Allotment Diary–Tuesday 13 September 2016

I’ve been putting off turning the compost bins again, as a result they’ve sat too long at a high temperature and collapsed a bit.  Fortunately I’ve been accumulating compost in the other two bins and as I turned the two mature bins I consolidated in the quarter filled bins to create two nearly mature bins that are now filled to the brim.  I’m leaving them now to stand for a minimum of four months and hopefully by then there will be half a cubic meter of good compost to top the hot bed with.  The remainder will continue to compost for a total of 7 months, by which time I will be getting the beds ready for spring.

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Unfortunately I had to pull a row of beets that were infested with black fly a few weeks ago.  I sprayed them with an organic insecticide, but they’ve failed to thrive and aren’t worth keeping, the leaves aren’t ever going to be up to eating quality and the tubers are too small to eat.   In more bad news I noticed that the spinach stems in my primary bed were going black and slimy at the base, so some kind of fungus, while the leaves were fine.  This has been my favourite spinach crop of the summer, so I was disappointed, but in the end decided to pull them all up and crop all of the leaves, I have a secondary bed that’s ready and plenty more on the way, so not to worry.

In place of the spinach went Ford Hook Chard, which is apparently great for baby leaf winter greens.

fordhookchard

And Miner’s Lettuce, another great winter variety.

miners lettuce

I was pleased to see that the beets and carrots that were on each side of the spinach are both doing very nicely.

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I also pulled up my current radishes for this week and popped in a row of peas for salads, that’s the last of the peas.

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finally I did my cropping, I’m especially pleased with the sprouts

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Although I’ve noticed quite a lot of white, probably fungal, dust on the lower leaves of lots of the brassicas, no doubt yet more powdery mildew.  I’m preparing myself for having to pull out these plants soon, but I’m also pleased that I’ve diversified my crops into multiple different beds, with a small backup at home.

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I’m continuing to crop prolifically, huge numbers of beans, tomatoes, leafy greens of all kinds, radish, cucumber, kale, sprouts, apples, courgettes.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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