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 – April 7th

What’s that strange glowing blob in the sky? And more to the point, why is the sky blue instead of that murky grey colour? It must mean the sunshine is out, so we could finally get some more work done on the allotment! Welcome to my  Six on Saturday!

 

  1.  Several weeks ago, I ordered a new raised bed – I thought the plastic corners would help make it more sturdy. After a couple of phone calls to chase the company, it finally arrived this week, so I was looking forward to getting it all set up on the allotment. There was a slight problem though… the plastic corners were all smashed to pieces.So we’ve now arranged to take this piece of rubbish back to the store for a refund, and I’m still needing to find a decent, sturdy metre-square raised bed! Anyone got any suggestions, given that my DIY skills are lacking at being able to make my own?
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  2. I finally got around to weeding the second strawberry raised bed yesterday. It looks like the March snow killed off a few of the strawberry plants in this bed as well as the main one (no photos until I get a replacement frame for that!), so either I will use some of the spare strawberry plants from the garden or I might actually be reckless and buy some fresh plants to fill the gaps. Anyone have a favourite variety they would recommend? (My original 9 plants came from a newspaper promotion and I haven’t a clue what variety they are!)
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    The strawberry plants on the right are the Just Add Cream ones, and I planted out four Snow White on the left of that raised bed yesterday – they look absolutely minuscule, but these are the biggest four so far!

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  3. According to my half-written allotment diary from last year, we were already picking rhubarb by this point. It’s way too small to pick right now, but it’s all growing really well so hopefully it won’t be long before Rhubarb Crumble season starts!

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  4. No photo of the main potato patch, but this is the overflow patch! I have read that you can put black polythene down on the soil surface to save the need for earthing up the potatoes, so if I can find some I might give that a go once these sprout through the soil.

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  5. The peas were looking a lot healthier than the spring onions, and I decided it was time they were planted out. The label on the pot just said “plant out as soon as possible” which was really informative! I’m hoping that the way I put the netting in a zigzag will mean it’s not too challenging to pick the peas (assuming they grow!).

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  6. And finally, I have no idea whether it was a deer, badger, the wind, or just the cabbages wanting to escape, but I think we need to work on replacing the fleece covers!

Here’s hoping for some more dry weather, so the plants can recover from all that cold and snow last month.  Don’t forget to check out the Propagator’s Six on Saturday and read through the comments section for more blogs to check out!