Allotment Diary–Sunday 04 September 2016

Wow, what a great day down on the allotment!  After cycling to Blackpool and back I was wind buffeted and exhausted, but the allotment soon smoothed me out.

The first order of the day was clearing ground.  I started by clearing out a couple of rows of baby kale from one of my seed beds, I saved a couple of plants to bring home to our garden at home and saved a few of the leaves. 

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In this bed (which is netted) I decided to put in a couple of rows of carrots, which I’m still optimistically planting!

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Then I pulled the tops off the kale in the main bed, because it’s pushing through the mesh it’s so big.  I need to start seriously cropping this bed soon as it’s getting out of hand.  Debbi Jackson came for a look around and told me that she’s still buying kale regularly, I begged her to come onto the plot and pick some of mine, she’d be doing me a favour, she’s going to pick some beans too!

Next I pulled two rows of radish, they’ve been in the ground for a month and have grown wonderfully. 

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One of the things I need to prepare for as we head towards winter though is that all growth is going to be slowing down.  I’m used to radish growing every month, but from now on it will probably take two and soon three months.  So I need to start to get more food into the ground while it will still grow!  So in the place of the radish, went three rows of new radish!

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Some of my friends from just along the drive popped over and I was sad to hear that the husband had a heart attack just over a week ago and is on enforced rest for a few weeks.  His wife came onto the plot and stocked up on beans, radish and lettuce, which was my good deed for the day.  Sadly they have nothing cropping on their plot, only the ‘joy’ of weeding.

I did a little weeding myself, but there’s hardly anything to do now as I’ve conquered the weeds after 6 months of daily effort. 

I decided that next week is the time to transplant my strawberry runners from their pots at home to the two new beds that are nestled under the tress.  The tree that’s currently shading them is coming down soon, so they should get plenty of light.  Consistent with my focus on weed management I’m planting them through slits in weed stop fabric.

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Then, the maintenance all done it was time to get on with the joys of cropping and we are enjoying such abundance at the moment!  It gets boring to post all of the pictures but here’s a sample. 

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Radish and tomatoes.  I leave the leaves on the radish as they make a tart addition to my salad

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Lots of leaves for my salad tonight and another big box for Debbie too

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Here’s a tiny sample of the cooking veg, leeks, sprouts, french and runner beans.  The sprouts are very early, but are the result of cutting the tops off the sprouts a few weeks ago, I’m still not sure whether that was a good idea, time will tell.  Next year I’m building a new sprout frame that’s taller!

I’m stupidly proud of the cold frames, so far they are really brining on the veg.  This is two weeks growth!

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and one weeks growth, except for the peas at the front, which I’ve been eating for a week!

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The grass is growing pretty well too!  Debbi say’s she’s taking her’s up, but I think my little patch will provide a nice little quite space for sitting, working and for Robin to play.

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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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