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Digindeep

Season 2014

Sort of started, in a very minor way.
Fed up of just looking at seeds, seed catalogues and generally staring at the water logged beds.
Yesterday the seed potatoes were removed from the netted bags and laid out on trays to chit, now residing in the conservatory.
Also sowed the tomatoes, small pots and now hidden under our bed, OH has not noticed as yet .

As said a very minor start, but at least I feel something has been achieved.
I would like to at least turn the beds over, some chance...the soil is so sodden.
So, what are your plans for this season anyone started anything as yet?
goodlife

Have been to the lotty and given it a good looking at the ducks are loving it but draw the line at the elephants having a mud bath on it  
kat_lewis

I keep going to start puting seeds in but remember what happened last year    so I am trying hard to control the urge to plant for a couple of weeks.

The allotment is looking very windswept, mine is fairly dry but OH's has been under water so we daren't go near that at the mo.

I keep getting the notebook out and altering the plans but I wish I could physically get out there and do something  
Digindeep

At least the ducks are happy and no doubt ...should the elephants turn up they would equally be chuffed.
And yes Kat...the frustration of ...well with everything at the moment...and I can be a little impatient at times....

Keep posting...let us all know your next move...
sapphire

Yes, its very frustrating   keep looking at the areas in my garden thinking, but if I touch it the hard frost will come (which wouldnt be a bad thing as it will kill off any bugs/nasties  in the garden) but bulbs are coming up, buds are coming   & I also have scaffolding going up around the house in a few days so really dont want anything else starting up as gardens going to look wrecked as it is :(
Digindeep

Paper pots.......

Yes I have mentioned these before.

After turning over the poly tunnel, already well fed, back in October with manure and plenty of compost.
Now added some extra water...I've dug it over....

Said earlier ..I get impatient.....frustrated...have to do something....

Well I  have also now got between 400-500 paper pots....

Simple newspaper cut into lengths and now ready to fill with compost to seed up..

Well that's ...my impatient day...gotta do something....looking to the future

Added value, those I can't use, can be still used and sent into my Daughters school at a later date.....with various bean seeds in...or they can plant their own seeds... or I will supply the seed, lots down the G/H......even better...to do it yourself....plus they will be learning

So whatcha up to....?      
Christine

Keep adding to the compost heap. Not the best weather but will sort it out when things start to improve.

Managed to prune the autumn raspberries recently as these are next to a path. And had a severe tidying up of the strawberry bed ready for spring as that's also next to a path.

Managed to remove all the remaining leeks as they were beginning to look shabby - froze them down.

But starting for the new season - well with no greenhouse I'm holding off till the monsoon season ends.
captainhastings

Christine wrote:
Keep adding to the compost heap. Not the best weather but will sort it out when things start to improve.

Managed to prune the autumn raspberries recently as these are next to a path. And had a severe tidying up of the strawberry bed ready for spring as that's also next to a path.

Managed to remove all the remaining leeks as they were beginning to look shabby - froze them down.

But starting for the new season - well with no greenhouse I'm holding off till the monsoon season ends.


Out of interest Christine did you blanch the leeks I will be in the same boat soon
lizzie44

First lot of indoor tomatoes have germinated! Sowed loads of stuff in the heated propagators last weekend. Just hoping my veg patch emerges from its puddle so I can get some(late!) garlic in.
Christine

captainhastings wrote:


Out of interest Christine did you blanch the leeks I will be in the same boat soon

Nope I didn't because they'll be used over the next couple of weeks so aren't going to be kept a long time. Would have done if I wanted to keep them any longer.
Digindeep

Got a few leeks still in the ground.....well baby leeks......"as the shops" prefer to call them.

Soil is puddled at the moment, so they may remain for a while...dare not dig over....

and my garden slopes to the South.....

such is...
Digindeep

A great day yesterday, being an impatient begger, finally lifted the last of the leeks.
Must say not the best or biggest I've ever grown...Heck they are still  leeks.   from pencil thickness too about thumb size.

Even though the soil was still a wee bit claggy, managed to dig it over, cleaning the fork regularly, added more manure and plenty of compost.

Today managed to dig over a second bed and repeat the above before the rain came down in buckets again.
That's when I gave up, at least I've started and feel better for doing so.

