Saturday, September 05, 2009

2009 Summary

Over the past 4 years we have learnt so much about growing produce and how best to organise a huge 6 perch plot. Here's a run down on what we should and shouldn't do for 2010.

  • Don't plant too many beans. There is always too many.
  • Trim the grass regularly - it takes over plotting land within days.
  • Squashes need a LOT of room. More than you think.
  • Keep the greenhouse/shed organised. We always loose the scissors.
  • Don't try and dig the land after a long dry/warm spell. It's like digging rock! It needs some water retention to keep it crumbly.
  • Pinch out broad bean tips as soon as ants start making a huge appearance on them. Ants farm the blackfly for sugary secretions. Also spray with washing up liquid and water regularly. (They need babysitting)
  • Comfrey is a pain in the arse and grows within 2/3 weeks to a monster size. Plant it where it won't bother other produce. Handy for fertiliser but it STINKS!
  • Net any fruit in a cage. Birds will stamp on your plants and rip them to shreds if they can reach any of your fruit. Also net seedlings.
  • You will not win the war against bind weed/mares tail, couch grass without using chemicals. You can only control it organically to a degree.
  • Blight will come back the following year once you've had it. Your neighbours will probably have it too. Buy disease-resistant seeds early in the year before they run out in the shops and online.
  • Get a mattock - it's the most awesome tool I have come across.
  • Shop at Wilkos, Home Bargains and Lidl for tools/seeds/pots etc. The best value around! (10p for a pot saucer in Home Bargains)
  • Always buy stainless steel tools. You won't regret it. (Wilkos)
  • Grow salads and herbs at home in boxes or tubs. Far easier to look after.
  • Dig the land for planting in late summer for the following year. You can guarantee it will be too wet/cold to prepare a lot of beds before April. Cover all unused beds with weed control cloth/plastic over winter.
  •  Feed chillies/peppers/tomatoes. They need it.

What is 6 perches?

Perch: A linear or square rod, a linear measure, esp. for land, equal to 5 1/2 yards (approximately 5.029 m), (also square rod) a square measure, esp. for land, equal to 160th of an acre or 30 1/4 square yards (approximately 25.29 sq m)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Produce from 2009

Despite the blight we did get some produce from 2009 but as usual it was about 20 million beans and a handful of the tasty stuff. We did plant way too many squashes as well! Not a bad year all round.

Bramley Apples
Mini Squashes
Waxy yellow beans
Mange Tout
Green Beans

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Photos from August 2009

Our little plot

Beans and carrots along the side
Evidence of BBQ activity!
Runners in flower
The precarious looking beer area!
Mange Tout
Blight resistant tomato house...
or not... BLIGHT!!!
Cherry Tree (getting bigger every year)
This will be a mess again come 2010!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Conjoined Cherries

Unfortunately these cherries are not from the plot. Damn birds ate all of ours! These are bought ones but another example of conjoined fruit. Nature is strange.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rain, rain and more rain.

I could never ever forget for a second that I live in Wales. The rain reminds me every summer. The Met Office are rapidly eating their words over the BBQ summer they predicted and I'm worried about the onset of blight again. :(
Dave dug up a huge section of the back of the plot to try and 'dry out' the mares tail. That is probably going to be rather large puddlesome area now.

I'm sure my childhood summers were never this wet for days on end?!
Come on Sun - show us you still exist!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Love strawberry

Whilst eating some of our recent produce for lunch at work I came across a beautiful strawberry that was obviously some sort of twinned seed. It isn't two strawberries that have grown close together as they shared the same inners. No obvious divide. Nature can be very weird but inventive!
It was absolutely delicious too!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Strawberries, scarecrows, foxes...must be June!!

Mr Fox has been doing his rounds again but he has become more of an allotment regular recently. He tends to have a snooze in the greenhouse and potters around. Everyone knows him well now. I even got some photos of him. :) Dave built a scarecrow from a hoodie top, can of carling and some odd bits of wood. (Nicknamed 'Worzel Scummage!) We even used Coke bottle tops for his red eyes! The can has shells in it dangling to keep birds off. Dave is thinking of making a second 'lady' scarecrow to protect the crops at the back of the plot.

Mr Foxy

Mange Tout in the ground

Runners & Climbing French bean frames

Smelly comfrey fertiliser
Broad beans... flowering
The first of the strawberries

Sunday, May 31, 2009

BBQ Time!

BBQ time and we had one hell of a hot afternoon sunnying ourselves and enjoying being away from the mad park crowds down the road. New table came in handy!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Construction in May

Dave has made a wonderful table out of pallets! Much bigger than the last one and more sturdy. (I think he's proud of this one!) Grand job.