Saturday, 6 July 2013

Gardening in fast-forward mode, plus Happy Birthday blog.

Day 1

Some time later...
It seems a tad redundant writing this as the pics here are from almost a week ago, and things are really moving quickly now. Continued decent growing weather has seen things growing noticeably by the day, and has left us struggling manfully to keep up, to the extent that writing about what's happening down at the plot has come second to actually trying to find the time to get down there. Nonetheless, in the interest of posterity, here's what was happening on our allotment last Sunday.

Actually, before I get into that, I noticed that I've been doing this blog thing for just over a year now, so in spite of my reservations about attributing anniversaries to inanimate things like bits of amateurish writing on the internet: Happy Birthday Patchy Growth! To mark this momentous occasion, I thought I'd bung up a pic from our very first day on the plot next to one from Sunday, both taken from the same spot. See if you can tell which is which...

In a possibly long overdue move, we got our brassicas into the ground, under netting as above. We've got Romanesco Caulis (or Broccoli? I'm never sure) and Seaweed Kale going on. we had great success with the Romanescos last year, so are hoping for a repeat. We never got round to planting any Kale last year, so am looking forward to that. Having suffered lost brassicas through clubroot before, we've limed the patch, so hopefully that will suffice.

In another better-late-than-never manoeuvre, I got the tomato plants that didn't make it into the ground last week into growbags. We got 12 plants (I forget what type they are) from Jimmy, the tomato-guru of our allotments, plus 6 Black Cherry that we grew from seed ourselves. As I mentioned last time out, we very nearly knackered all these beyond redemption, not realising quite how much watering things need once they go into a polytunnel. Happily, they all look like they're going to manage to produce at least some toms, though no doubt far fewer than if we'd looked after the properly. You live and learn.

A tomato, in spite of our neglect
Elsewhere in the polytunnel, our three surviving cucumber plants have started producing tiny cucumbers, which is pretty bloody exciting as we never grew these before. I've no idea whether we're supposed to be giving these something to climb up. They seem happy enough in pots, I'll maybe bung them in growbags when we get some more.

A few strawberries have started ripening. The ones on the right are an Alpine type, which look like they should taste great, but actually don't have much flavour. The larger ones, which I think come from plants my Dad gave us ages ago, taste ok, but nothing really special. I think we may have to start again with some plants specifically selected for flavour next year.

Another plant's worth of Rocket first earlies provided more than enough for a meal for the two of us. These have done brilliantly, although it seems that as we go through our crop we're going to be sharing more an more of it with the slugs.

The majority of the time though was spent on trying to prevent the weeds really taking over patches. It really is amazing just how fast everything is tanking along. By the time I get round to writing about where we're up to this weekend who knows what madness will have happened?!


  1. Happy Birthday Patchy Growth

    Strawberries can very in taste according to the weather. Too much water and the taste is more bland. Ripened in sunshine and the taste improves.

    1. We've had no shortage of sun here lately, but the taste just isn't quite there. We'll see if the next week of fine weather makes any difference...

  2. Happy 1st Birthday !
    Glad your tomatoes survived, they are pretty resiliant. You should give the cucumber something to climb up as they grow up to the roof.Also on hot/warm days spray the leaves as they love humid conditions,and give them plenty of water at the roots.Great crop of spuds from one stalk!

    1. Thanks for the advice Cath, I'll get onto it.

  3. Happy Birthday Blog. Your photos say it all. It has all been worth it. Your hard work has been rewarded. I feel so happy for you that your Tomatoes survived as they did look ill. Take care. Marion

  4. It certainly looks different to when you first got it. I don't have any tomatoes growing yet but the plants are producing flowers!!

    1. Sure they won't be far away then. Doing the blog (as I'm sure you're aware!) is a great way of seeing where you've come from, plot-wise.


All comments gratefully received. Sorry about the word verification thing, but I've started getting bombed by spam.

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