Sunday 29 August 2021

Harvesting Corn Cucumbers & Spuds


The tomatoes in the Greenhouse are holding their own and as it's not been too hot the Quadgrows Smart Reservoir still had water in the bottom. I filled up the 4 Quadgrows and then recharged the Water Butt and filled them all up to the limit, and then recharged the Water Butt again ready for next weekend. There are a number of red tomatoes developing in the greenhouse, and it looks like a bit of a tomato harvest will be possible next weekend. 

The Crimson Plum tomato plant out on the plot is still holding off the blight at the moment and I'm hoping for some red tomatoes off that next week as well. 

Marshalls Tyson F1 Sweetcorn harvested and husk cleaned back to the minimum for transporting home. The germination rates for this variety were poor, the quality of the final cobs was reasonable but not as good as the Marshalls Alliance variety I grow in 2019. 

In their defence the weather this year has been very strange and everyone has noticed it's had an effect on the growing season with many varieties of vegetables under performing or bolting.  

Remainder of the husk removed and processed ready for the freezer. The trug load of husk and trimmings were taken back to the allotment and was distributed into two Daleks and topped off with comfrey and cardboard late afternoon. 

Potatoes in Buckets harvested, first two square flower buckets worth of Mr Fothergill's Acoustic Second Early spuds 

First Bucket weighed in at 1025g

Second Bucket of Acoustic First Early spuds weighed in at 795g

One 30 Litre Bucket load of Dobies Stemster main crop potatoes yielded a harvest of 1545g We had some of these with our Sunday Road and they are a nice spud, which is good as I have a few more bucket loads to harvest yet. It will be interesting to see what yields I get in the other buckets.  

The spent compost and coir mix from the spuds in the buckets was added to the bed in front of the plot 1 greenhouse, leveled and then covered with it's winter weed membrane blanket.  

Pebble pools dropped off at the allotment. Installing them will be a Winter infrastructure task ready for next years growing season.  

Thursday 26 August 2021

Freebie - Pebble Pools


Good old Freecycle, the photo on the left is the one used to advertise the Pebble Pool Fountain Kits on Freecycle. The other photos are off the internet showing how they work. I was lucky enough to be the first person to request these and went to pick them up this afternoon.

I'm going to spoil my Toads, Frogs & Bees on the allotment by installing a pebble pool fountain for the bees on the plot. I already have one solar panel pump and I'm thinking about a solar floating pump for the other, but have already been warned the foxes have been known to play and take floating fountains, plus froglets can be sucked up the water inlet hole!

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Waltons Amazing Allotmenteers'

Considering taking on an allotment? These amazing allotment bloggers will help you on your journey to homegrown fruit and veg. With practical tips, sage advice and serving suggestions for your bumper harvests, these are the blogs and YouTube channels to bookmark as you aim for your own slice of ‘the good life’.

I fell very honoured to have been included in the Waltons list of Amazing allotmenteers you have to follow! with bloggers & vloggers that includes:-  

Claire's Allotment  
Muddy Bootz 
Lovely Greens
Green Lane Allotments
Steve's Seaside Life
Flightie's Plot
Carrot Tops Allotments 
Agents Of Field 
Backyard Larder 
Erica's Little Welsh Garden 
Naturally JB

Click Here to read the Waltons Article with links to articles written by the bloggers listed above. 

Sunday 22 August 2021

Weeds Weeds Weeds


The view of my allotment at 8 am with the sun just poking its head above the trees at the back of the plot and the very fine rain looking like a magical curtain. I can't help it when I see Avalon (the name I've given my two plots) it makes me feel relaxed, even though I know I have a lot of work to do. 

The Raspberries in the first three rows are now higher than the top wire, and more stems are popping up and making their way up towards the sky. Not a lot to harvest so far this year, but hoping for better from them next year now they are establishing. 

Again my visit today was curtesy of my two amazing daughters who told me when I left home that the rain many not be so bad down the allotment and they were correct. As I walked towards my main path from under the canopy of the trees at the entrance the fine rain stopped. 

I didn't sort out the watering of the Quadgrows straight away as that was at least a job I could do if the rain started again, but I needn't have worried as for most of my visit the sky was overcast and in fact it was ideal for weeding, Then during my last hour on site the clouds cleared and the sun came out. 

Most of the paths on plot 1 are very weedy, due mainly to the fact that the wood chip had degraded so much that it's now supporting life. Another load of woodchips has been requested but we are at the mercy of the tree surgeon that drops off. We have asked for good quality path woodchips and not mulching woodchips, so hopefully the delay is because he is waiting for suitable materials. 

I managed to clear most of all the tall, going to seed weeds along the paths, and then set about clearing the weeds in the beetroot bed leaving that nice and clean once again. Looks like a harvest of the first third of the bed can take place next weekend and I can do some pickling. 