Egg on face time...... .....Remember those Tomato seeds sown a few weeks back....hidden under the bed to germinate.....eeeer!
Guess who forgot all about them    
Yep!...time to start again....they have sorta bolted.....
Christine

I'm bored and it's 'twirly. As I don't have a greenhouse it's 'twirly to plant peas, beans, carrots, marrows, courgettes .... And everything else is done as I've moved the brussels out and turned the area.

Garlic was planted autumn as well as some autumn onions. I found that my shallots and onions I had bought for the spring were growing roots so they went in yesterday as the soil is beginning to dry. Yes I did say that - we have had a few drying days!

So now what to do? Usually I have sight of the first dandelion in flower by now but not so this year and it's not for shortage of dandelions waiting for the spray!
Digindeep

You are doing well Christine, garlic and onions planted a good while back, loads of composted manure dug in, 10-15 showing, out of 50+,
Yet I dug a bed over a couple of days back and the walking onions, I thought !! I'd dug out.....were springing to life.....

They, being only a few are now in a bucket of compost and manure.I'll await the outcome.
Obviously the ground has been so wet. Yet those purposely planted are rotting in the soil. Yet now I find survivors in dead ground...

Leeks out, all barasicas  .....now gone.....ready as and when to start another lot....was down the allotment society earlier today, to pay my subs...spent just over a tenner, including subs, mainly grow more, lime and a packet of "sugar snap peas"....plus a few other bits.....

I'm stuck at the moment as of what to do....



Yes the ground has dried considerably over the past few days.....
So I'll just keep sowing as and when possible and hope....

It can only get better.....

Its got to be better than last season....Happy gowing Christine and one and All...
Christine

You're into a new plot though DD and you have yet to fettle the soil to your satisfaction and to learn the way of the garden. It'll take another year or two before you have the soil as you want.

I'm lucky at the allotment - part way up a slope and at the top of the site. Been there since Feb 27th 2007 which means that I've had a good few years to build up the brick making clay to something like a soil that drains a bit. There's a few more years to go to perfect it but it's doing pretty well.

Now the garden that I've only had since June last year and which was "a bit of a mess" as the housing officer put it is another problem altogether. The bulbs in the area where there was once a shed that I put in have either rotted or come up blind in the case of the daffodils. Much work to be done I feel.
Digindeep

Blind bulbs.....OOH! yes...remember the couple of hundred I dug up , stored carefully, .....well! 1 of five are showing..the rest are blind....They will come eventually...

Opened up the Poly today......the soil was green....a month ago fed with manure and compost....wish the lawn looked so green

It was closed so maybe needed more air to pass through...............

And yes it will take me many years to get back to the standard and growing potential, I had at the allotments....pencil size leeks this season

1/2 pound cabs....so on and so forth....


Tats why we struggle/ carry on.....

Do not care what anyone ever tells me   the truth is ...  ...nowt tastes better than "Home Grown"

Point made, point proven,  the amount of waste Christmas  just gone...a lot shop bought....binned..tasteless....ect////////

Lets say it was a first for many a year to ME..............

You only get out what you put in.........
Border

Digindeep wrote:
 

You only get out what you put in.........


Not much of a gardener then are you, I want more than seeds in my Salad.  


Sorry mate just being a PITA.
captainhastings

Digindeep wrote:
Blind bulbs.....OOH! yes...remember the couple of hundred I dug up , stored carefully, .....well! 1 of five are showing..the rest are blind....They will come eventually...

Opened up the Poly today......the soil was green....a month ago fed with manure and compost....wish the lawn looked so green

It was closed so maybe needed more air to pass through...............

And yes it will take me many years to get back to the standard and growing potential, I had at the allotments....pencil size leeks this season

1/2 pound cabs....so on and so forth....


Tats why we struggle/ carry on.....

Do not care what anyone ever tells me the truth is ... ...nowt tastes better than "Home Grown"

Point made, point proven, the amount of waste Christmas just gone...a lot shop bought....binned..tasteless....ect////////

Lets say it was a first for many a year to ME..............

You only get out what you put in.........


Very true that is some thing I have twigged since taking my allotment last year it is going take years to get the soil tip top. This was it in may
but with a lot of sweat I got this by end of the season but nothing really thrived

Plenty of manure on over the winter so hopefully better this year but regardless of size every thing tasted great  
Digindeep

that looks a fair old set up Captain, well done in such a short time    
Christine

That's quite some going on a derelict plot Captain innit?  Even the weeds weren't thriving when you started!

I'm going to have to move some of the blind bulbs that have appeared in the front roadside border at home. There doesn't seem to be a hope of them doing anything. Inherited along with a garden that was "rather a mess".

