I may well have put things out a little too early. There is a threat of cold weather on Saturday this week. If you are reading this in 2012 Tone DON'T PLANT TOO EARLY.
Well here are the photographs for May.
The comfrey patch looks a little unkempt because I have just cropped most of it and put it in the green bins in the background. The bins are chocker block full now because I have also cropped nettles from various sources around the allotment site. It is certainly making a really rich liquid fertiliser.
A good view of the allotment up the hill. This side of the hill is north facing and exposed with severe cold winds and frost. If you can garden here you can garden anywhere. The carrots are coming along well but they need to be weeded and thinned now. I will take off the netting to do this. Carrot root fly will not get to the carrots if they are not exposed to the elements for too long.
Salsify, Scorzonera, then spinach, rocket, two rows of Boltardy beetroot and a second row of rocket (I like rocket). The Hamburg parsley and the Woden beetroot have germinated but you cannot see them in this photograph.
Three rows of parsnips with Swiss chard on the left - but not germinated yet, spinach on the right similarly not germinated yet and a further row of poppies not germinated yet. Two or three potato plants growing in the middle of this area. Apart from sieving the soil, I cannot see how you can ensure that you remove every last potato from the ground. I will have to dig down quite deep to get these ones out and I hope that I don't disturb the seedlings.
Strawberries have fruit on them already. They are quite big as well. I have been taking off the runners with a pair of scissors. If you do this all the energy of the plant will go into making fruit. After the strawberries have fruited then I will let some of them have runners and keep the plants that they make.
The oca should have been growing here but there is no sign of it yet. I do hope that it comes. I don't think that I will be eating any of it this year. I will just keep the tubers for next year - if these ones grow.
The raspberries are growing well. This is their second year in this ground and they are not as big as my previous plants grew. I will get bigger plants next year. These are the only soft fruit that never goes home. I eat them all at the allotment.
|Jilly and Eclipse Sweet Pea|
|Mollie Rilstone and Bristol Sweet Pea|
|My first lupin this year.|
|April 24th Restormel and Valerie Harrod Sweet Pea. May 10th|
I am really glad that I protected the beans with a bit of old netting. They have not suffered from the frost at all. I have pinched out all the growing tips to encourage side shoots to develop. This way I get more beans.
There is a line of American land cress, swedes, kohlrabi and then cabbage, calabrese and summer flowering brocolli. The summer cauliflowers are under another net held up with black hoops of water pipe. This is to stop the cabbage white butterflies getting to them. Two lines of winter flowering brocolli and three lines of winter cauliflowers.
I knew that the broad beans would get in the way of the brassicas. They are growing well and have no blackfly at the moment. I will be pinching out the growing tips soon to make sure that I don't attract any of these aphids into the allotment.
I put the nets up with no great planning. A few canes and the netting stretched over the brassicas like this will keep the pigeons away. This will not stop the cabbage white butterflies but I can deal with these caterpillars later.
Four rows of Onward peas. They are supposed to be in succession but they are catching each other up and they will probably all crop at exactly the same time.
I thought that the climbing French beans had escaped any damage from the frost but they were slightly burnt and so too were the courgettes.
Now have a look at the photographs for the end of may.
See how the plants have shot up.