The sweetcorn tassels are going nice brown and again I will be checking next weekend to see if I can harvest. 

There has been blight on the site for a few weeks now and I have been keeping an eye on the outside tomatoes most of which are the Crimson blight resistant variety but today the Crimson Crush and the Crimson Cherry were showing more signs of blight even in a few of the fruits, so I removed all the tomatoes that look un affected to take home a ripen in the greenhouse. The Crimson Plum is still blight free at the moment so I have left it on its own and will hopefully get some red tomatoes off it. 

I'm hoping that the tomatoes in the greenhouse can resist long enough for the fruit to properly develop and ripen.

At home in the Norfolk space saver greenhouse the micro and mini tomatoes are holding there own and many of the fruits are in the process of turning red. 

Perhaps next year I may double the amount of mini and micro's I grow and perhaps even try 3 or 4 micro Toms in a Quadgrow pot as I appear to have a lot of growth in the greenhouse but not a huge amount of fruit developing this year.   

The cucumbers are producing so fast that a few are going yellow and over ripening and I had extra harvest to share with my neighbour and his daughter who was visiting him.

I cleared the haulms off the potatoes in buckets and covered one lot with secondary glazing panels to keep the rain out and hopefully dry up the soil inside so that I can also harvest the spuds next week.   

Emma went home via the allotment and collected some more red and white onions off the drying racks, then she harvested raspberries and blackberries.

Sunday 15 August 2021

Dustbins & Sunday Visit

As you men & women, those of you that are gender fluid, greedy, confused or just have not made your minds up quite yet who visit my little Journal / Blog know, I'm a great fan of Freecycle and have found so many useful things for my plots:-

Paving Slabs, Paving Block, Concrete Kerbs, Daleks, Chicken Wire, Timber, Staging, Pots and Dustbins. 

Saturday I was lucky enough to be first to answer a Freecycle offer for two plastic dustbins, and arranged with the person offering to pick them up on my way to the allotment on Sunday morning. 

It turned out that there were actually three one older one that had been used as a true dustbin and two newer 80 litre dustbins with lids that had only been used to cool beer and drinks at parties and gatherings, but had been gathering dust in the basement. 

Lets face it no one has been holding that kind of gathering or event for the last couple of years due to the pandemic.

Due to a number or recent stressful events my wife is having a Lupus flare-up and as a result has lost a lot of mobility and is suffering from fatigue and extreme joint pain. She has not been able to stand unassisted and has needed to take to her bed. 

When this happens, It takes two of us to assist her to stand and I've been really thankful that Kelly has been working from home because there is no way I could manage to lift her on my own. I am a little worried about when they call Kelly back into the office.  

I could only collect and visit the plot today because my two wonderful daughters Emma & Kelly were there to look after their Mum and understand that their old Dad need to visit his playground to play with dirt, connect with nature and de-stress and help his mental wellbeing, and to some extent recharge. Emma gets Onions and Kelly gets sweetcorn as a reward for their kindness.

Thursday 12 August 2021

What Can I Grow in August?

Use the links I have in the left margin and visit seed suppliers, they just love to tell you what you can buy and grow each month.

Here is a prime example from MoreVeg 



August Sowing Guide

In the open you can sow:

Baby leaves – SPECIAL OFFER


Broccoli Raab

Cabbages – spring varieties such as April,

     Durham Early, Evergreen or Wheelers Imperial

Calabrese Marathon



Collard – Georgia Southern

Corn Salad


Endive *

Florence Fennel

Flowers – Calendula (Wintersun), Honesty, Larkspur

& beautiful Poppies (Papavers)

Green Manures – Crimson Clover, Fodder Radish,                    Field Mustard & Phacelia

Herbs – Basil (British), Borage, Caraway, Celery Leaf,                Chervil, coriander Filtro, Lavender, Marsh

                Mallow & Stridolo

Kale – Hungry Gap, Premier, Red Russian &


Kohl Rabi

Leaf Beat

Lettuce – massive range to love



Mustard Leaf



Oriental veggies – Chinese Amaranth, Chinese         Broccoli, Chinese Cabbage, Choy Sum,           Komatsuna, Mibuna, Mizuna,                                 Mustard Leaves, Namenia, Okahijiki, Orach,                 Pak Choi & Shungiku


Purslane, Summer and Winter*

Radish & Mooli Radish



Spring Onions – yes you can sow in summer!