At least the last few days have allowed me to start filling the tubs down the allotment to use on the concrete hard standing and to take the lid off the oldest compost heap to let it get weathered for the marrows, courgettes and other stuff in May. The rhubarb is well on but the frost this morning will halt it in its tracks. Me too.
Digindeep

After a rather chilly start early this morning its finally warming up.

At long last warm enough to start turning the beds over, that were composted a few months back. Albeit they are still rather wet and claggy.
Still I've managed to turn some of them over and re-compost.

Yes I know should have left it a little longer, but I've said before I am a little impatient at times

At least the air will now get into them   ....that's what I'm telling myself..

Hopefully, if the forecast is correct, they will dry out enough to turn over once more before Paddy's Day and the spuds may go in somewhere closer to the correct date to do so. That's the plan

Rather than last years fiasco 6-8 weeks behind.

Right back to it, I've had my snack break, plenty to do while we still have some sun....
Christine

I'm glad I managed to get most of the digging done by end of November. I'm leaving the beds and working up the tubs that go on the hard standing at the moment. But I'm not like DD with a new site to fettle. On year 8 things are looking better than when I started.

I've risked it and put some peas under fleece in trays in a sunny but very sheltered position down the plot. There are broad beans now on the kitchen window sill here at home. I looked at the contents of the packet and was in doubt but most of them have appeared and will soon be ready for the hardening off trick.

There's a flush of lettuce where I put a pinch in a half sized seed tray to get a start on another window sill. And a few celery seedlings in a half tray have appeared. They can wait for ages getting their feet down. No idea why I have tried celery as have never yet got anywhere with the stuff.

So I'm doing stuff but not doing stuff. Considering that it was wild on Friday with warm sun, wild wilds, hail stones in the valleys and snow on the tops - well it's still only March.
Digindeep

Agree Christine, it takes many years to get the plot wherever you are into a good condition. Even after 8 years its always a constant battle, but does get easier given time.

I remember back when I had my plots. When I took them on, although overgrown with all the usual weeds and brambles and of course the buried hidden treasure.

At least they had been allotments for many years previously and the soil was in reasonable condition.

So I was lucky, but it still took a couple of years to really produce enough vegetables for our family.

So yes as this garden has been basically un-kept since it was first  born, other than planting willy nilly into clay and top soil. Its gonna be a few years before I get on top of it or it me....

Anyhows happy plotting

Christine

At least the family won't mislay you DD - you'll be fettling the garden. Good luck with the clay. Often fertile enough if treated right.

Ah I took on an allotment that was clear but the soil was knackered. Even the rhubarb that had been split and planted failed - now that is going some in my books. The previous tenant knew quite a bit about crops but nowt about caring for the soil from the looks of things. And the previous to the previous had only grown flowers.

I've got a plot of three parts. One side I have really worked on with green manure, spent compost, bought in soil improver and plenty of fertiliser. It's now actually proud of the paths and raises good crops (well the ones I know, but there's always an experimental one on the go for the fun of it). There's a big concrete hard standing down the middle - tubs for salad leaves, spring onions, carrots, parsnips, dwarf beans, general oddments. At the moment it's got umpty thousand strawberry runners on one pallet.

Then the other side has fruit trees (all five - pear, plum, cooking apple, eating apple) and two blueberry bushes plus the rhubarb. That side is brick maker's clay basically but it's had manure the first year, extra soil that someone didn't want, soil improver and this year a good top dressing of 6X (my that stuff stinks but it's good stuff applied not too thick). It's had a marvelous display of crocus (no crocii as there's more than one if you want to fuss about the latin plural ) and polyanthus (again you can sort out the latin plural ).

First year I found three little runt polyanthus, well a red one and a yellow one and one which is probably one of those commercial ones that says it's a cowslip but which it isn't in my book. I have 17 or 18 now (possibly 19). See what care and attention does!
Christine

Now this morning when I had fed and weeded the "orchard" side of the plot, I decided that I'd risk it.

There's now a seed tray of radishes under fleece wraps, along with a tub of spring onions (packet cost me 50p, reckon I can stand that if the worst happens) and three tubs of Paris Market carrots (you know, the tubby round ones - old packet with 2500 seeds in so nothing lost if the weather changes). Everything under fleece in the sun and shelter.

