Just after I started I remembered that I wanted to take some pictures of the allotment in July. July is a cropping month and this means that the allotment is beginning to look a little untidy. Where crops have been harvested and new crops planted everything looks a little dishevelled. I do not grow to look pretty though. This is a working allotment and crops are grown to produce food. I do not grow for exhibition or for competition; I grow for food.
|Potatoes looking north east|
As you can see the potatoes are planted right up to the raspberries. They seem to be completely happy growing next to each other. There is no blight at the moment. Raspberries and potatoes can grow together very happily. They may not be the best of companion plants but they do not have any adverse effects on each other. So where the "don't plant potatoes next to raspberries" came from I don't know. They are fine together. The Pink Fir Apple next to the raspberries was about 4ft tall, although now they have fallen down a bit due to the rain.
|Potatoes looking south east|
The lettuce are going over now. I am not too concerned because I have a lot of succession lettuce in the bed and we can easily start to eat those now. A lot of these lettuces have a stem rot and it is making them flop about. The celeriac seems to have taken quite well.
|The lettuce are going over now|
The broad beans have been planted after the garlic was harvested. I have left the garlic in the store shed to dry off really well. The broad beans are flowering now but I really just want them for a green manure. The seed was given to me last year and I didn't think that they would germinate but here they are.
|The onions don't look too good. They might have white rot.|
Trying to grow onions on the allotment is becoming more and more difficult. What with onion miner fly and white rot there does not seem to be any incentive to grow them. I will be dead chuffed if I can get some this year.
Now that the sweet peas have reached the top of the support canes they will have to be layered. This means that they are taken off the canes and laid on the ground and taken up another cane further down the row.
|Valerie Harrod and Restormel sweet peas layered|
|Bristol sweet peas being layered|
This young robin was so close that I nearly trod on him several times. It had made the sweet peas its home. Getting so close to wildlife is one of the pleasures of gardening. I sometimes take this kind of encounter for granted but really they are to be treasured. How many other people have got this close to a juvenile robin. It was literally nearly under my feet.
|Aintree runner beans.|
The Aintree runner beans don't get much sun on this side of the row because there is an oak tree shading them. I will take off the overhanging branches in the autumn and bury them in the subsoil. I have mowed the paths alongside the allotment and they look quite good now.
This side of the Aintree row gets much more sun and produces many more flowers. I hope that I get as many beans off these plants. As the bean stems reach the top of the support canes I cut them off. This encourages side shoots to form and start to grow up the canes. The more stems you get the more flowers there are and potentially the more beans you will get. Well that's the theory anyway.
The Brussel sprouts seem to be doing well. They had a lot of cabbage white butterflies on them yesterday so they will have to be watched carefully and any caterpillars removed.
|New bay tree|
I must remember for next year to give plants a lot more room to breath. Too many are getting overshadowed particularly in the brassicae bed.