Texel Greens*


as autumn cools down these will need protection (cloches or fleece)


+An unheated greenhouse or a polytunnel help to extend your season.  You can sow any of the following in seed trays or modules to transplant under cover for eating over the winter: Celery leaf, red and sugar loaf chicory, Chinese broccoli and cabbage, choy sum, corn salad, endive, fennel, land cress, lettuce, mibuna, mizuna, mustard leaf, salad rocket and senposai

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Spuds & Cues


Only an hour and a half on the plot this morning but I managed to top up the four Quadgrows from the New 25L Water Butt, it makes it so fast and efficient, then harvested two buckets of potatoes

New! Home Guard - First Early - Dobies on the left 675g

New! Acoustic - Second Early - Mr Fothergill's on the right 960 grams 

Both from 4 seed potatoes per bucket. I will let you know what they taste like once I have tried them.
Mr Fothergills Swing F1 Cucumber on the left, I and my wife love the taste of this cucumber & Seed Parade Burpless Tasty Green F1 Cucumber on the right.
A selection of Suttons - Red Baron & Pink Panther Onions grown from sets borough home off the rack for my eldest daughter.

Blight visible on Tomatoes on plot 13 this morning following reports of Blight from plot 4 & 9 on Monday, Happily blight resistant tomatoes on my plot still looking OK at the moment!

Idverde have cut the main path, so I gathered the cuttings along my plot and added to my Dalek with layers of cut cardboard and cuttings from the onions and tomatoes in the greenhouse.

Monday 9 August 2021

Strange Weather.


Climate change is a real thing, we gardeners have seen the changes in the weather and the seasons over the years. So much rain again this year that once again the grotto canal in Carshalton Park is starting to fill with water, as the water table once again rises up above the invert of the canal.  

If we go back 5 days, it was not supposed to rain today and now it's supposed to rain all day, so for me that means an early shopping trip to my local supermarket today and then if the forecast is to be believed we should have 12 days of sun and temperatures in the low 20's which will allow me hopefully if my daughter is not dragged back into her office to work, some time to get down on the plot and on top of the weeds that have been having a field day. 

Recovery of a work load following lockdown has been slow, many enquires but few jobs that I can take on due to the restrictions of being a carer and having to fix site visits in around the daily support provided. My radius of operation has reduced dramatically, and I'm no longer happy with travelling into London on the tube due to the pandemic and the risks that are still out there as the government isn't really following the science anymore and is just looking for economic recovery at any cost.

I'm working my way from semi retirement slowly towards total retirement, and hopefully get to enjoy it for sometime before moving to a plot in the great allotment in the sky.    

Sunday 8 August 2021

Just Working in the Rain!

Looking at the forecast for this morning I could see that there was supposed to be a dry gap between 6am - 9am so I made sure that I arrived 
after 8am when it was still dry.

I harvested all the remaining red onions from the bed and took them to the potting table behind the Plot 1 Greenhouse that has the half parasol set up then as the rain started I could still trim them up and wiped them dry and clean then hanging the onions in the blow-a-way greenhouse frame which is used as staging and to support the water butt.

Used up all the pop bottes of water & Nutrigrow to fill up the four Quadgrows, from now on I will be using the 25L water butt.

Gigantomo tomatoes putting on a little weight which is good to see

Crimson Plum tomatoes forming, the Blight Resistant Crimson range is also growing out on the plot. Other plot holders have reported blight on the site bit I'm hoping that my tomatoes hold there own and manage to ripen.

Swing F1 Cucumbers

Harvested some Courgettes and one that thinks it's a marrow and some Cucumbers and raspberries. Waited for a break in the rain to get back to the car in the dry and came home early as rain forecast more or less all day today.

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Water Butt Set Up


Another early visit to continue the harvesting of the onions from the white onion bed and the rack was nicely filled to capacity. I need to make another rack for next years harvest.

The 25 Litre Water Butt from Greenhouse Sensations was dropped off last night and this morning I set about assembling it, filling it and adding the Nutrigrow  A and B as the correct volume so much easier than all that pop bottle filling up. 

I've cut a length of hose and placed a standard connection end that fits the water butt tap one end and have used one of the twist nozzle sprayers from ASDA on the other end.  I cable tied a hook to the side of the frame to hold the hose and sprayer head when not in use. 

The red onions I have placed in the blow-a-way greenhouse frame being used as staging in the plot 1 greenhouse.

I still have just over a beds worth to harvest on the next visit to the plot. 

As can be seen in the photo above if the onion beds, the mares tail is storming through the woodchipped paths and the beetroot bed above has a lot of weeds in it and around it. 

The weeds love this warm and wet weather that we have been having through July and into early August. Two weekends of not visiting the plot has really not helped me to keep on top of the weed situation. 

Cucumbers and Gherkins are growing well and developing fruits, I did manage to rescue a couple that had started to grow into the mesh and there will be some to harvest this weekend I would assume.  

Looks like rain on and off between Thursday and Sunday, just hoping for some dry in there Saturday or Sunday morning so I can harvest the rest of the onions and perhaps some first early potatoes in buckets.   

Tuesday 3 August 2021

Watering & Harvesting Onions


With my daughters being away from Friday to Sunday, combined with the rain there were no allotment visits so I went down to the plot this morning to top up the Quadgrows again. 

