Six on Saturday – October 6th

The weather doesn’t seem to know if it should be late summer or early autumn – one minute it’s warm and sunny, the next it’s chilly & wet. But at least the wet means the allotment will benefit – I hope! Welcome to my Six on Saturday!

1. The newest raised bed might not have enough soil in it (the level is a good 2 or 3 inches down from the top), but the strawberry plants are thriving! I’ve got loads (and I mean loads) of runners from these too, so I’ll have to take some pots down to the allotment to get them rooted. They can then overwinter in the garden so I have some spares just in case of bad weather.

2.  I’m not convinced the celery will come to much this year – it’s still really short, and the leaves are starting to look yellow…. but considering this is a self-blanching variety, the stems are still too green to be ready to pick yet.

3. In contrast, the cucamelon plants in the garden and this one on the allotment have been a real success…. until the strong winds meant the allotment one blew over – the soil isn’t as deep as you might think, so the bamboo canes clearly weren’t in deep enough to hold it all upright! But I think that’s a plant to grow next year, for certain.

4. Onto Raspberry Jungle next, and that’s been a bit hit and miss this year. A lot of the leaves have darkened and browned, but I’ve cut back some of the most discoloured foliage and there’s quite a bit of new green growth showing through, so it’ll be interesting to see if that leads to more raspberries before the frosts.

5. Another one I’m not convinced will be fantastic, is the Florence Fennel…. which is ironic considering how the herb fennel seeds itself quite happily all across the site. We planted 10 seeds, and these are the only two plants which grew. 

Earth up (mound soil) round the bulbs as they start to swell, from mid-summer until mid autumn, until the bulb is mature and about 7-10cm (3-4in across) to blanch the bulbs and to exclude autumn frosts.

RHS website

If the bulbs are meant to swell from mid-summer, I think ours are a good few weeks (or months!) behind, so I really don’t think we’ll get anything from these.

6. Proof that my compost bins don’t get hot enough to kill off any weeds – this tomato plant wasn’t meant to be on the allotment (it self seeded in the compost), but we decided to leave it to see if the tomatoes ripen.

And a little bonus picture just to add some brightness to a grey wet day, we had enough Nasturtium flowers to pick a little posy to go with the mint we were bringing home… plus some lavender just for fun.

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 – August 25th

I don’t think the weather knows if it’s meant to still be summer, or if it’s autumn – at the moment it’s 14C and raining….
Anyhow, welcome to my Six on Saturday

  1. …. “I won’t bother taking the ball of twine to the allotment, there’s nothing to tie back”…

…next time, I’m going to take the twine with me to tie up that blackberry before I trip over it!

2. The strawberries are approving of the more seasonal weather – even “disaster land” has revived in places! I need to untangle a lot of the runners for Just add Cream and Snow White, and sort out the escapee that seems to have sneaked out through the net…

Top raised bed – newest strawberries and chives
“Disaster Land” which seems to be looking quite healthy in places!
Fancy Strawberries – I need to untangle all those runners…
Strawberry Escapee…

3. We’ve finally had some success with the radishes – admittedly not as many as we should have, given how they’re meant to be “easy to grow”. If only the Florence Fennel would show signs of growth now (that’s meant to be a line next to the radishes)…

Oops – think we should’ve picked the radish on the right a week ago at least!

4. I will admit I’ve been neglecting my flower patch – I sprinkled a few nasturtium seeds earlier in the year and it was watered in the hot weather, but other than that it’s been left to fend for itself. It seems to be doing well though, and the penstemon survived my brutal ‘pruning’ after the snow we had in March!

5. We know there have been badgers spotted in the allotment site for a while, but I’ve always been confused why the badgers didn’t seem interested in the ants (apparently ants are a badger’s favourite food…)…
Well wonder no more, they’ve dug into the ant hills on the allotment path, and stripped it of ants completely!

I’ll be digging some of that soil off and using it elsewhere on the plot – that’s nice and fine, instead of my clay-like soil in other parts of the plot!

6. In my hope to make the raspberries easier to pick, I started thinning some of the plants – they grow semi-wild, so I’ve been letting them grow as they want… only trouble is that doesn’t leave me a path through the middle to pick any!

Raspberry jungle
Raspberry jungle

I’ve got bare soil in places (yay!), but that’s given me an idea for next time I work on the allotment – I’m going to try hoeing the ground under the raspberries to see if I can clear the dead leaves and also loosen the soil that the grubs are in. If the badgers are hungry for ants, they might take a liking to those pesky grubs too!

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm raspberries (plus a few strawberries still)

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