Wednesday 29 June 2011

Hairy sweetcorn...

The weather for the allotment has been fantastic for the last few days, from blistering hot sun to lashings of rain and its amazing how quickly everything grows, sadly this includes weeds.  Does everyone else constantly weed their plot or is it just us?  I tend to spend most weekends weeding between tomatoes, potatoes, beans, garlic, beetroot, salad leaves and so on and as fast as I am removing it, it comes back.  So I just wondered.

One good thing about the weather is the change ive seen in the sweetcorn that we have growing.  Last year was a bit of a disaster as we left it too long and the kernals were all a bit manky.  This year we have tried again, propagated the seeds and then transfered them to the allotment and it goes a little like this:

A few weeks after being planted in the ground

The photograph I took tonight of the sweetcorn flourshing
The photo taken last weekend

 So as you can see from the photos they all seem to be doing really well.  I read somewhere that you know they are ready when the hair on the cobs turns brown and then if you can, peel back the silks on one of the cobs to see if you can see the sweetcorn and if you cant it isnt ready.  Has anyone got any other advice?

Oh and as for the shed..... it has gone from this

The shed not long after being built on a rainy friday afternoon
The finished shed, treated and painted.               

To the shed we have added a pathway, planted some bedding plants each side of the pathway and then purchased two grapevines and there they are growing against the shed.

Friday 17 June 2011

Beet the Beets

This week we harvested some beetroot as it was looking pretty big and had come right to the surface.  So far we have been quite successful with the beetroot haul and have had no problems growing it or harvesting it.  Last year the beetroot looked like this:
 Which I thought was a fairly decent size and this year, we grew them in a different part of the allotment, next to the potatoes and this is what we have:

 So a bit of difference in size but full of flavour and already consumed.  Now ive got to decide whether to pickle them again or store them in some other way because there is going to be a lot of beetroot as you can see from this photo taken a few weeks ago:

And in other news....

Only 10 days late but we now have a shed on the allotment and it looks like this:

 So I am pretty chuffed with it and now need to make sure it is secure for putting all of our tools in and weather protect it, if it ever stops raining!

Saturday 4 June 2011


I love Pumpkins, my local pub was so impressed with some that we grew last year that the Landlord has asked that we grow some for him to carve and use this year.  So far this year we have got 16 growing, all at different stages of their growing lives and so far only three of them on the allotment, all of which are thriving:


This one was dying a few weeks a go, it had the attack of the slugs until I zapped them all and now it is thriving.

Biggest leaf below my hand so far...

And the smallest of the three but still doing really well.

Last years effort

For the first time last year, as soon as we got an allotment the first thing we did was to plant pumpkins in the space that we had cleared up.  Knowing that they would need a lot of room this is the end result of our biggest Pumpkin and the one we were most chuffed with:

 Standing next to our fork the giant pumpkin....


And moving it home ready to be carved up

And once carved it looked like this

My Husband spent about 4 hours cleaning out the innards and then seperating the seeds before finally creating this masterpiece.

My efforts can be seen below....

Does anyone else ever grow pumpkins and have any tips? As novices we simply let them grow of their own accord and we ended up with about 8 pumpkins from 6 plants.

Sunday 29 May 2011

Its all about the weeding...

This weekend so far has been spent digging out the weeds which have appeared everywhere.  During the week we had a lot of rain, the heavens totally opened and for almost 12 hours did nothing but rain.  Now my allotment looks very happy and healthy, albeit there are now weeds, weeds, weeds...

Thankfully though my strawberries are looking fantastic and ive finally been able to try my very first home grown strawberry and as you can see it looks brilliant and tasted even better.

I have taken some advice from other plot holders and put a netting over them to stop the bird pecking at them and of course the kids that lurk around!

 So here is my netting and here is the strawberry that I ate...  the only thing I am unsure of is the trails which run off the strawberries, do I cull them back or do I let them grow? So far they are all under the netting and not yet gripping anything else.

And finally the other things that I weeded around was the sweetcorn.  This is the biggest prop that we have so far and it was grown in a propagator and then transferred to the allotment where it seems to be flourishing.  To date we have planted 40 props, so I am hoping they all turn out really well this year.

 And the weed problem, I am assuming everyone gets them and has them.... but these specific weeds drive me insane...

Ive spent hours this afternoon digging them both out from in and around plants and generally just everywhere!

Tuesday 17 May 2011

How it started

That there is our allotment plot, well that is how it looked when we took it over last June.  As you can see it is covered with grass, weeds, nettles, brambles and things I have never come across in this lifetime.

We got an allotment plot as a project to do together, we are a husband and wife team and we both enjoying gardening, but we live in a flat with no garden. So this is our work in progress.  

To get things started we bought some tools and began to manually clear the plot, starting at one end and working our way north towards the end.  Our plot measures at 10 poles, those of you with a plot will know what that means, it is around 250 square meters and our plot is fairly long and oblong shaped and it sits between 3 other plots.

And so we begin digging...

Started to look like an allotment plot 6 weeks into the digging and weeding process, by which time we had planted some potatoes.

More digging and raking continues and it looks like we are getting somewhere.
And we begin to look like an allotment plot as the crops go in...this picture was taken 4 weeks ago.