|Brussel Sprout plants under the netting.|
The Brussel sprouts are growing quite large now showing that the broad bean green manure that was chopped and dropped under them has done some good. The broad bean plants have begun to regrow and are forming their own canopy under the Brussels. There is a little brassica white fly on some of the leaves but this is not serious and I have seen ladybird beetles crawling over the plants.
|Dwarf kale, winter cauliflower and red cabbage under the|
|Summer cauliflowers that will flower later in July and|
|Lollo rosso lettuce in the wooden frame.|
|Rhubarb next to the cold frames.|
I was going to pick some of the rhubarb last week but completely forgot about it even though it has grown very large and is something quite difficult to miss. I was just going to stew it with a little ginger and lemon juice and have it with some yoghurt. This is Champagne rhubarb and does taste quite good even at this time of the year. I am not going to eat too much of it though because it does have a little more oxalic acid in the stems this time of the year and I don't want kidney stones.
|Bay trees alongside the greenhouse.|
I find striking cuttings from bay trees very easy. They throw up suckers with roots on them too. So I have quite a few plants. I am pruning them to standard ball headed trees and I am nearly there with some of them. I find that the harder you cut them back the better they look so this is what I do. It is a bit late for cutting back hard now because they will produce a lot of new sappy growth that will not be able to ripen completely before the winter. This wood is very susceptible to frosty weather in the winter. I will just trim back the longest shoots but I will not compost them. I will put them in a pot with some gravelly potting compost and see if I can generate some more plants.
I have used up all the rainwater stored in the blue bin earlier in the month and the little rain we have had has not collected more than about ten centimeters at the bottom. This means that I have been forced to use tap water to water the greenhouse and the hanging baskets. I have not watered any of the other vegetables even through the very hot weather. It indicates that the water conservation scheme I have designed on the allotment seems to be working. This uses mini swales, planting fruit trees and bushes on the mounds, mulching carefully with both compost and woody shreddings and harvesting hard surface run off.
|Blackcurrants under the netting.|
These are the blackcurrants that I coppiced last year, cutting them down to about two or three inches from the soil surface. They have cropped quite well this year but I expect them to do even better next year. I am going to thin them out a little because they are too close together. I will take out every other one so they will be about a meter apart. The gooseberries had some berries on them but they are getting covered by the rhubarb. I will have to move these to give them more room. The raspberries in the background have not done very well at all this year.
|The pear tree is not leaning any more.|
The pear tree is one that I inherited with the allotment. Due to growing under the hedge, which was about 15 feet tall and as wide, it had a distinct leaning tower of Pisa syndrome. However, it threw up several vertical water shoots low on the trunk. I selected the best one of them and cut the top of the tree off just above it with a bow saw. The top of the tree was Hugelkultured with other woody material earlier in the year. The water shoot has certainly grown well this year and is throwing up a lot of wood. This will probably fruit next year. No fruit this year.
There is another empty blue bin here, even though it is collecting water from the store shed. I have taken up the spinach and good king Henry that had gone to seed and hung it up in the shed to dry. When it is crispy, I will put the seeds into brown envelopes with the name of the seeds written on the outside. I wrote the name of the seed on slips of paper and put them inside the envelopes with the seed. I forgot I did it and, when I took the seeds out, lost the names somehow. Why I did this, I don't know when it is so easy to write on the outside of the envelopes.
|I put all my cuttings under the clematis.|
The one thing I find about striking cuttings is to leave them well alone for at least a growing season. The only way I can do this without poking them about to see if they have produced any roots is to hide them away under the clematis. Then I forget about them until all the plants have died back. Then I am surprised by how many have survived when I eventually find them.
|Sunflowers and cherry tree by the path|
I doubt that the sunflowers will grow as big as they did last year and although they were good to show off about, it was quite a chore to compost them after they had gone over. I have taken the net off the cherry tree a little prematurely because the pigeons have started to eat the leaves again.
|Cherry leaves eaten by the pigeons.|
I am amazed by the things that pigeons will eat.
|Loganberry at the back of the store shed.|
|Purple hazel next to the storeshed.|
|Espaliered pear and apple|
I have done some summer pruning but still need to do a lot more. I was keeping as much wood as possible to fill in vacant spots throughout the tree. The pear and the apple have fruited this year and there are quite a few fruit on them.
|Egremont Russet espalier not summer pruned completely|
I planted a range of different runner beans this year. I am going to try to increase the diversity of varieties so that if one of them does not do very well then maybe the others will be alright. No beans on the plants yet though.
The tall peas have gone over now and I have picked quite a few and put them into the freezer. It looks a little untidy because I have taken the nets off to pick the peas. The nets are not only for the peas to climb up but also to keep the pigeons from eating the plants. There is a variety of tall peas here. Champion of England, Telephone, Rosakrone and Alderman plus are all growing here. I will leave the plants until they go yellow and dry off then collect any seed that I have not frozen. After the small peas have not cropped very well again this year, I think that I will only grow tall peas next year.
|Tall peas - mostly Alderman.|
|Climbing French beans|
I probably planted these rows of peas too close together but they have not produced as many pods as the tall peas and the Onward.
|More poor pea varieties.|
|However the broad beans have grown very tall.|
|Gooseberries alongside the car park path.|
|New windrow compost.|
This compost was made with chopped up blackcurrant prunings, annual weeds from the allotment, loads of comfrey, clematis prunings, calendula plants that had gone over and about five barrow loads of strimmed weeds from an abandoned allotment. I found a dead rat in the comfrey liquid bin so buried this in the middle of the heap. Probably totally dangerous because of the germs associated with rats but I'm hoping that the heap will get hot enough to destroy anything that might cause a problem. The heap was very well watered with diluted comfrey liquid and some of the old compost was added just for good luck. The whole lot was covered with a horrible red tarpaulin that someone gave me and left for two days. It got very hot and was steaming when I turned it two days later. Really the first time that I have got compost this hot. I have turned it again after two days and I must admit it did not seem to be as hot. However, it is obvious that the material in the heap is decomposing. I will keep turning it whether it is hot or not every two days like I do with the Dalek bins. After pruning the raspberries I will probably have enough to make another windrow. I would like to empty the Dalek bins and store them away before I start a new windrow.
The Dalek bins are full of fairly well made compost. Some of it has been sieved and put onto the allotment between the runner beans and tall peas. Quite a lot of leachate has come out of the bins and the windrow but as the compost area is at the top of the allotment the leachate will soak into and flow down the slope and into the grow beds.
|Sieved compost on the allotment.|
I will continue to sieve the Dalek compost but put the sievings onto the new windrow rather than back into the Dalek.
Although this gooseberry was strictly pruned to a fan, it produced a lot of gooseberries. It was carefully covered with a net earlier in the year and this kept the birds off it. It has thrown up a lot of new wood most of which will be pruned out. I will use some of it to replace old wood and make it a better shaped fan.
|Gooseberry fan trained onto the compost pallets.|
|Salix alba vitellina|
|More climbing and dwarf beans.|
|French beans and mange tout peas|
|Lupins and laburnum|
|The squash are growing over the lupins.|
|May queen apple graft which I thought I had|
|Difficult to show you how high the sweet corn|
|This gives a bit better idea of how big they are.|
|I put the courgettes by the side of the squashes.|
|Carrots under the enviromesh.|
|Globe artichoke or is it a cardoon?|
|Potatoes have gone over due to drought.|