And I had a cheap packet of parsnip seeds to put some big tubs under fleece. See I have lots of fleece - if it survives the use I wash it on a silk wash and shove it on the line to dry so the Poundshop doesn't get that much trade off me.  
kat_lewis

Well I came back from a visit to the daughters, where I was playing babysitter, and decided that I would plant some seeds.
They are now up and I feel happier    The sun is out and I can at least put the seed trays into the greenhouse so that don't get too leggy. If this weather continues I will be able to dig over the allotment after it having been under water  
David Smith

A few more days of dry weather and I might just catch up to where I had planned to be with the digging and weeding and manuring - the new plot has taken quite a lot of my time, but to be honest I couldn't have done bugger-all on the others, simply too wet although I know there's many folk much worse off with floods and so on.

Ordered a record load of seeds from the Allotment Association deal with Kings - lot better prices than on-line or the major firm's catalogues! Find I've got 14 sorts of cabbage, gone a bit mad there, but so please last year to have grown a few that were almost recognisable. Also have 4 sorts of Sprouting Broccoli, 'cos it's a favourite with everyone (except the twins, they have gone silly about real food since they went to school), 4 sorts of Cauliflower, and 2 Kales. And some Brussels!

Plenty of French Beans, Broad Beans and Field Beans, also got seeds from prior years to use, have yet to find a Runner Bean that I like as much as Best of All.

Trying some new courgettes again, really liked the Seeds of Italy Friulia Rugosa (?) so if I see that in the Garden Centre I'll add that in again as well.

What else? Onions, Carrots, Garlic (already showing nicelym planted November), Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Leeks...

Charlotte and Nicola as Earlies, King Edward and Sarpo Mira as Main Crop Taters.

And hopefully some Asparagus!!

Best wishes
David



Digindeep

Having read your post,
Over the years I have swopped and changed runner beans, always have gone back to Best of All, so long as you pick them reasonably early, they are what it says "On The Tin"...

Unless of course you grow a few on to seed, dry them on the G/H shelf, Stick them in a paper bag or envelope, Sow again the following season.
Fresh seed every 3-4 year....That's my experience...

Best of luck this season, you certainly have plenty on your plate at the moment (extra plots), or should have by the end of this Season  
Digindeep

As the weather was so good yesterday, sunny and warm.
I dug over this seasons potato beds, dug out shallow trenches added a mix of compost, lime and growmore.
Yes they are being planted at last.
The new season now feels to be under way.

Tom's and cukes  are coming along nicely, it will soon be time to pot them on.
Various brassias sown two weeks ago are just begining to show.
All in all a good day, hopefully I will finish of the planting of potatoes today before the forecast rain returning on Thursday.
David Smith

Managed to get the Charlottes in before rain stopped play - then having soaked me and sent me home, the sun came out again....

Still leaves the Nicolas, and then the main crop King Edwards and Sarpo Miro to get in...couple of beds need digging first!

That spell of nice weather was a nice little "catch-up"....

Best wishes
David
Christine

I decided to get the broad beans out of the trays and into the warm enough ground yesterday. They'd been out in the garden on the frame for days including overnight. Of course it then decided to blow a hooligan overnight but they seem to still be standing today when I did a walk by on the way home with fingers crossed.

I've a few radish under fleece, done the successional sowing of meteor peas, added the rest of an old packet of Nantes carrots to some tubs (well they are early ones), put the Pink Fir Apple spuds in tubs under fleece. Oh and put some Ailsa Craig onions in a couple of trays under fleece. I see first signs of the shallots and white onions I planted end of February.

Now I draw breath for a few days and see how things go as a lot of stuff seems to need planting next month.

The celery at home looks as if it will soon be fit to prick out; the cape gooseberries on the windowsill have all appeared and I now have far too many if they come to stage of pricking out. I see that the first of the lupins have appeared in the tray of compost - I'm not paying upwards of 1 a plant when I can pay 89p for 35 seeds and about 50p for some compost. They aren't in my way on the coffee table. No sign of the nasturtiums yet though. Both lupins and nasturtiums are for the home garden rather than the allotment. Mind if the mombretia corms come up along the back fence, it will be a leetle bit crowded if colourful.
Christine

Who returned November weather this week? Rain Tuesday to Friday and fog all weekend. Still foggy this morning. Not gardening weather at all.
Digindeep

Sat quietly yesterday afternoon in the G/H, relaxing, tinnie in hand, looking over the vegetable beds, I'd spent the last two days turning over, ready to plant out later this season.

