Thursday 30 June 2022

Cucumbers & Courgettes

Sown eight days ago and a little later than I should have but I wanted to see how the cucumbers donated to me by John got on before growing any more. These will go into Square Foot Gardening Bed 2 once they are a little larger.  Looks like 75% germination at the moment.  

Cucumber Seeds - Mini Muncher F1 - from Suttons 4 Seeds for £3.99 which to me feels a little extreme and mean, I have to say. 

Also sown today were:-

Courgette - Summer Holiday, Courgette - Midnight F1 Hybrid, Courgette - F1 Defender. 

Cucumber - Burpless Tasty Green, Cucumber - Socrates F1  

Tuesday 28 June 2022

In A Matter Of Days!


Five days ago I decided to chance my arm and try and germinate some Mr Fothergill's Picasso F1 in a Chinese takeaway container on damp kitchen towel, so I can have a bed of slightly later sweetcorn further down the plot from the Marshalls Moonshine which have been so disappointing on the germination front this year.

Definitely going to start off the sweet corn like this again in the future. As you can see the germination rate is really high so they have been transplanted into vending machine cups, so get a little larger before I subject them to a bed on the plot and the slugs and snails.

I did have a wee accident with one of the trays falling though the supporting bars in the Norfolk space saver greenhouse but managed to re-pot them and only lost 3 corns in the process!

Thursday 23 June 2022

Late Sweetcorn Sowing


So underwhelmed with the sweet corn germination this year that I have decided to chance my arm and try and germinate some Mr Fothergill's Picasso F1 and hopefully have a bed of slightly later sweetcorn further down the plot from the Marshalls Moonshine which have been so disappointing on the germination front this year.

Wednesday 22 June 2022

I Was Set Up Gov!

On the 16th June I posted this on Facebook

The Mares Tail working it's way up my plot and how overwhelmed I was feeling as I could not visit the plot enough to deal with it and keep it in check.

Tonight my youngest Daughter Kelly tells me she is picking up her sister Emma from work and spending the evening with her.

After our evening meal my wife says why don't you drop off that tug of grass you sister dropped off to the allotment Dalek rather than having it stink the car up, so I did. As I entered the Drop Off & Pick Up Area (Remember we are not allowed to call it a car park!) I saw a car that was the same make as Kelly's.

Now I don't know her registration number but what I do know the air freshener she has hanging from her mirror. Then it hit me I have been set up and sent down to the allotment at my wife's request, because my daughters were waiting to surprise me!

They had been on the plot for about two hours and in that time had pulled all the mares tail from the paths from the Raspberries on plot 1 and had also re woodchipped all the paths adding another 7 - 8 wheelbarrow loads, so the woodchip is thicker and hopefully will help prevent further growth this season.

Paths from the Plot 1 TARDIS Greenhouse

Plot 1A and Plot 1 Boundary looking from the main path 

Plot 1 looking from the main path from the Compost Store 

My Daughters Emma on the left and Kelly on the right, I'm so proud of these girls 

I know a proud Dad wanted another photo of them but it shows the paths they have cleared and refreshed with woodchips tonight

I added a layer of Grass about 100mm deep to active compost bin and the one next door to it,  that I guess technically now is also active. Once you get a Dalek cooking the levels drop very quickly and you know your on it when you have two active bins on the go at one time. At the end of the season I have been known to be filling 3 or 4 bins. 

I suggested to Emma that as she was here she may as well harvest another load of Raspberries, they were after all purchased so I could provide her with a regular supply of them.

Mini Muncher F1 from Suttons

New for 2022 Mini Muncher F1 from Suttons 

I'm a little late on sowing these, but they have time to catch up and will no doubt grow like bonkers in the Square Foot Gardening Bed 2. At a cost of £3.99 for 4 seeds it feels a bit too expensive to me but we will have to wait and see if they produce enough crops to make them worth buying again in the future. I may also try harvesting some seeds and seeing what I get as a result of saving, and growing in the second year. I've done it before with F1 Tomato seeds and had two very different results and followed both then decided which one to save in the second year.  

Cucumber 'Mini Muncher F1' is a female flowering outdoor mini cucumber that develops fruits at the size of 10-15cm with 1-2 per node. This variety is ideal for British summer weather, as you can get great fruits even if you live under colder conditions in your area. The mini cucumbers are juicy and crisp with an excellent taste, making them the perfect, healthy afternoon snack or a great lunchbox filler for kids.

This a unique cucumber to opt for and if looked after well, you can expect vigorous, early plants with high yields. Mini Muncher is tolerant of powdery mildew, downy mildew and cucumber vein yellowing virus, plus cucumber mosaic virus resistance. Therefore, a very disease-resistant crop to grow!

Sow seed singly on edge in 9cm pots under glass at 18–21°C (65–70°F) March-May for greenhouse crops or April-May for outdoors. Later pot on plants into large pots, about 25cm in size, or plant them out in a frame/greenhouse or outdoors. (Do not plant in cold frames until May.) Maintain night temperatures of 16–18°C (60–65°F).

Sunday 19 June 2022

Fathers Day Visit

A big thank you my Daughters Emma and Kelly for a great Fathers day. They looked after their Mum this morning so that I could get to the allotment to try and get on top of the weeds and the Comfrey in the morning.

