Two trips to the allotment today

I had a day off work today. It had been planned since last week, since the forecast for the rain had finished. Thursday promised to be a better day out of these days for this week. It didn’t disappoint! It was a hot sunny day.

The main aim was to clear up the allotment which had started to grow quite a lot of weeds. They had started to take over the beetroot patches, and at the far end of the plot where I had started to grow lavender plants the weeds and started to sprout up there also. It all needed to be thinned out.

I had a hat on and my sunglasses. Flask of tea. A plastic bag for the weeds. That was it I was ready to start. It took about two hours to clear both sides of the plot of bind weed and large Dandelion plants that started to sprouts up everywhere.

Once it was finished it was a lot clearer.

Tayberries, tub, carrots

The tayberry plant is amazing. There are hundreds growing and ripening. As I walk down by the side of the plot all I could see were red dots everywhere. But I’d forgotten to bring my plastic tub and so I couldn’t really collect any. That was the reason for the second visit in the afternoon.

The second visit I had helpers. We picked a tub full of tayberries and pulled out handful of carrots on that quick visit.

I’ve been a very successful day today.

Planting the chard and leeks

It’s Thursday, the 3rd of June 2021 and it’s 9:20 at night, but it’s still light outside.

I’ve just come out of the allotment where I did a bit of planting this evening. I put all the chard in, and I also put all of the leaks in as well. It was a beautiful evening, lots of people around doing digging and planting, it was very pleasant to be outside after spending all day at work.

Seedlings are in the raised bed now

I finished off the evening by breaking out the hosepipe and giving everything a really good soaking. The potatoes are all coming up really well, the beans are doing great also. As I was making my way back up the edge of the plot the bees were buzzing around the Tayberry plant. The whole plant was buzzing with bees all dotted across the flowers on the tayberry. The beetroot are all doing very well. There are quite a few weeds in between at the moment and that needs sorting out but the coming up extremely well.

The carrots! They are doing excellently, and I can see that they are already growing.

Elvis from last night

I did visit the allotments last night as well. Elvis was around at the time and I had some food in my car, so Elvis was treated to a nice bowl of cat nibbles. She was very pleased about that. She was here again this evening, but I didn’t have anything with me this time and I was busy planting, so she moved off after it became apparent she wasn’t going to get fed. Maybe next time.

Bank holiday Monday quick visit

Bank holiday Monday 31st of May 2021. Just a quick visit to trim the grass around the borders! Time is 9 o’clock at night and it only took about 15 minutes, into the plot round the plot out of the plot.

I think there’s not much else to say, I’ve not been for at least a week maybe a little bit longer.

Happy turnip planting

Everything seems to be getting on quite well. The tayberry is full of flowers! It looks as though there will be quite a lot of fruit this year. The beans are doing well and haven’t been eaten! The potatoes are all in rows and popping up nicely. But probably the best of all are the beetroot! They’re doing very well.

The carrots. Wow! They’re doing really well I didn’t expect them to do as well as they did. I should be on for a good crop unless there is a problem with carrot fly.

It’s a lovely evening and it’s been the hottest day of the year so far. The coronavirus is on the downslope (maybe). Everybody hope so. The new cases are rising again, but the deaths have been falling which means the vaccines are working. The new variant is now becoming the most dominant strain in the UK is, so with the hot weather over the bank holiday weekend we fully expect more to change over the coming few weeks

Morning trip 5 minute visit

Monday morning, bank holiday. Just to do some uncovering. Yesterday’s onion planting is looking ok, uncovering the carrots 🥕 is as easy as pulling off the green fleece. I dropped off some spare beetroot seedlings for new plot owners and left them in the communal area then I picked up trash and waste batteries that somebody had dumped. Finally, not having any food for Elvis 🐈 . Sorry again Elvis, I keep forgetting.

Carrots in pots; Elvis; onion sets; beetroot seedlings

Elvis is ok. There will be plenty of people around the allotment today, the main entrance is open to visitors and there will be a lot today because it’s a bank holiday.

Jobs done, time to leave. But I’ll be back tonight to cover up again when the temperate drops.

Planting all the beetroot at the semi lockdown allotments

It’s Easter Sunday, the 4th of April 2021 and another fantastic sunny day. I was in bed until late, but finally getting up and making an effort to come down to the plot. The Sun was shining and the temperature was rising. What was my excuse!?

I cleared the bottom end of the plot and got it ready for the beans and peas which I have at home waiting. They are not going in just yet because of the risk of frost over the next week, but there are other plants that I can put in that should be hard enough to whether any frost and cold temperatures going below freezing.

