The Great Sweetcorn Challenge

Hardly great. But this is the haul off sweetcorn that came home with me. The other corn went to the office staff and the food bank. The remainder is in my fridge and will be turned into soup.

I’ve not decided exactly what the recipe will be yet and so I’ll have to look at the book shelf our do some research to make certain I don’t spoil it.

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.

A serious amount of weeding

Thursday 6th June 2019. I’ve managed around 3 hours down at the allotment. When I arrived at about 6:30pm I was the only person there. But that didn’t last long and many others turned up.

It is weeding night. I had already decided before I arrived. The weather was good. Very dry. The ground was hard and the weeds easy to remove as long as I got the dirt with the trowel to knock the solid soil off the root.

Also. While I was busy weeding, kneeling down with my small fork, who should come along looking for food? Elvis the garden cat.

Very, very happy to see me tonight. Elvis stayed with me for about 30 minutes. Wandering back and forth between the bowl of cat food and me. I’ve never seen the garden cat like this before. I think she was happy for the company (and the food).

It took around 3 hours to weed the sweetcorn and the French beans. Hands and knees all the way. But it was worth it 😎

Sweetcorn seedlings are doing okay

So, the sweetcorn is doing okay. A bit of watering will help after a little dry spell. So tonight I spent some time with the hose pipe spraying the allotment. But they are doing fine on their own for the majority of seedlings.

Out of all of the seedlings I put in, only one seems to have died. An unknown reason. They all seemed healthy when I put them in. But, the rest are thriving. So I don’t think there’s a huge reason why I need to keep an extra close eye on these plants.

The sweetcorn have now gone in

Tonight’s job was to take the sweetcorn seedlings down to the allotment and dig them into the plot. I’ve now moved onto the next half of the plot because the first half is full. I cleared a space and arranged a grid of bamboo poles before planting the seedlings.

I had grown 36 sweetcorn seedlings and all but 4 of them had grown okay. My grid of 5×7 has three missing poles. And this has turned out better because it makes it easier to get to the centre sweetcorn. I have left a little path into the square.

This half of the plot doesn’t have a proper border yet. I have the wood planks and some stakes but I thought it was more important to bring the sweetcorn seedlings from home rather than finish the edges.

I have left enough room for the next job: the borders again.

Apart from digging in the sweetcorn, there was a lot of wildlife this evening. The garden cat came calling, wanting some food which I keep in the compost bin. Elvis was fed and went away happy. There were two robins dotting around and waiting for me to dig up some grubs. And finally the large male pheasant made an appearance and let out an almighty “squark!” noise, before strutting off to bother another plot holder.

It was a nice evening and I spent two hours at the allotment this evening.

Plenty of sweetcorn seedlings nearly ready for planting

I have just over thirty sweetcorn seedlings ready for planting down at the main plot at the allotment. The high winds that we were battered with over the Friday and Saturday night caused several of the seedlings to be pushed over, but that was easily fixed with a firm hand and some more compost.

They are currently waiting for a larger space down at the plot. A clear area with enough space to accommodate up to 36 large plants. I have the second half of the plot to uncover yet, so they can go in there easily, but I also need to worry about the borders of this plot area. So I am currently thinking I should plant them in the centre and leave the edges covered until I have finished the border.

No matter. They still have a couple of weeks before they need to go in. Plenty of time to change my mind.

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.