Over the weekend I bought a 25 Litre Water Butt from Greenhouse Sensations to make the task of mixing the Nutrigrow easier then I will be able to retire all the pop bottles and the syringes I've been using to measure out the correct amount of nutrient per bottle.

It did start to spit with rain so I spent some time in the greenhouse trimming the foliage back again and exposing more flowers and developing fruit. 

 I only managed to get just under a third of one of the onion beds harvested and placed on the rack before it was time for me to go home and sort my wife out for the day.

Sunday 1 August 2021

Planning and Reviewing August in Previous Years

 Reviewing the diary over the last eight years for August

2013 - Built my first Comfrey Pipe after making it in buckets and experiencing the stench, harvesting spring onions, radishes, Wyevale seeds at 50%, trouble getting a fork in the ground used a pick axe. Central path of paving slabs from front garden went in on Mill Green. Wyevale 50p seed sale

2014 - Growing Marrows for the first time, harvesting, Onions, Spring Onions, Carrots, Wyevale 50p seed sale end of August.  

2015 -  Onion End Rot on Mill Green allotment, harvesting month, Digging up paths for compost bins, First Red Tomato 6th August, Sowing Beetroots, whitlow appeared on my finger just as I got my second plot at Spencer Road.   

2016 - End July / Early Aug end of season gardening sale at Wilko, First and last time trying to grow Celery and butternut squash, Pickling Beetroot, 17th August first ripe tomato, end of season Coir top up for next year.  

2017 -  Harvesting and Pickling Beetroots, Spring Onions in cut down Flower Buckets, SF60 Potato In Buckets Harvested, Self Seeding Pumpkins, Comfrey Pipe Upgrade, Overwintering SF60 Spring Onion Experiment,  Agreed the Drop off and Pick Up area with Redrow and the Council,  August Bank Holiday - Wyevale Seed Sale

2018 -  Harvesting so many tomatoes from the three tomato plants on the allotment. Second beetroot bed planted up first week of August. Finally have the stove in the shed and can make coffee. Harvesting cabbage and cauliflower. Pickling Beetroots. Harvesting cucumbers, courgettes, runner beans.  Built the rear extension to the shed on plot 1 .Drying tomato seeds for seed circles. Harvesting potatoes and tomatoes. Picked up packs of seed from the Wyevale seed sale. Started to review my seed box for 2019.

2019 -  Harvesting spuds cucumbers, runner beans etc.. High winds had to rescue sweetcorn. Runner bean frame collapsed so made good on a temporary basis. Shed repairs & weeding. Make a plug plant extraction tool. Pick up materials for cucumber A Frame. Won Kew Gardens Collection Heavy Duty Bypass Secateurs. Segway Stag Do 

2020 -   Heatwave during the first two weeks of August then heavy rainfall and flooding under Wallington bridge. Due to the pandemic I  had been shielding my wife and had not been on the allotment between March and the end of July. Lots of weed clearing to do. Harvesting Tomatoes at home. Apple acidic compost being made as a glut of apples from home. Infrastructure works on plot 1 continues as only cleared down to the shed on plot 1, Potatoes harvested, Meeting with Adam Brind re the wall behind my sheds, Japanese Knotweed and problem plot holders & Trees Only 6 people on the waiting list. Tomato Seed saving at the end of the month  

2021 - August is normally the month for harvesting 

Below is the to do list in no particular order and catching up with what actually happened in July and what has slipped. The plan is now to get a few late crops in and to work on getting the plot ready for next season. 

Coronavirus UPDATE

It appears we are no longer following the science and Boris has buckled do to pressure to get the economy going again.  

To Do List  

Below is the to do list in no particular order of what needs to be done and what has slipped. 

Mill Green - Plot 1A
  • Re felt the roof of the shed - Completed 
  • Fix the potting Bench - TBD. 
  • Tidy Up the Allotment  - Ongoing 
  • Weeding - Ongoing
  • Greenhouse -  Clear and install shading internally. 

Mill Green - Plot 1

  • Potatoes - Harvest the first early spuds 
  • Square Foot Gardening Beds - Two beds formed but were too late for planting up this year. Over winter get the 3rd bed in and get ready for next years season  
  • Beds and Paths - Two Rhubarb beds are dug and installed, need to get the third bed done and transplant the Rhubarb from bed 1 into bed 3    
  • New greenhouse -  Shading installed internally.
  • Install the kerb edging along the bottom of Plot 1 - TBD
  • Clear the weeds and install a 600mm margin around the perimeter of the plot - TBD
  • Tidy Up the Allotment - Ongoing 
  • Planning - Ongoing
  • Cut Planting Membrane - Narrow bed tomato planting sheets dome and installed make square foot gardening bed blanks
  • Space Saver Greenhouse - Update list of what's in the Space Saver.