Thursday, June 23, 2011

May & June on the plot

We've had a funny old spring so far. Heatwave in the week leading up to the Royal Wedding and then endless rain throughout most of May and June. It has not made planting easy at all.

The good news is that produce has been popping up although we have had some surprising failures. Such is allotment life! We had our usual lovely crop of strawberries but I made a mistake leaving them without netting and they have been nibbled by the birds. Raspberries are doing okay too. Just a few tasty ones popping up here and there. Not bad seeing as they were only transplanted at the end of last year.

The broad beans are doing very well. I have been spraying them with washing-up liquid frequently and it has helped them grow taller before pinching the tips out. Only one plant has blackly on it so far and I scrubbed it down before pinching (and squishing) all the growth and bugs out of the top. Messy but at least the plant has a chance of producing pods now. You have to be vigilant with broad beans and really look after them during flowering otherwise they get massacred by blackfly aphids. The ladybirds have also caught onto the aphids and are helping me out by munching on them too. Very handy natural predators.

Other successes are the potatoes, both varieties are doing well and the Apache have started flowering.
Our biggest disappointments have been the courgettes and runner beans which have been attacked by something being netted. The courgettes were fantastic under the cloches but once they had established, we took the covers off and something ate them! Really surprising as we usually do really well with courgettes. The runner beans have also had a very slow start. We have planted them twice and only half have come up. Again, I think something is having a nibble despite netting and slug pellets. Very strange. (rabbits???)

One of my allotment neighbours has kindly given me an assortment of climbing beans to plant as he has too many. They are a mix of french and berlotti I think? We shall see what happens. Weirdly - nothing has eaten these yet despite not being covered at all!

Just one more thing…
We have an extra recruit on the plot! My friend, Abby, has asked if she could help out on the allotment to learn about growing veggies. Not sure how much she will actually learn from us but she seems to be enjoying it so far! Together we have planted carrots, beetroot, spinach and the mange tout. It certainly makes a difference having a team on the plot working together.

(Apologies for the late posting - technical problems!)

Friend or Foe?

Broad beans flowering

Cabbages (looking a bit nibbled!)

Part of a donated bean selection (Thanks Paul!)


Dave's potatoes

On closer inspection - VERY nibbled cabbages

Something ate our courgette plant! :(

Spuds looking luscious and green

Spuds close to flowering soon

Raspberries! (delicious)

Some runner beans have made it (but not all)

Wonderful strawberry bounty

Dave's tomatoes

Dave's tomato construction


Unknown said...
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Nicole said...

I hope so! They need weeding but it hasn't stopped raining this week!