Beetroot patch and raised beds preparation

In particular I am thinking about the beetroot. Two lots of beetroot of gone in today. Pablo and Golden are the varieties added to the bottom end on my allotment. Pablo are the usual purple beetroot colour, and the golden ones are as you would imagine, golden in colour. They have both gone into a small patch at the bottom corner of my allotment. Probably the coldest area of my allotment actually, and with the frost coming over the next few days, definitely the coldest area! Let’s see how they fair.

The rest of the plot at the bottom end was prepared. The wooden frames are usually use for lettuce et cetera, usually protecting them with slug gel on the ward, I am going to use those as small raised beds for things like beans and peas. But they will not go in just yet. I’ve just prepared the ground.

I’ve done a lot today, and I’ve nearly spent six hours down at the plot getting the ground ready. I’ve taken my time, it’s been a lovely sunny day, I had a flask of tea, there were no people around and it was quite quiet. I got on with it. I tried to get a little helper to come down and feed the garden cat, but no luck! Even with no Internet at home, I didn’t seem to be any hope of bringing her down with some cat food for Elvis. Sorry Elvis! You’re going hungry for the second day on the run. I promise to remember something for you tomorrow!

Really bad weeds

Because I’ve not been to the allotment for many many weeks, the weeds have really taken over. Underneath all of these mats off plants are my beetroot. At least this was what I had to clear up before I could find them.

Cleaning them didn’t really take much time after all because I just pulled everything up.

A box of veg off to the food bank

Tonight I rushed from work straight to the allotment because I have not been there for many weeks. My first job was to clear the area that once contained tens of beetroot plants, but now contains weeds covering most of the area and underneath somewhere, several beetroot.

Digging them out was quite easy but the area will still need clearing of weeds properly at some other date.

Some of the beetroot are quite small, a couple have been split in a few places, but most of them were perfect. One or two of them were big and one in particular was huge, probably the size of my head!

I had brought three cardboard boxes, and I easily filled the two large ones with beetroot. I then moved on to the sweetcorn … I chopped down all the sweetcorn plants and pulled off the cobs. There is another job for me, I will need to get rid of the sweet corn storks in future. I filled another cardboard box with the sweetcorn harvest.

Finally, I moved on to the cucumbers. Probably I picked around 12 to 15 of them. Mostly they were fairly big, but some had their skins looking slightly drier than usual and paler in colour. I don’t expect they are any different to any of the other cucumbers, so they went on top of the pile also.

In the end, I had three large cardboard boxes all filled with sweetcorn, cucumber and beetroot. I haven’t even started on digging up the three lines of potatoes that I have left in. I didn’t have time or space for potatoes.

The box in the picture is going to the local food bank. The second box was left outside the back door of the main office, for the office staff in the morning. And the third box has come home with me.

It’s a good haul. A lot of work needs to be done to take out the potatoes and to clear out the weeds. Something to look forward to when I get the time.

Watering visit

Today is Thursday the 27th. The time is 8:30 in the evening. I have just finished a long one hour session at the allotment where I took my time, dawdled around, watered the allotment, and generally wasted time. It was awesome!

Everything is doing fine without me. Even the weeds. But the plants are doing great.

The beetroot are really coming along and growing really well. The potatoes are doing fantastically. They are beginning to flower. The tayberry plant is beginning to bud. As usual, the rhubarb and the horseradish have taken over.

On the second half of the plot probably the best in class is the state of the sweetcorn. They are incredible.

Out of everything that is growing right now sweetcorn are doing the best. Over the past few weeks they have really shot-up and thickened out.

I expect them to do very well by the end of the year.

Finally, my new border containing my organic lettuce is working a treat. There are no slugs inside the border. And I have not used any slug pellets. The cucumber plants I’ve started as well. Everything is going swimmingly.

Cleaning up the lettuce

I planned for the allotment the night before. Packed my allotment clothes in the boot of the car and at the end of the day I got changed at work before driving directly to the allotment. It was predicted to be a nice day.

So, it’s been a bit dry for the past few days because of the nice weather. Also, when I looked at the far end of the plot there were quite a few weeds starting to grow (like cress). It was time to start weeding — the first weeding of the year!

The first weeding of the year! That says a lot! It says that my black sheeting had worked miracles. Not only have I only dug the plot once, to plant the seedlings, but there has been minimal effort for upkeep as well.

The whole of this side of the plot had been really easy this year. I am very happy that the long term plans are finally reaping benefits. The borders are easy to cut and the upkeep of the plot is easier 😎😀

Out of all the lettuce, every one has grown perfectly. Out of about 70 beetroot, only one has died and another is stunted. I couldn’t be happier with this area.

