are the peas ... what lovely wonky lines I've sowed !  I think this weekend I'll need to go and find some pea sticks.  I've noticed the pigeons circling already and licking their lips grrr !!

Broadbean's are still standing :)

The apple trees are dripping with blossom and their perfume is beautifully delicate.

Strawberries have started to flower

My potatoes have all made an appearance - I need to get more compost at the weekend so I can top up the bags - these are my King Edwards

Sue from Green Lane Allotments blog asked me whether my Kiwi was self-fertile and if not, whether it was male or female ... well I hadn't even thought about it. Whilst dithering and looking online for help I noticed that it appears to be forming flowering buds

... and then guess what, the plant name & care label are tied around the bottom of the plant.  Good news - it is self fertile, so I might get kiwis this season :) :)

I think these are blue corn flowers, they are just bursting into flower

This is Vic's Hop vine, it is very vigorous and seems a bit stingy when you brush it with your skin

Fergie & Kinder have been out and about checking things out.

Not much progress on my house - so I've started digging over my garden.  My basic plan will be a large circular path, likely in gravel with paving, surrounded by traditional country garden flowers in purple, blue, pink & whites.  Linked to the path will be a small circular lawn (I'm not a great grass lover) with some vegetable beds on either side

I'm going to start moving the plants from the upper garden to the lower garden - I think this is spearmint - the leaves are furry and it smells / tastes lovely

This looks like it should be a kind of vegetable or salad, but it might be a herb, or a flower ... basically I have no idea haha

another flower has appeared in the front garden - not sure what it is

The bluebells are blooming - I've got pink ones, pale blue and dark blue ones

The pond has newts !! so exciting - I saw my first one tonight.  OH is very jealous :)  Unfortunately the cats take it in turns to 'fish'  - they are obsessed with the pond contents ... hopefully they'll desist once Vic and his doggies are back from their hols.