Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Time for a pictoral update of the plots!

Morning Guys n Gals! Apologies for no blog update yesterday, with only a few days left of our hols we decided to push on and get as much done as we can, not only to try for a commended in the allotment judging, but also to make it easier for us to keep on top of things when we go back to work on Friday! We were at the allotment for 10am yesterday, and left at 830pm last night, if we were employers forcing our staff to work as hard and as long, then I'm sure we'd end up in trouble, but as its a labour of love, then its worth it (even tho my back and feet disagree! lol!)

Both plots have been (almost) fully weeded, the messy areas tidied up, all traces of untidyness removed and the few uncultivated areas are now planted up with late sowings of various crops!

So, we'll start with Plot 1, completely weeded, the broad beans and victorian purple podded peas have been tied round with string to try and keep them under a bit of control (and stop them falling onto the paths)

The early leeks have been weeded, as have the beans! The small areas between the beans and the paths (to the left) have now been planted with lettuce seeds, protected from the local rabbits with upturned empty hanging baskets, we hope that this may keep them safe from being nibbled!

The swede and turnips are looking great, mind you, there was a lot of weeds mixed in with them, so it took a bit of time to hand weed them, specially after the rain on Sunday night meant we were unable to hoe them!

The brassica beds have also been completely weeded, some of the cabbages are looking great, not ong now methinks! Lee also finished sorting the last bit of path near the polytunnel, so its been completely covered with weed control fabric and bark chippings, it looks great!

I spent a few hours in the greenhouses, weeding, tidying, tying in the side shoots, side shooting where needed, and although it was a hot, sweaty and dirty job (dont you just love pulling weeds up and getting showered in dry soil, especially when you are all sticky with sweat!), but they look much better for it! This greenhouse is the smaller one (8'x6') that was on Plot 1 when we took it over, we've 9 toms in here (we decided to limit the numbers of plants in the greenhouses this year in an attempt to reduce the chances of blight that we suffered with last year!)

Finally for Plot 1, the path to the right hand edge of the plot, where we moved the compost bins to this year, weeded, tidied and the straggly bits of trees/bushes that were coming out into the path area have all been cut back, making it much neater!

So, onto Plot2! Again, the whole plot has been weeded, the paths rebarked and the messy areas tidied. Lee tackled the overgrown area to the left of the apiary at the bottom, removing the weeds, relaying the path in front of it and covering that area with black plastic. Its where we go to observe the bees in Hives 1 and 2, (which are both in Apiary 1), but we're not sure what we are doing with it yet! Lee wants to keep it as a viewing area, so I've told him it will need properly leveling, covering and bark chippings laid, with perhaps a seat or two put there (and some steps to get up to it), but I'm not so sure it wouldnt be better to put some small fruit bushes on there, say some redcurrants and possibly Goji berries, but its a job for later in the year!

The bed in the middle here (covered with fleece) is our maincrop carrots, we have always had major problems with carrots on the plot, generally with carrot root fly attacking them, so in an attempt to try and keep them safe we've delayed planting the maincrops until after the cow parsley is out (local lore says its safe to plant carrots then as the carrot fly leave them alone, but we'll see) and covered them with fleece! I know its late to plant carrots, but we may get a crop, even if its smaller than it would otherwise be!

The onion and garlic beds have been weeded and the volunteer spuds removed! We got about 8lb of lovely new spuds from the volunteers in these beds, some of which we had for tea last night, wow, what flavour!

Just some of the volunteer new potatoes! Yummy, especially with some fresh peas and broad beans!

The garlic is looking great, almost ready to be harvested, but as we are in no rush for this bed we'll leave it until they are completely ready!

The sweetcorn and squash/pumpkin bed is looking great! Lee weeded it whilst I weeded the spuds, we have high hopes for a good harvest of sweetcorn this year!

Plot 2's greenhouse was also tidied, weeded and had the sideshoots tied in yesterday, another long hot job, but worth it! Theres lots of toms in here, and the first cucumbers have now set, hopefully we will be eating them soon!

The pond area just has a few bits of wood to be moved to tidy it up, the plants we put in a week or two ago are doing well!

The spud beds are looking good, the blight treatment seems to be working, though we have lost a couple of haulms, but I'm reapplying some more bordeaux solution today to help keep them safe!

The last thing we did yesterday was to give everything a really good watering, with the recent hot windy weather and lack of rain the ground is bone dry, so regular watering is essential to keep the plants healthy and ensure we get some decent crops!

