May 2011


The weather lady surprised me today with some promising news for the week ahead. After a good 12+ hrs of rain yesterday afternoon and overnight, the wind has dropped and the outlook is good. As the week goes on the temp should rise to 20 and the wind remain calm.

My 1st batch of tomatoes that I planted end Jan, are earnestly outgrowing their 1ltr pots. I was hoping to get them out to the allotment a couple of weeks ago but the weather has been very stormy. Tonight is forecast to be 4C, so I might wait one more night and plant out tomorrow. The tomatoes have quite a few pale leaves and are generally looking a bit weak. I’m hoping they’re not pot bound. My second batch, sown in March, are looking good now after their early setbacks (https://cityandthemountains.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/tomato-troubles/), and shouldn’t be too far behind the 1st.

Could be an early start tomorrow to get the job done.

This week I managed to get around to harvesting some of the bigger broad beans. I picked 650g (incl pods), and they were very tasty. Also picked a few strawberries earlier in the week, only 25g worth, but made a nice sweet addition to my breakfast.

I wanted to plant out the first batch of tomatoes, which are bursting to get out of the polytunnel, but we have a bad forcast over the weekend. Last night the temp dropped to 3C, and this weekend we are due very strong northerly winds. I’ll have to wait till next week. I still managed to put up part of the poly fence in time for a good strength test this weekend.

Before

Following my long list of jobs I ventured down the allotment on Sunday for a proper days work. Spent 8hrs down there and got most of it done. I’ve taken a couple of overview shots to show the fruits of my labour. Doesn’t look that impressive but I did really work hard!!

  • Did a decent bit of weeding, digging over was I went. Concentrated on the area where I’m planning to plant out the tomatoes. Still a line of weeds to deal with this weekend.
  • Weeded the fiddly bits between carrots etc, quite delicate work, which should pay off in the long run.
  • Planted out – Brussels, cabbage, spring onions, beetroot, Kohlrabi, leeks, marigold, 2 giant pumpkins (put them in the broad bean bed).
  • Sowed out – Leeks, kohlrabi, sunflowers, coriander (all around the carrot beds).
  • Put some netting around the strawberries (not a very good job, mk 2 will be better.
  • Raked up potatoes.
  • Put fleecing over some newly sowed carrots (I noticed some crows on the scrounge).

After - Almost done.

After all the excitement at the allotment we managed to compose ourselves and started work on a job list.

Plant out: Gherkins, yin yang beans, Borlotti beans, sweetcorn, pumpkin, cabbage, leek, and marigolds.

Sow out: more peas (want a constant supply of them), parsnips, more carrots, radish, sweetcorn, beans.

Prepare beds for the first of the tomatoes; design and make the poly-fence that I will try to grow them against.

Rake-up potatoes. I need to get some advice on this first. I think I need to rake-up earth to cover the sprouting potatoes.

Make some new pages on the blog. I’m planning to show the finances and time spent, along side the quantities (prob weight) of the harvests. Also want to put a page for each plant to show the progress, it’s quite cool to see how far everything has come.

Pray for some rain. None forecast for the rest of the week. We’ve had clouds around the last few days but they gave next to nothing. I’m definitely now into treating the plants a bit mean, making them work for their water, but my nerves are being tested. I might have to sneak up with my watering cans and give it a good water!!

After 10 days we managed to get down to the allotment. With no rain, lots of sun, and lots of wind we thought the plot might be barren. When we pulled up in our newly welded van everything looked just like we had left it.  It was only after walking around that we started to see just how much had been going on in our absence.

The courgettes we planted under cover just before taking the van have gone nuts. One of them has a courgette coming on, complete with flower. This is my first time growing courgettes, as such I’m quite excited. Also the peas are now flowering and there are some pods developing nicely. I’m amazed at how quickly they develop after flowering. In just 10 days there was such a difference. The broad beans are the same, on first appearances they looked a bit worse for wear, but as we looked, more and more pods appeared. We were both very excited. It seems we needn’t have worried so much, everything seems to grow quite alright without us interfering too much, maybe a lesson learnt.

I’ve put a few quick snaps up, will try and take some more arty ones when we have a bit of time.

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