Archive for the ‘On the plot’ Category

A Proper Summer!

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender July 27, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments
Big Fruit 2

Yes! A proper summer at last. This is the best summer since 2006! Although it was a long cold spring, with many plants suffering. My tomato plants looked quite sorry for themselves in April, but are wonderful now. I have been harvesting a small number of ripe Sungold toms over the last week and I have others on bush plants ready too. No other varieties ripe, but there are lots of nice trusses on my Gardeners Delight, Black Krim, Purple Ukrain and my grafted Orangina. I have a plant of Indigo Rose which is supposed to have purply blue skin. The unripe fruits already have a blue tinge. I cant wait for my tomatoes to ripen in all colours of the rainbow! Watch the temperatures in the greenhouse or poly tunnel. In the strong sun, temps can easily rocket to well over a 100 degrees, ventil

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Early June Garden.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender June 9, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment 1 Comment
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Hard to believe we are in June now. The good weather we have had over the last couple of weeks has really made a difference. Everything is growing so fast, I can hardly keep up with the potting up, tying in and pinching out! I have baby tomatoes set on some of the early plants, young peas and broad beans and flowers on my chilli's. My bush tomatoes were planted out in pots and tubs outside last week and are looking good with lots of flowers. The bed and borders are full and lush, with little spare space for any new plants, but as I have grown oriental poppies, helebores and himalayan cowslips from seed, I will have to find room somewhere! The soft fruit is looking great and there is a good set on the currants and blueberries. My garlic that was planted in October is gro

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Intercropping and Catch Cropping.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender May 16, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment 2 Comments
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If you are short of growing space or want to make the most of the space you have, there are a couple of growing practices that can help. These growing methods are commonly known as Intercropping and Catch Cropping. These ways of  growing are not new, but have been somewhat forgotten by many gardeners. With many new gardens being smaller and long waiting lists for allotment sites, Intercropping  and Catch Cropping, could be a way to maximise harvests in smaller spaces, even in tubs and containers. Intercropping. The Intercropping method is simply growing different vegetables together, one well know group planting with a long history is called 'The Three Sisters'.  The Native Americans grew maize or sweet corn in a block, when the corn was growing, climbing beans were then

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Getting my onions planted

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender May 3, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments
2013-04-27 16.04.14L_rs

Finally got some onions planted last weekend..With the freezing cold winter weather being with us for so long I planted a packet of onion sets in modules to get them going in the greenhouse. I normally plant sets in first week of March but the ground was still frozen so the modules it was. I also planted a few varieties of seed back to January and February to try out this method as I have always used sets. In Zimbabwe we used to grow from seedlings but it was much better growing conditions there.. Just throw some seed in the small seed bed, water and water and water because of the heat and in a few weeks we had seedlings ready to plant out.. This year I also decided to grow the onions through holes in weed suppressant fabric  as my time is a bit limited  due to work commitments so h

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May Day or Beltane.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender May 1, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , , Comment No Comments
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I cant believe that May is here already! Today is May Day or the pagan celebration of Beltane. Traditionally a May Queen was selected to honour the fertility of Mother Earth and the day was celebrated with much meriment including dancing round the May Pole. Well although there is no May blossom here or any dancing round any May Poles, I have been busy in the garden. Just a few weeks ago I was starting to feel a bit discouraged, looking around the garden thinking how awful everything looked. The lawn was pale and sparse, no sign of any buds or blossom on the fruit trees and the soil was cold and wet. Well, what a difference a few weeks of milder, sunny weather makes! The plants and trees in the garden have sprung into growth, the soil has dried and warmed up, even the lawn, which had

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Spring is FINALLY here!

Person Author: Helene Coleman Calender April 19, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , , , Comment No Comments
Peas ready for planting out.

As the evenings are getting longer, we’ve been lucky enough to spend a couple of evenings after work down on the plot. And what’s made it even better is that the sun has been shining! This means we can get on with all the jobs that have been put on hold from last month because of the freezing weather! So this week we planted out our ‘Douce Provence’ peas into our raised beds. They’d come on well at home in the cardboard toilet roll holders we planted them in and we just planted them out in these. Steve put some branches/twigs into the bed for the peas to climb up, as he thinks he saw it on Gardeners World or something! I’m not convinced, I think they just need caning, but we’ll see! We planted the peas alongside our other broad beans, so now we have all the legumes in

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Easter Sunday on the plot

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender April 2, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments
2013-03-31 12.53.26L_rs

I had a great Easter Sunday at the plot ... It was the first time for quite a while that I could spend the a day there due to the incumbent weather we've been having. So I woke up early.... 'ish... and made a packed lunch of sarnies and some cans of diet coke, packed all my bits I've been collecting and headed off. All the snow has gone but some parts of the plot are still frozen and generally still too cold to plant anything. I have broad beans, onion sets, shallots, peas and potato onions all in modules waiting to go in. I reckon we are nearly a month behind now. Fairly cold to start off with but the sun came out and it was a lovely day. I tidied the shed and emptied all the bags of manure I had placed waiting to be dug in. We get free horse manure mixed with shavings delivered in bla

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Itchy Fingers – I wish Spring would hurry up!!

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender March 20, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments
digging

I'm itching to get going this year and get things planted out... But I still have to finish preparing the plot as with the strange conditions I've not had a chance to get stuck in and get all the digging done. And the ground is still too cold!! Last year was my first year on the plot that had been neglected for years so I double dug the whole thing to a depth of 18" or so and added loads of manure. This year I'm just turning over one spade depth and then going to rotavate it to fluff it up. I did a few yards a few weeks ago but was still too wet and a bit more last weekend and it was so much drier. So soon I will get stuck in and get it all done. Starting off over the weekend - weather permitting.    The Garlic is doing well but still taking time to really start shooting up. I have a

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More Rain and the Edible Garden Show!

Chitting our potatoes.

We were planning to spend some time down on the plot on Sunday but it didn’t happen because of the pouring rain! We like to think of ourselves as hardy gardeners but there really wasn’t anything we could have done gardening-wise! I really hope the weather improves soon; it has to, doesn’t it?! It’s been raining all morning here but it finally looks like it might it might stop and brighten up. It’s just a shame it’s a workday for me, otherwise, I’d be heading straight down to the allotment with the first promise of sunshine! Sunday wasn’t a complete write-off in the end though, as we just decided to spend the afternoon in our local village pub reading the Sunday papers by the fire with a couple of pints of cider ; ) At home, we’re busy chitting our potatoes in

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The Mid March Garden.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender March 17, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , , Comment No Comments
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The weather has been completely mad the last week or so. It started with warm sunny weather with spring like temperatures. Then came snow, then sun, then snow and so on... Saturday was damp but mild with the sun trying hard to get out. Woke this sunday morning to a very wet, partially flooded garden after heavy rain overnight. Now as I sit at the computer, it's snowing, heavily... and laying!! Never mind mad March hares, it's mad March weather!! Still there is lots of work to be done inside. I have seedlings to pot on... Tomato, lettuce, leek and flowers seedlings need to be moved into individual pots or modules, and if this weather continues, I will be starting lots more veg inside. I have started sweet peas in toilet tubes and they are growing well in the cold growhouse. As

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