Two years of prepping them, manure and compost, still hard graft, heavy soil to turn over.
Mostly weed, root and bramble free now, regardless of the amount of compost and manure now added, which has without doubt helped, still a long way to go.

All this got me thinking back to my old allotments. Yes they had to be cleared of masses of roots, grass, brambles and nettles.

Yes I winged then as now, removing all the rubbish. But once done almost good enough to plant out and to turn over ( much easier 'back' wise).

All this made me realise and appreciate, the hard work and care the allotmenteers, whose plots they were before me, had put into them over the years.

Also just how long it may take to get my plots up to growing scratch.

Just a thought.......
Christine

Just think how many people do to allotments what folks have done to your garden. And then people have to come along to sort things out. And you wonder why so many people give up allotment holding so quickly - or maybe not
Digindeep

Continuing sowing seed at the moment and the G/H is slowly filling up with trays and paper pots.
However not having much luck with the parsnips at the moment. Fresh seed purchased only a few weeks back, not doing to well at all. I'm now into my second sowing, 4 out of 40 sown have appeared so far. First sowing a complete flop.
Yes I know parsnips are notoriously poor for germinating, but this batch has really got me scratching my knopper.
May have to buy another lot    
Christine

I reckon it's the weather with the parsnips - mind I do have a couple showing so am ignoring them.

If the fog would go away .... Mind that would require a strong wind again. I have things to plant out but the fog and wet have put things back this week as it's been almost constant damp drizzle into heavy rain.

Still I will get the plot filled up before the first inspection of the year by committee. As they have put it off.
Digindeep

10 out of 40, slowly improving , but it is the second sowing, might have enough left to try again.
I'll give them a few more days before I go for it...
Yes Christine reckon it could be the weather...
It seems we are now trying to learn new growing tactics every season

I have today sown my five varieties of beans, a tad early , yes, a good few in hand to replace the failures....looking at it this way, those that fail and I replace ...will extend the growing/picking season....

That's what I'm telling myself....
Christine

Well after the last two weeks of weather I think I might be right to plant swamp veg! All this fog and rain has returned my plot to sodden just when it was drying out.

Still summer arrived last year a bit late so we might just make something of this food growing lark yet.
confused

We managed a couple of hours on Saturday , the first time it has really been dry enough to venture up to the allotment ,, planted 15 Fir Apple tatties , ( I only get 3 to a row as I have raised beds) the short rows suits us fine as I don't like to stand on the beds any more than is absolutely necessary , plus we don't eat a tremendous amount of potatoes , and we try and do few different variety's , also planted , 6 Epicure and 6 Maris Peer, 50 shallot's , and cleared and prepared the beds for my carrots , spring onions , and beetroot ,   I also planted 15 raspberry canes , a new venture , this year only because we have just been allocated a council allotment about 25yd's from my house ! and the big plan is to grow more day to day veg in the new one, along with a greenhouse , ( eventually  !!) the present 2 allotments I have are on a private site , I may give one of them up , I'm open minded on this , at the moment there is no waiting list for the private site , and I enjoy growing food , plus I have plenty old friends who enjoy a bit of fresh veg ,
Digindeep

That's great news Confused, another plot..  

Building raised beds at the moment, as and when the weather permits..

Best of luck, I'm sure you will make the right decision, reference the plots..

Keep us all in touch with your decision and how you get on this season.
Happy growing
Digindeep

Looking on the bright side, things are slowly coming together.

Leeks are popping up- wearing their little black helmets.
Most of the brassicas are now on their way, 1" - 1.5" high.

Cucumbers 2" - 3" high second leaves developing.

75% of the broad beans showing.

Toms are between 2" -3" tall and looking strong.

Courgettes, Capsicum peppers, Squash and the obligatory Pumpkins, for the grandsons are sown and a few just showing.

Lettuce will be ready to prick out over the next week or so.

Runner beans and dwalf French beans sown and awaiting their appearance.

Beetroot sown the first lot yesterday, will sow more over the next few weeks to stagger them. As with other salad vegetables.

Potatoes been in a while now, two beds planted and a few sacks.

Lastly onions planted out weeks back, managed to de-weed the bed, lost quite a few, due to the wet weather.

As said, slowly coming together

Happy growing...
kat_lewis

Yeah, I have finished grandma duties. Don't get me wrong I love the little blighters and enjoy their company but grandma duties mean staying away for 2-4weeks at a time. That has impacted on my ability to plant for the garden and allotments.