Finally, just before I left tonight I had time to feed Elvis. The garden cat appeared next to my plot while I was weeding and meowed at me for food. I had some in my black compost bin, so Elvis was happy.

I also gave the whole plot a bit of a watering with the hose pipe. It was probably the best allotment visit of the year so far. Even though I just did the weeding, everything went perfectly!

Another half board

Partly done another board on the edge of the plot again tonight. As you can see, the left half of the plot has boards asking the edge and trellis … and is filled with plants like beetroot. The centre is rhubarb and horseradish with the compost bin. The right is still not done.

But. I’m getting there slowly. Very slowly.

It’s taking time but it will be worth it.

The other night’s beetroot are okay

In the light of day I went to take a closer look at the other night’s planting. Even though it had been another super hot day I could still see the ground was still wet (from the other night?). It could hardly be from then! A super hot day…? The ground still showing it was wet? No chance!

I can only assume that one of my neighbours had been across and watered my beetroot before I arrived in the evening.

Possibly it was my neighbour… I suspect, because I dropped off several of my spare beetroot seedlings on to her plot before I left the other night.

Late night planting on Easter Saturday

It is now 9 o’clock at night and I have just finished two hours at the allotment. It is pitch black. I put in the beetroot seedlings just before it went completely dark. This is something that I had to do this weekend, and this is the only time I have found so far to fit it in.

If you could see anything in a photo, then you would see three groups of three (nine rows) of seedlings totalling (maybe) something like 60 beetroot plants.

But it’s dark, so you can’t.

But that’s what you get if you spend all day at the beach! 🙂

Scorchio! Easter weekend!!

What a weekend. The weather is absolutely incredible this weekend. Good Friday, Easter weekend, and bank holiday Monday! All perfect weather, complete sunshine! I feel guilty, because instead of spending time down the allotment, probably I will end up doing day trips to the beach with the family instead.

That’s not a bag thing. Spending time with the family at the beach. But I should spend time planting as well.

This morning I did manage to check the seedlings in the back garden. And water the new lawn to make sure the turf is taking properly. The seedlings are all doing really well. The sunflowers are really coming on and are mostly 5cm tall already. The lettuce which I am growing mainly for the guinea pigs is doing really really well, and needs to be transplanted into the next set of pots already! And the huge number of beetroot plants are ready to go to the allotment along with the French beans (I need to remember to bring the bamboo poles). In the boot of my car is also three sacks of potatoes, various varieties, also sprouting and ready to be planted.

So, I really should make some time and use of the weather to make certain I have planted all of my potatoes and seedlings in the first half of the plot before the weekend is out.

At least, I should make it down to ensure Elvis is ok and do some watering.

[Later this evening, extra edit]

So, I did make it down to the allotment just before the sunset this evening. The time is about a 7:45 pm, and I managed about 45 minutes. I fed Elvis, I did the borders, filled in the turf, watered some of the plants. Then it went dark.

The borders are looking a lot better now. I have nearly finished half of the plot. All that remains is to raise the path on one side of the plot so it becomes easier to mow. Then half off the plot will be finished.

Just before I left the moon rose above the horizon. It was low, and bright pink. As I walked out of the gardens past the main house and the skirting the horizon. According to the astronomical almanac, there doesn’t seem to be anything special about this evening’s moon listed. However it looks very impressive.

Autumn Beauty seedlings!

They are out! Already! And I only planted them last week.

They have been sat on the windowsill in the kitchen all week, and it has been lovely and sunny and warm. The sun flowers have done excellently and I think each pot has produced two seedlings. More or less.

Today, I planted more. I split out the remainder of the beetroot into separate pots. Then I planted more lettuce. Also I’ve planted more sunflowers, autumn beauty, and a red variety (that I don’t remember the name of).

There was a small disaster with the French beans however. The propagator that I used did not have any holes in the bottom, and the lid leaked while it was outside. That meant the seedlings had been drenched for several days in standing water. And they are now half dead. However I have noticed that there are some new shoots growing on the seedlings today during my rescue attempt, so maybe all is not lost. I hope not. We will see.

I intend to plant as many things at the allotment as fast as possible. Before things get too big in the pots.

Last night we did a special trip to find and feed Elvis, however the cat was nowhere to be seen. Today we didn’t have time, so tomorrow we must go again.

The seedlings are started

Some of the seedlings were bought from the garden center over this weekend. Some were bought as seeds and are still waiting to germinate. But at least I’ve made a start now.

The lettuce, beetroot and French beans were all bought on Saturday afternoon. The sweetcorn and the Autumn Beauty (not seen here) have been started as seeds.

Lettuce for the Guinea pigs the rest are intended for us.