Six on Saturday – Feb 24th

Apologies for no Six on Saturday last week, but hopefully this week will make up for it!

  1.  The broad beans seeds are in…. obviously no signs of growth yet, but they’re all cosied up, so hopefully it won’t be long before they start growing.
  2. Strawberry Snow White (still not planted out from last year)… 
    I’m not sure if these got caught by a frost, or if they’re meant to all now look like they’re browned off, but I might have to raise these pots up a little before the cold weather they’re forecasting for next week.
  3. Strawberry runners (spares from the allotment last year)…
    In contrast to the Snow White strawberries, these pots are at ground level and appear to be growing strongly. If they’re not needed to fill any gaps in the raised beds on the allotment, they’ll be donated to a local ‘pop-up garden’.
  4. Another plant still waiting to head to the allotment is the Rosemary…

    I’m planning on digging up some old lavender plants in the allotment flower section, and planting this Rosemary in amongst them – the herb section is possibly a little too shaded for it to thrive.
  5. Ok, I’m kind of cheating with 5 and 6, seeing as they’re both potatoes! First up we have some of the Second Earlies (Maris Peer … or possibly Maris Piper), which have some really strong growth… 
  6. …although the First Earlies (Pentland Javelin I think, going on the labels we added to the egg cartons) don’t seem to be progressing quite as quickly

Six on Saturday – Feb 10th

Is it really a week since the lasts Six on Saturday? This week hasn’t been overly productive…. blame the weather and family having colds!

  1.  First up is my herb patch… ok so the fennel needs cutting down, and the sage could do with the old leaves being removed. But there was Lemon Balm in there at one point… somewhere. 
  2. Next up is a sorry looking patch which is starting to get taken over by grass again (oops!). I did have a redcurrant growing here, but three plants later, not one has survived. So I thought I’d ask if anyone had any suggestions of fruit I could grow here (ideally something which doesn’t need support, and isn’t as close to the ground as strawberries)
  3. A couple of years ago I scattered a wildflower seed mix amongst my flower bed. The packet was very helpfully labelled “wildflower mix” so I had no idea what would be likely to grow. One of the plants was a teasel which has self-seeded each year since then. We leave the stems over winter, as sometimes birds like to eat the seeds… I’ve never seen a bird on the allotment, but you never know!
  4.  The rhubarb never really gets any attention. It was there when I took over the plot, and apart from being split a couple of years ago, it literally just gets ignored until it’s time to pick it. I have tried to keep the stinging nettles under control though, as otherwise it’s a nasty ‘surprise’ if you catch your hand as you’re trying to pick the rhubarb.
  5. Ok, so I admit it – I don’t have a photo for this one. But it wasn’t going to be overly exciting anyway (that’s my reasoning and I’m sticking to it!). But spurred on by mentions of everyone else having their seeds already sown, there are now lots of black plastic pots filled with compost, just ready for the broad bean seeds to go in.
  6. And finally, this particular bit of ground is ready for the potatoes. Of course the potatoes aren’t ready to go in yet, but the gardening books say to put manure on the ground the previous autumn in preparation… and this year we actually were organised enough to achieve it!



Six on Saturday – Feb 2nd

Having been an allotment holder for over 9 years now, I thought it was about time I started blogging about it! I spotted Six on Saturday on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, and thought that would be a good place to start.

    1. Raspberry Patch

      Ok, it’s not really the season to show the raspberry patch off in its best light, but this is an honest view of it! It needs a load of weeding, more manure, and the trellis needs a little repair. These are autumn-fruiting raspberries (they actually grow semi-wild across the base of the allotment site) so the trellis is there to deter the young deer from sitting in amongst the raspberries, rather than for the plants to grow up!

    2. Woodwork isn’t my ‘thing’ but rather than buying another raised bed, I wanted to try and make my own this year. It was meant to have notches cut in the ends so it’d just slide together, but a mishap with the angle I was cutting it, meant that some of those notches grew a little too big. So at the moment, it’s waiting for a dry couple of days, then it’ll have some nails hammered in. Once that’s done, it’s just a case of getting more compost into it, then rigging up a net to try and keep the deer off the plants.
    3. Last year I planted some broad bean seeds which were covered with fleece to protect them from any cold weather we might get. There’s not a particularly high success rate so far, but I have 5 or 6 plants growing.
    4. Under yet more fleece, I also have some cabbage plants. The fleece over these isn’t all that great, and possibly has been eaten away by the deer again, so this week, that’ll need replacing.
    5. I’ve grown strawberry plants ever year, although since they’ve been planted in a raised bed there’s been a much better success rate. These particular ones are “Just Add Cream” which has pink flowers instead of the usual white, and was a new addition to my allotment last autumn. It’ll be interesting to see how they compare to the ‘regular’ strawberry plants in the adjacent raised bed.
    6. And finally, we have one mess of a tangled blackberry! This was planted two or three years ago, and has never had a support of any kind. To stop it just trailing all over the ground, this year I’m aiming on getting some kind of support rigged up for it, which will hopefully result in a more successful crop too.