As seen last Sunday from the other side of the Comfrey bed it has grown so much that its all falling over and spreading and the path has gone!

Four Rubber Tug loads cut up later and added to the Daleks and the path into the plot can once again be seen and accessed.

The levels in the main active Dalek had once again dropped to around the top level of lines on the side of the Dalek and and was filled up with 3 rubber tug load of cut up Comfrey and then topped off with spent compost from modules of sweetcorn that had not germinated.

The Plum tree is growing into the path between plots 1A and 2A and the decision has been made to significantly reduce the tree as it was covered in small baby plums and all but 4 now remain. 

Something is stripping the tree and I'm not getting any harvest from it so it may as well not be there.

The blank weed membraned sheets that have come off the beds that were a little grubby were hung on the Herris fencing and washed and brushed clean and allowed to dry, turned over and the other side washed.

The Blank weed membrane bed sheets were draped over the onion beds and allowed to dry off before finally being folded and put away in a storage container until they are required again to cover the beds for winter.

Photo taken just before I came home for lunch showing the progress made in clearing the bulk of the mares tail towards the greenhouse frames. More clearance happened when we retuned in the afternoon but I didn't get any photos, but we have filled the rotating Composter with mares tail to dry off so I can burn it when we can have fires again. The bed on the right is the Asparagus bed and it seriously needs weeding again! a job for a future visit.

The weeds on the patio to Shed Plot 1A needs weeded or straying with weed killer again.

The three Allotmenteers, Emma at the rear Kelly in the middle and Mr Ruggedly Handsome in the front.

The girls both cooked a great beef roast Sunday fathers day lunch with all the trimmings and make a forbidden chocolate cake for desert. We watched a family film together over lunch and then after allowing some time for our lunch to get down, they both came with me back to the allotment to harvest four deep Chinese takeaway containers of Raspberries.

Emma taking two home with her, Jen and I have one and our neighbour had the 4th container. They also helped me pull up as many Mares Tails as possible from the woodchip paths and the beds, before we had to get back to my wife.

In addition I got lots of Fathers days gifts and I'm going with Kelly to see Top Gun on Tuesday night and for an evening meal with Emma on an night of my choosing when I can arrange for Kelly to keep her Mum company.

Saturday 18 June 2022

Planting Membrane

I was up early and working on a 1.2m x1.2m planting sheet with 7 x 7 grid of planting holes at 150mm centres before the sun comes down to the patio

This afternoon between rain showers two more 1.2m x 1.2m blanks cut out and one turned into a 16 Hole 4 x 4 grid at 300mm centres and 150mm to the edge which will be ideal for some more sweetcorn.

Friday 17 June 2022

12 Cauliflower Depurple postiplugs

12 Cauliflower Depurple postiplugs from Suttons arrived today after having been in the mail system since dispatched 3 days ago on Tuesday. I must say the leaves look a little washed out but the plants look remarkably healthy for their journey during hot weather conditions. Cost £9.99 and Harvest during August.

They have been potted into vending machine cups and watered in, plus they have been in a water bath for half an hour and are now in the space Saver greenhouse overnight but will be brought indoors and out of direct sun light as it's a little harsh for baby brassicas at the moment in the Space Saver during the day.

Two 4ft x 4ft Square Foot Gardening blank weed membrane sheets cut out ready for covering the beds in Winter once they are free of produce.

Sunday 12 June 2022

Sunday Afternoon Visit

It's been a bit of a strange week, a few short showers, very overcast, and pockets of sunshine. With my foot and leg playing up, I've not really had a lot of incentive to shoe horn a visit down to the allotment in or to do anything really. 

The girls were out with their old class mate celebrating his 30th birthday Saturday, and I didn't know how good or otherwise my foot was going to be, and not wanting to get the girls up early Sunday I put off the visit to the plot in the morning so they could have a lay in bed. 

Emma volunteered to come down with me to plant out the sweetcorn that were in the greenhouse Sunday afternoon after the Sunday roast.

I cleared the bed and found a 27 Hole 3 x 9 Planting membrane and planted out the Sweetcorn Moonshine F1 from Marshalls. Such disappointing germination the packs had 50 seeds in and I sowed two packs worth and just have enough to fill the 27 holes. Next year I'm going back to germinating the seeds on kitchen towel before sowing, so much potting compost gone into the Dalek as a layer of browns as a result. 

2nd Potatoes and main Crops doing OK on the left and Broccoli and Melons doing OK on the right, and the runner beans are starting to climb the cantilevering Minty Frame on the wall behind them.  

Close view of the 
runner beans starting to climb the cantilevering Minty Frame on the wall, and the Dwarf French beans in front. 

The red grape KC5383 Grapevine Plant - Flame growing really well but bed needs some weeding again.

The Comfrey has grown very tall and fallen over, I need to get the comfrey pipe mended and also harvest some to add to the Daleks.

Onions that have gone to seed and so will not fatten up anymore were harvested

Onions that were harvested because they had gone to seed and were washed because they were covered in blackfly or min aphids.

What was left in the three onion beds after the onions going to seed were harvested and put on the drying rack. 

First harvest from the 
Malling Juno (early) Raspberries from the D.T.Brown - Long Cropping Raspberry Collection minus a few that had to be eaten as picking them of course.