Six on Saturday – June 30th

Back to the allotment this week for my Six on Saturday, with some successes and some utter failures!

  1. First up is a semi-success – I replanted a lot of my original strawberry plants, and unfortunately most haven’t survived. However, the new strawberry plants seem to be making up for it (Sweet Collossus and Just Add Cream have several runners).

    If only I could stop whatever’s eating a hole in the net getting in and pinching the strawberries before I can pick them!
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  2. Next we have an annual semi-disaster, which resolves itself by the time these autumn fruiting raspberries are meant to bear fruit…
    Yes, that’s raspberry beetle grubs yet again 
    But looking at the raspberry jungle, I’m hopeful that once we get past summer fruiting season, the autumn fruits will be grub-free!

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  3. Remember that mystery plant in my wild flower patch? I’m taking an educated guess that it’s some form of thistle!

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  4. The celery’s been planted out, and looks like it’ll grow well – maybe it’s a bit hot for that to grow too much this week

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  5. A complete disaster next, the Broad Beans had blackfly (Black Bean Aphid), Pea and Bean Weevil, Rust and Chocolate Spot… but that did give me a chance to write a blog post on it

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  6. And to finish on a success, this is just part of the blackberry bush.

    I think I can safely say it approves of the support we made for it this year, as there’s shed loads of fruit forming!

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Blooming Broad Beans….

We’ve grown Broad Beans on the allotment every year – I plant some seeds directly on the allotment in late October / early November, and the rest are sown in pots at home in late February, ready to be planted out in the spring.

Generally speaking, the second batch of beans gets caught with Black Bean Aphid (blackfly), whereas my first crop are fine. This year however, was a bit of a disaster…

According to my vegetable books, Broad Beans can suffer from four main problems:

    1.  Black Bean Aphid which suck the sap from the plant. Ants then gather to feed on the sugary residue, and also eat the larva of ladybirds, so there’s less predators for the aphids.

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    2. Pea and Bean Weevil munch notches around the outside of the leaves, making them look serrated.
      Signs of Pea and Bean Weevil – they chomp notches into the edges of the leaves. Plus an ant as a result of a Black Bean Aphid infestation.

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    3. Broad Bean Rust certainly lives up to its name – there’s no mistaking this on the plant! This is caused by fungus, and apparently isn’t as damaging as chocolate spot, but can cause the plant to be left with no leaves. Leaving more space between plants is said to reduce the chance of rust by increasing the airflow, as is avoiding damp and humid sites. These broad beans are on an exposed north / northeast facing sloping site so I’m surprised they were so badly affected. However, the spores can survive over winter, so this could easily be the result of a previous year’s damp weather.

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    4. Finally, we have Chocolate Spot, which is also caused by a fungus, but this is worse in cool damp conditions.
      The round browny circle on the leaf to the bottom left is Chocolate Spot. A combination of all four problems would appear to have seen off any chances of this broad bean plant producing edible beans

      Chocolate Spot not only can overwinter in the soil if infected plant matter was left to rot, but can also lurk in seeds – another good reason to not save seed from any plants which might have been affected!

     

  1. Overall we have four out of four, and indeed a couple of plants have all four problems themselves. By the time the plants are at this stage, there’s no real hope for them, so today we’ll be pulling up all the affected plants and binning them. We have picked some broad beans from the decent plants, but Mum described them as “small” and “stunted” so I need to look closely at every plant and check if it has a problem or not, before deciding if it’s allowed to stay!
  1. I have no idea what this is on the bean leaf, but after looking closely at the infestations on the other Broad Beans, I can’t imagine this is a positive!

    After clearing those Broad Beans, I’ll feed the ground to ensure there’s plenty of nutrients, and sow the Florence Fennel seeds I bought earlier in the year.

  1. Next year we’ll take a break from growing Broad Beans so I’ll be browsing through the seed catalogues to try and pick something more suitable to grow.

     

Six on Saturday – June 16th

Something a bit different for my Six on Saturday this week – we took a wander through a local Church’s ‘quiet garden’, so here’s six we spotted there (or at least there and on the walk back home!).

