Saturday, 10 May 2014

Planting out the brassicas and beans.

I have planted out the cauliflowers and the big cabbages.  I still have a lot to plant in this bed and I hope that I have enough room for everything.  The cauliflowers were covered with scaffold netting to keep the cabbage white butterflies off them and the cabbages were covered with one inch plastic netting.

The runner beans were planted next to the potatoes.  I hope there will not be another frost now because they are quite sensitive to the cold.  I have put some fine mesh netting up to protect them from cold winds but this will be limited if it gets too cold.

Two lines of lettuce have been put into the leaves bed.  Remarkably, the first sowings were smaller than the second sowing.  I think that this is because of the seed compost I used.  The quality of organic peat free compost can be very variable.

I have sown one line of American land cress and asparagus pea.  A small row of spinach has also been sown in the leaves bed.  I will plant out the globe fennel, camomile, basil, celeriac and celery when they are big enough.  I also have some good king Henry, coriander and more lettuce to sow in this bed.

I have finally moved the cold frame to the new allotment.  Most of the glass has been broken so I replaced it with 10mm polycarbonate sheeting.  This has been very successful although I have already filled it with seedlings.  After they have hardened off I will plant them out and use the cold frame for growing mixed leaves and radish.

The pond has been stocked with wild life from the pond at Bishop's Wood and thank you for that.  I have planted a couple of plants in the pond too but I will have to get some more.  I will not put any fish in the pond because they tend to eat everything.  I want to encourage amphibians to use it and eat the slugs and snails on the allotment.  There are lots of frog tadpoles in the pond at the moment and I am hoping they all will survive.

I had positioned the pond directly outside the greenhouse so that I could put a solar panel inside the greenhouse to power the pump in the pond.  However, now I think that I will put a path of two foot square slabs along the front of the greenhouse running the pump cable under one of the slabs.  This slab will slightly overhang the pond, which I had planned for, but this would not have been a good foundation for the greenhouse.  Setting the greenhouse back two foot will mean the foundations are on the clay that I have put here; a much better foundation.

I have put a straw mulch around the strawberries to raise the fruit above the soil and keep them clean.  This worked very well the last time I did it.

Four lines of leeks have been put into the allium bed.  This has taken up more room than I had planned for because I have covered them with scaffold netting to keep the leek miner fly off them.  I will not have room now for the pumpkins and squashes that I had planned to plant in this area.

I need to put a row of outdoor tomatoes in this bed too. The Gardener's Delight are hardening off in the cold frame and I am going to plant them out as soon as possible.  They will get string supports, which I will wind them up as they grow.

 I will probably plant the squashes in between the sweet corn.  I have done this before and is not ideal but I got some good squashes when I did it last time.  They are much better in full sun though.  I am not too sure where the pumpkins will go at the moment.

I have started to construct the supports for the climbing french beans the other side of the potatoes.  There is plenty of room for them here but I am not too sure where the dwarf french beans will go.  I might just have room for them in the pea bed.

I have planted a row of Alderman, Champion of England and Telegraph tall climbing peas next to the sweet peas.  I am glad that I had room here because I had nowhere else to put them.  

The sweet peas have finally recovered from being eaten by flea beetle.  I knew that they would begin to grow away now because that is what happened last year.  I will have to select the stem that I will train up the canes and cut the other stems out.  I will only take one stem up the canes this year because I want some big flowers.  So I will have to start tying up which is a time consuming job.

While the sweet peas have been eaten by the flea beetle, the broad beans have been eaten by the pea and bean weevil.  There are the characteristic u shaped scalloped edges to the leaves that they leave after feeding.  I am not too bothered about the damage and can tolerate this insect as I do with the flea beetle.  However, hopefully, the number of predators for these pests will increase and I will not have quite so much damage.

I have taken two of my grafted apples to the allotment to plant.  They will go between the pea and roots bed. I will prune these to an espalier shape like the others.    Two out of three successful grafts is brilliant.  I just wish that I knew which of the trees I got the scions from.  I am not too sure what the variety the grafts will be.  I am keeping the unsuccessful graft for the rootstock.  I will do a side veneer graft next year using one of the named apples.

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