Sunday, 8 May 2011

I spend far too much time on the allotment.

I went down today with the  intention to plant the okra and just do some weeding.  I thought that I would be home by 12 o'clock for a good cup of tea.  However, I arrived home at 7 pm - but I still had my cup of tea.

It has rained after a month's drought and this means that all the weed seeds have started to germinate.  It is the month when a lot of weeds germinate so I should not be surprised.  If you leave them they grow incredibly quickly and it is well worth while trying to remove them while they are very small.

I put the okra in where I had planned next to the mange tout peas.  After that I went along the French bean row to weed.  There is some slug damage along this row of beans which shows that I really need the nematode worms to arrive soon.  I hoed the French bean area and then went on to the Onward peas.  I am weeding in between the rows with an onion hoe.  I cannot  get all the weeds out but I am hoping that the peas will shade out the weeds.

The third try of French beans still has not germinated.  If these do not work then I will be annoyed.

The squashes are standing up well and they have not been discovered by the slugs yet.

I continued the hoeing into the brassicae bed and then decided to thin the swedes and the kohlrabi.  I thinned both to about six inches apart.  I may take out some more to give them 1 foot apart but not at the moment.  I fed both the swedes and the kohlrabi with comfrey and then went on to weed and feed the cabbages.

The Brussel sprouts had some horse tail growing in them so I took some time to dig this out with a trowel.  I doubt very much whether I got all the root but I dug down for about 1 foot.  I put the mares tail in the weed bucket because I was going to put the weeds into the worm bin.  I am hoping that the worms will deal with the mares tail as they do with the rest of the plant material I put into the bin.

There is some evidence that if you hoe the soil,  it will retain more water just under the surface.  I don't know if this is true but I have to hoe anyway to get rid of the weeds.  If there is an additional benefit then great.

Always hoe where there are no weeds and you get no weeds.

After completing the hoeing on the brassicae bed I went to plant the three Galaxy runner beans that germinated.  I was surprised that three did germinate because the seed was very old.  I pinched out the growing tip of the Galaxy to encourage side shoots to develop.  You get more beans if you do this.   Under the beans I have planted some courgettes.  I doubt if they will do very well here but I have no where else to put them.  As the runner bean row is running south to north this year there will be time during the day when sunlight will be able to penetrate between the beans. I may get some courgettes towards the south end of the row.

I took off all the side shoots and tendrils of the sweet peas.  Sounds simple and quick doesn't it?  Well it must have taken me about 2 hours.  Still when you think about the flowers I am going to get it nearly makes it worth while.  I hoed around them with the onion hoe and the swoe.

Although it seems that I have only just done it, I needed to weed along the onion rows.  I took the cloche off one of the rows and started weeding.  Then I realised the time and decided that that was enough and it was time to go home.  I will have to finish off tomorrow.  I have just enough room in this area to have a line of celeriac and a couple more lines of leeks.

I will plant the pumpkins into large pots at the moment because I do not have the room to put them into the allotment.  They are serious plants that like to take over the world so I will have to give them lots of room to grow into .  I had planned to put them into the onion bed but I do not want them to shade out the onions.  If I put them into pots then I can transplant them into the onion bed when the onions go over.

I will plant some squashes under the maize.

I am going to put a line of Swiss chard on one side of the carrots and some Wodan beetroot on the other side and then I don't think that I will fit anything else into this area of the allotment.  The Hamburg parsley has germinated well and there are a lot of seedlings coming up.  I will have to thin these out a little.  I may thin out the carrots and the parsnips when I get round to weeding them.

As things go over, I will replant with roots in different areas so that I am not sowing the same root in the same place.

Well this is how I do it.

1 comment:

  1. What variety of Frenchies are you trying to grow? If three lots haven't come up, the seed may be dud like my Lazy Wife was. I just replanted with Bridgwater Bean.