Thursday, 22 May 2014

Green Is The New Brown

Broad bean flowers
A flat-out stunner of a weekend on the plot, and no little progress made. Blue skies all day long on Saturday and - bonus! - nearly all of Sunday too, contradicting more gloomy forecasts. The allotment is, slowly, beginning to look a lot greener and a good deal less brown, as plants of all persuasions begin to put on a proper bit of growth. The ground is alive with the promise of a decent harvest to come.
I was working solo on Saturday, Kasia being down in London. I spent most of the day weeding and doing a bit of strimming, which gave me ample opportunity to check on everything's progress.

Spuds are really coming through strong now, including all the main croppers we planted back at the start of April. This plant is so well established that a spider has seen to start a web on it, a stirring endorsement.

The carrots, sown into our new raised bed in mid April have done a cracking job of germinating, and will need significantly thinned out before too long. Still haven't put mesh over them, although I've heard mixed reports about issues with root-fly on our allotments; some seem to suffer quite badly from it, some have no issues at all.

The spring-sown onions are all looking very robust...

While the autumn-sown ones are starting to put on a bit of girth at the base.

Spinach and peas are still looking good and have put on some steady growth since planting out.

The only real bum note is that our Turk's Turban squash plants have been thoroughly decked by the snails/slugs, despite quite liberal scatterings of pellets. Boo.

Sunday, and with Kasia back up from The Smoke, we put up the polytunnel and planted out our tomato and cucumber plants. The cucumbers have gone pretty dodgy-looking since I sprayed them with pyrethrin in a bid to ward off an early greenfly attack; I don't hold out much hope for them. Tomatoes - Roma and Moneymaker for us this year - have grown healthily enough in their pots and will with any luck take well to their new environs.

In with the toms.

All the fruit bushes and trees are in good nick; looks like we're in for a decent harvest of blackcurrants, and the apple tree also looks good. Only one real patch of blossom though which has temepered expectations of a bounty of apples in this, its first year.

In wildlife news, it seems that the only things eating seeds from our newly sited bird table are bloody pigeons, including this shameless specimen. Hopefully this at least means their guts are so full they'll be disinclined to munch on our crops when they appear.

Meanwhile, I caught this ladybird doing its best to scale mountainous clods of earth near the tomatoes. No idea if this is a native or "foreign" species.

The water system couldn't have been repaired at a better time, as I reckon everything appreciated the proper soaking that we were thus able to give it.

So, all looking pretty positive really. The brown patches will get fewer as the green intercedes, and it hopefully won't be too long before we're tucking into the first of this year's allotment-only dinners in earnest. Hoping for some more outside friendly weather this bank holiday weekend as we look to plant out brassicas, lettuces and perhaps the first of our courgettes.


  1. I notice those dratted weevils have had a go at restyling your broad beans too. Our carrots had germinated well until the slugs came along and hoovered up the seedlings. We cover ours straight after sowing and don't thin them at all. They either push one another aside or just cuddle up but we still get decent carrots.


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