So, its not looking too bad at all, hopefully we'll be able to keep on top of watering, weeding and harvesting once we go back to work on Friday!

So, still to do? The 2 broccolli beds at the front of Plot 2 still need weeding, there's a small bed besides the fartichokes that we are planting up with the homegrown sweet potato plantlets, tho we have to build another hothouse for them as they are really a tropical plant! There's a few small area that I'm going to plant some catch crops of salad in, a few pieces of wood in the compost bin at the front of Plot 2 to tidy up, the front of the compost bin on plot1 want the grass trimming, then its time to get some more harvests in, it looks like the first of the summer fruiting raspberries are just about ready, so I'll be taking some of them, plus more strawbs, more peas and beans, the last harvest of rhubarb and anything else that looks ready, possibly some turnip thinnings (they are at large marble size now)

Finally a couple of pictures, the first is from Pat and Colin's plot, in their 'nature reserve', we noticed the other night when we were BBQing a chinese lantern in the sky that didnt seem to be working quite right, what we didnt know was that it was coming down on the allotment!

It landed on the edge of thier pond, and set fire to the liner, damaging it for about 3'! Its a right mess and is going to be difficult to repair, and will leak if the water level gets any higher, but just goes to show that these chinese lanterns that have recently become popular arent actually as safe as you would think! I'm just glad it didnt land on someones shed, or in the apiary!

And finally, I've seen this insect around the plot a few times, it looks like 2 dead twigs, really effective camouflage, but I've no idea what it is, can anyone enlighten me?

Oh, and the beetle we saw and photographed last week has now been identified, its a Violet Ground Beetle, and eats slugs, so its a welcome visitor to the plot!

Hope your plots are looking good and that the harvests are going to be bumper ones!

More updates to follow soon, thanks for reading!


HappyPlotter said...

Hi Mrs Dobby, you keep refering to volunteer spuds, what are these? are these spuds that were missed due to being very small when you dug up last year and have since grown into a decent size and have now been found?

Anonymous said...

To me, as a non gardener, but professional eater of vegetables and all that goes with them, your plot looks perfect.

Everything looks organised, tidy, well kept, and healthy. Obviously Shayla is the pro' in these matters, but as a layman I would give you top marks for what you are doing.

Its pretty clear that a lot of effort is going into it and I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labours.


Hazel said...

I've just had a thought, Mrs D - our judges are very keen on LABELS for plots - I guess that yours might be too.

Maybe if you have spare lath offcuts or similar that you could paint them up & mark for each bed?

It's all looking very good, I must say!

Unknown said...

The insect is a T moth or plume moth.

The plot looks fantastic, I appreciate how much hard work you have done.

Steph said...

wow! with all that hard work you really have something pretty darn enviable. i am certainly wishing my plot was half as good as yours. it looks stunning and if they can't see that, they are blind!

gosh, never really thought much about those chinese lanterns but you're right. what a liability.

Shayla said...

My back hurts from just reading this, you must have been worn out by the time you got finished.

Shayla said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Happy Plotter, yes, thats exactly right, we call our extra unplanted crops (usually of spuds that come up from the bed they were planted in last year) 'volunteer' crops. cos they volunteered to grow and let us have an extra harvest, and boy, were they tasty too!

Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Alan, thanks for the kind words, your comments are appreciated, and my aching back says thankyou! Lol!

Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Hazel, good point, tho we do have a wooden offcut with the basic info of whats in each bed, backed up with a small plastic label with variety on it, so I'm hoping that they think we got that covered! Lol!

Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Capsid, thanks for the ID, and for the kind words, glad you liked the plot!

Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Steph, thanks for the comments, it was hard work, but a good way to spend our holidays, honest! Lol!

Mrs Dobby said...

Lol Shayla, my back, legs, arms, shulders, feet and almost everything was aching by the time we finished it! Been back again today, tho not until 2pm (as we had to wait in for a delivery), and finished off everything on our to do list, plus gave everything a really good watering, so its about as good as its ever been! Unfortunately it got too dark for me to take any piccies, so I'll take some tomorrow (after the dentists) and post an update then! Just hope the judges come soon, as weeds will soon start germinating with the watering I've done for the past 2 days!

Green Jeannie said...

I think your allotment is kinda like the Allotment from Harrods, it looks so good! Seriously, you have a wonderful plot here, I am really, really impressed.

I imagine you have bark chippings on the pathways, which is something I am looking into for next year.

I am late commenting so I hope the judging went ok!

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