I now have dwarf French beans, climbing French beans, toms, courgettes, aubergines, peppers and four types of squash in seed pots and some have started to break through   John has got his lottie in order so strawberries and all his type of veg are underway. It feels sooooooo good to have things growing again.

On the home front our daughter and family have now moved back to the village and one of the first things our granddaughter asked for was a piece of grandma's garden    so I think for the moment I have a willing helper
Christine

My goodness you lot are advanced with your sowings. We don't even bother putting any sort of bean into any sort of soil till the start of May.

Cucumbers, pattypan, courgettes and marrows only just gone into pots of compost yesterday. They won't see the outside world till May1st at earliest up here. So no rush.

The soil is sodden again up here so not a lot can be done. That isn't to say that the broad beans aren't out (but windswept, fingers crossed), first peas under netting and seemingly happy enough and a second successional sowing could go out weekend/start of next week. And about four of the peppers I sowed on the window ledge have appeared. They ain't in any hurry.

Leeks and onions showing in trays, red cabbage pricked out into small pots, beetroot/carrots/salad leaves/spring onions/parsnips/pink fir apple spuds/spring onions all in tubs and mostly showing except for the ones sown yesterday.

But we go for a bit later and shorter this far north.
Digindeep

Its good to hear you are back to the garden and growing again, Kat.
Even better to hear of your granddaughter's interest...
My two grandsons use to love going down the allotments with me, yes they caused havoc at times , at least they showed interest.
Now when they come to the house they will spend hours in the garden with me, sometimes doing the most menial of jobs.

Best of luck and happy growing...
kat_lewis

Christine, after last year I was very loathe to start any sort of planting but overwinter we put up a small tunnel and another greenhouse to take the winter salad crops and start seeds off in the warm.

John's lottie has been water logged but he ditched it around the edges and this has drained it well enough to start. My lottie is more sandy and grows weeds well so I have had it covered in black plastic to impede them    I have also put up some cloche, the whole width of the lottie to try and warm up the soil. This year I aim to be self sufficient in veg and produce enough to (as the American's say) can a lot of produce to last over the winter. If my calculations are right I should (hopefully) achieve it  


DD it feels good to get dirt under my nails again and put all my planning into effect  
Digindeep

On a cheerful note I'm looking forward to the first picking of Rhubarb this weekend...

Oh! 24 of 40 parsnips now showing...  were on the way at bally last
darbo

The purple sprouting broccoli coming to a end now. Just waiting on the use of a rotavator to do the ground again then time to plant out.

horace

Tasty
darbo

horace wrote:
Tasty
My fav vegetable Horace.  
Digindeep

One of my favourite vegetables, there again not many I don't like

Those look good  
darbo

Digindeep wrote:
One of my favourite vegetables, there again not many I don't like

Those look good
darbo

The first asparagus spears of the season only a few had popped up but the first of many i hope.


Digindeep

Drooling......not that I like them.....  

Mine are just beginning to appear ....was 8 plants ...looks like only 6 have survived...such is
darbo

Digindeep wrote:
Drooling......not that I like them.....

Mine are just beginning to appear ....was 8 plants ...looks like only 6 have survived...such is
I hope you get some good crops from them DD.
Christine

Have just come in from tidying up the home garden. The outdoor staging that next door was going to throw out is coming into its own.

There are two little ajuga plants getting their feet down before they go in as ground cover at the front (bugle it what I call it but we'll give it the posh name here). There's seed trays with dwarf asters just showing and a cultivated primrose recovering from strange potting on (bought at a church sale). There are lupins doing the in and out thing along with lettuce and celery for the allotment. Of course that all involves watering along with the cucumbers, pattypan squash, tomatoes, peppers and courgettes coming on indoors.

Think I may have a duff packet of marrow seeds - the courgettes and pattypan have appeared and are healthy but after a furtile in the marrow pots I've replanted two and the other two look not much better.

Yesterday at the allotment was maintenance day - son-in-law on the shed roof putting new felt on and daughter up ladders to tidy up the tops of the hedges that weren't done end of last season. Had to go back down in the evening to water peas and broad beans it's a little bit on the dry side (drought for the summer anyone?).
Digindeep

I know what you mean about watering Christine. Only a month or so back complaining as I certainly was, too bally wet to turn the sol over .