  1. First up we have some sort of Iris…. I really wish they had some plant labels on these!

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  2. Next up is a Rosa Glauca (thanks Mum for identifying that one!), which I wouldn’t have recognised as a rose at all….

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  3. One plant I can definitely identify is this Oriental Poppy, which was surprisingly hard to get a photo with accurate colours – the strong sunlight made it a bit bright for the camera!

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  4. Daisy something-or-other (yes that is the technical name, honest!)… and can anyone identify the insect sitting on it?

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  5. Ok, this one is cheating slightly as it was in an unofficial ‘wildflower area’ (in reality, the only wild flower in a grassy area the council haven’t bothered mowing). According to my Mum’s wildflower book, this is Fox and Cubs which is a pretty odd name, but quite a nice looking plant!

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  6. And another ‘cheat’ to finish – on the walk back from the garden, we went the scenic route and came across a lot of flying insects on the wildflowers in the grass verge.  
    I haven’t a clue what plant this is, other than it being an umbellifer (the flowers / stems look like an upside-down umbrella)…

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Six on Saturday – June 9th

The weather doesn’t seem to be able to decide if it’s going to be warm & sunny, or fresher and drizzle, but so far today it looks sunny – let’s hope it stays that way! Welcome to my  Six on Saturday!

  1. First up, one of my “unknown” plants on the allotment. Several years ago I scattered wild flower seed (labelled “British Wildflower Mix”) in this patch, and this year we have this plant growing…. it’s quite tall, but shorter than the Teasel.

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  2. Some of the second early potatoes are in flower – the first earlies are growing quite well considering their lack of chitting progress, but I have a feeling some of the second earlies might be ready first!

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  3. Moving on to the herb patch, the sage is flowering away – I was considering cutting the flowers off, but after seeing just how many bees were collecting pollen, the flowers have had a reprieve!

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  4. Just Add Cream is next – while those strawberries look small (in fact they’re smaller than the ones from my original plants), they’re said to be particularly tasty…. just need to wait a day or two for these to be ready & we’ll find out!

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  5. We’ve never had a particular success with growing peas before, but this year I planted some in a partly shaded area of the plot…
    …I think we can safely say the peas approved of the partial shade!
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  6. An unusual photo to finish, but a classic one from an afternoon on the plot.    
    One bag of rubbish ready to carry home…. if only the wheelbarrow wasn’t currently out of action, it would be a lot easier to get it back home!

Don’t forget to check out the Propagator’s Six on Saturday  and read through the comments section for more blogs to check out!

Six on Saturday – June 2nd

Where did May go?! The start of meteorological Summer and it’s grey & dreary out there…. I guess that’s about right for a British Summer’s day though. Welcome to my  Floral Six on Saturday!

  1. Another Morrison’s supermarket bargain buy, this Bromeliad was past its ‘sell-by’ date, but still has plenty of flowers to come by the looks of it.

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  2. I’ve bought lots of cacti over the years, most of which were sold as a Christmas Cactus. But looking at the leaves of most of my plants, and checking the RHS site and Wikipedia, it looks like these are actually Easter cacti (Hatiora gaertneri – although the cactus book I have lists it as Rhipsalidopsis) – the one solitary plant I have with pointy leaves and a different shaped flower (not currently in flower) is a Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera Truncata).

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  3. Moving out into a relative’s garden, the roses are looking great despite the heavy rain we had this week – the bees certainly are appreciating the pollen.

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  4. And while the insects are having fun on the plants, the local Blue Tits are having a lovely time eating the insects!

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  5. While I was taking photos, the relative looked over my shoulder and pointed out her favourite view in the garden, saying “I like the colours”. So here’s the “purpley pinky plant” with another rose in the background!
    who says you have to know the names of every plant?! ….although I reckon when she reads this blog post, she’ll immediately tell me what the plant is called

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  6. And last but by no means least, we have the resident Mole, who is currently looking after a trough of pansies. We did think maybe they were planted a little deep to be able to see (as the trough is raised up quite a bit), but they’ve grown tall enough to let them look over the sides.

 

Don’t forget to check out the Propagator’s Six on Saturday  and read through the comments section for more blogs to check out!