I seem to have settled into a new pattern at the allotment over the last month, because of my work load I haven’t had many days when I can spend large amounts of time up there but I am visiting most evenings after work and spending an hour or so there, and a few more on days that I have had off. I have also started keeping lots of notes, with plans and changes to plans all recorded.
I have enjoyed writing my notes, it is a nice thing to do in the evening after it is too late to be outside. I haven’t written them every night just when I have felt like it so they are not complete and things have changed here and there, I have lost seedlings, not sown things that I have planned to and seem to have had a very slow germination rate meaning that I have given up on some things and planted more of them only to have them all come up.
17/18 – broccoli
4/10 – Greyhound Cabbage
7/10 - Evesham (brussel sprout)
4/10 – Falstaff (brussel sprout)
0/5 – Red cabbage
Still to sow: 1 tray curly kale, 1 tray nero kale
24/18 – broccoli
2/5 – red cabbage
5/10 – Falstaff (brussel sprout)
9/10 – Evesham Special (brussel sprout)
No French or Runner beans fully up but showing plenty of signs of life. Labels wash blank
Seeds soaking – squash
Boston Winter Squash – largest seeds x5, Butternut Squash – small and ‘rough’ looking x7, Golden Crookneck – a little bigger than the Butternut seeds. Smoother and slightly yellowy.
This year was the first year I have ever tried growing parsnips and I had been really pleased with the results and seemed to have some nice healthy looking plants. I decided that they were ready to go out and planned digging a bed for them as a job for the weekend, only to find the whole tray of them all over the floor having been knocked over by something during the night. I haven’t managed to save any of them.
The first lot of squashes that I planted were very slow to come up, so slow that I gave up on them and planted the rest of the spares seeds I had kept for next year and any other types of squash seeds I found in my boxes and packages of seeds, of which I have many. All of the squash seed that I have bought this year has come from The Real Seed Company and this is the first year that I have bought seeds from them so I did fear that maybe they just weren’t going to come through. I was wrong, and they came through within a day or so of my sowing the others. Luckily squashes can be kept and don’t have to be eaten as soon as they are ready to harvest.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
I realised that I had left it far to late to sow any purple sprouting broccoli so I bought some plug plants from ebay, I chose an early variety as it would be nice to have some for Christmas. I ordered a variety called ’Rudolph’ which should be ready in November. I ordered ten plug plants and got twenty! They are all now in and have almost out grown their plastic bottle protectors.
I now have a strawberry bed. A friend gave me loads of her strawberry plants at the start of the month, and even though they were moved at the wrong time of year really they are doing ok. Rhys made a bed for them on the grassy area of the allotment, where I now have a table. They have suffered in the last week or so of heat and a lot have gone brown in spite of being watered over two gallons of water a day, and twice a day on the hotter days, but seem to be springing back now we have had a few days of rain.
Paths and grass
I have left the path ways on the plots as grass, this is to encourage a bit of an ecosystem to develope up there. My long term plan for this is to keep some meat rabbits up there and feed them on the path ways which of course will provide another kind of food (for the meat eaters) and greatly inprove the soil and maybe encourage good bugs etc. I haven’t yet managed to steal mothers rabbits for this and so the grass up there is having to be mowed, I am using the cuttings as a mulch and have counted three different kinds of grass, which I am very pleased with.