Now up bright and early to water the G/H, Poly and all the plants in the conservatory, which I have sorta gone over the top with. Sown more than required, thinking being some older seed and to allow for non=performers.
You got it the lot have come up...
Now it will be where the heckers to plant them, 12 pumkins, squashes and so on    should be fun.
Cucumbers sowed 9, all came up, gave 3 away and lost one, it just suddeny turned its toes up.
Spuds planted out a month back are just breaking through.
So now once the watering is done, its back to decorating our bedroom.
No peace for the wicked    

Have a good day gardening,
Christine

Digindeep wrote:
I know what you mean about watering
Cucumbers sowed 9, all came up, gave 3 away and lost one, it just suddeny turned its toes up.

Aren't cucumbers known to be suicidal and given to turning up their toes just because they can?
Digindeep

Decorating now done one room at least....

So its back to the garden....at last....I've put my foot down with a firm hand..Well as firm as I dare  
It's catch up time, so many plants are coming on, broad beans will need planting out in the next few days.
French and Runners can wait a good few days, see what May has in store for us all first.
Lettuce and other salad salad stuff needs pricking out, ready for the poly.

Looking forward to getting my hands dirty again  
Christine

You mean you can decorate without getting your hands dirty.  

I do hope that you picked the rainy days for working inside!

I've spent some of the damp days pricking out at home - tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pattypan squash, courgettes, the celeriac packet that I spilled completely by mistake ...

Today I'm going to plant out another old packet of peas I have soaked overnight. Well they won't grow sitting in the seed box ... This is the second old packet and follows the new packet that tempted me in February. Could be a high pea year as the first lot look good.
confused

I sowed a packet of peas3 weeks ago  that I found in a tin box dated best before 2009 I was up yesterday at my allotment and most of them are popping through , I think they are better than they were in 2008 when I first sowed them ,
captainhastings

I planted a good few rows a few weeks ago and loosely covered in debris netting to keep pigeons off and a few slug pellets. But so far just the odd one or two have showed and I mean one or two and the odd one has been snipped off. I suspect mice. We are away at the moment so unless I get a nice surprise when we get back I will resow and bury the edges of the netting this time
Digindeep

Thanks folks for the reminder, totally forgot my peas this year

(Oregon sugar snaps that is) still in the seed box
Christine

I always sow peas in trays or guttering - have a raised hard standing on the allotment so ideal, well out of the way of mice. Plant out when the peas are showing well.

You FORGOT to sow peas DD? What sort of British gardener forgets the peas?      
Digindeep

Obviously this one    
Christine

Letting the side down are we? Oh dear. Nah - seriously isn't it carrots that are a British thing?

I wish someone would stop sowing weed seeds .... I have the annual outbreak of Jack-by-the-hedge (garlic mustard) which has come in from other adjacent hedgerows over the years. This year it's being severely weeded but being biennial like foxgloves, no doubt I shall have the same war next year. Dandelions are a lost cause as no-one else is dealing with the ones under their hedges on the roadside - the council used to spray verges but has stopped doing so and the dratted things are now rampant.

Warm day and sunny yesterday, much weeding, cool day and damp today. Slows growth of vegetables down but not the grass - five days and the lawn is rampant again.
captainhastings

Got back today from devon first thing pick the ferrets up next straight down the allotment. Spuds are motoring now had covered them while away in case of a frost but I think we are in the clear now and they are big enough to be ok any way




This years planted broadbeans and on the the right my third lot of peas that has been stuffed by mice,voles. They are laying around on the surface even though I buried the edges of the net. Going to soak in paraffin next and try that for next attempt


autumn sown beans hanging in there


asparagus had run riot while away we had the tough old lower bits for tea took some chewing tender tops with the roast tomorrow


toms black krim


ethel watkins and money maker


chilli plant doing well


but can't see the sweet potato slips making it into the garden but no great loss

Christine

Man your veg is all looking great. And so much so far on!

Peas - I always plant in guttering or seed trays in a cool place such as a cold frame (I have a concrete hard standing on the plot that does duty as nothing grows in concrete). Sure stops mice - peas planted out when big enough to be seen and netted against the sparrow!
captainhastings

Christine wrote:
Man your veg is all looking great. And so much so far on!

Peas - I always plant in guttering or seed trays in a cool place such as a cold frame (I have a concrete hard standing on the plot that does duty as nothing grows in concrete). Sure stops mice - peas planted out when big enough to be seen and netted against the sparrow!


Yes I have been reading about the guttering trick but I was hoping to grow a good quantity for freezing so didn't want to double handle them plus I only have one short length of guttering lol.
Christine

Beg, borrow, get a loan of seed trays or whatever then. Call in a few favours  
Digindeep

Finally got the peas in Wednesday,  about a  four foot square patch, usual method, rake and break up the soil to a fine tilth, soak the soil, sow the seed and cover, re-soak, net over.
Except this time I found a bag of spent compost, so covered them about an inch or so deep in that. If nothing else it will dig in later this year.

On the subject of peas and I know I've banged on about Allotment Societies in the past. But thought this was worth a mention. Normal retail price, printed on the pack just sown was 1.95, allotment price 1.15. A fair old saving in my book. This is the same with all the seeds they sell (Kings Seed) and all other garden sundries. So if you have an allotment society in your region it could be worthwhile joining
Christine

The only problem with our gardening association is that the seeds are kept in a non heated hut which doesn't do any good for things unless you get there the day they are laid out.
Digindeep

Strange that Christine, our local one is also a shed of sorts and I keep my seeds in an old biscuit tin stored in the un-heated G/H.  Not had problems that I'm aware of....
Digindeep

PULLED at last...

Second lot of Rhubarb....18- 20 inch long...    

It will all crumble tomorrow....for lunch.....dinner....
Christine

We've been eating rhubarb for a bit here DD.

Whatever the weather, it's grass growing weather. The back lawn at home and the allotment edges are being sorted and the compost heap grows apace.

It's that period where things are showing face but the changes of temperature are not encouraging them to rush into productivity. Now that May is here perhaps there will be a concerted effort on the part of the weather to do a warm late spring and summer.

All the old packets of peas look as if they are going to show some pea plants so that's the good news.
Digindeep

You mention grass, OH bought a new mower yesterday....hope she enjoys using it  

Yes the soil is so very cold at the moment, poor plants have cold feet.
everything seems so far behind, lets hope May warms their toes at least.
Asparagus seems to have gone leggy already almost ready to flower, rushing ahead of its self..what the heckers is going on.

Finally the parsnips are now showing, second sowing, 32 out of 40, so not too bad for snips.

As for the leeks, after their usual good start, they seem to be fading, possibly by about 50%...the deep bucket they were planted in seems rather vacant, very few now  

Hopefully today will be planting ut the squashes, pumpkins and courgettes in the poly. Toms I'm contemplating putting in buckets, with a mix of manure and compost.
As the G/H is on hard standing may plant the cukes in similar mix in buckets and leaving them in the G/H.


Happy growing
darbo

Finished transplanting today be putting stuff in the ground soon.The asparagus is coming on very well and had plenty rhubarb myself.Good luck to everyone this year.
Christine

Someone has knackered the weather here - the drought order is definitely cancelled this week.
Digindeep

Yep! its been chucking it down here all night and since I arose its not stopped.
Maybe I'll get into the poly and plant a few that are ready. That's as much as I can hope for...If not I know OH has a few more jobs she requires doing inside the house...can but hope for some sun  
Christine

At least it's watered in the red cabbage I planted out in the sun yesterday afternoon - well the sun in between the showers and after the torrents.  

It's a wet weekend here so ............. Hey ho weeds by the barrow load of course.
Digindeep

Not a bally pea left.....
everyone sliced off at the base.....ships    
Such is try again.........
Rena

Gah! So sorry! That is so discouraging (...an a "bit" frustrating imo) . On the other hand...they do grow fairly quickly!
Christine

Who would be guilty of such vandalism DD?
Digindeep

A couple of suspects , it certainly P'd me off at the time...
Christine

Hmm well - no peas for the suspects for 3 years then!

Couple of warm days and everything seems to be growing - privet hedges, grass, weeds ....
captainhastings

Here is where I am at for the moment
Never grown a chilli plant before out of 3 I have one 4 inches tall, 1 2 feet and this one clearing 3 feet. It comes in every night at the moment a right pain in the butt



sweet corn and other bits coming along


comfrey bin in full production




strawberries



red onions before I gave them dam good weeding


spuds looking good just hope I can store the main crop ok



----------------------------------

garlic browning up looking forward to see how they have done



plenty of fruit on the currants


few bit in the plastic green house


more cabbages


broadbeans filling out nicely


Salsify


durham early still going strong one does our family for about 4 days



parsnips with few radish mixed in the rows


---------------------------------------------------

more beans




my first spuds should be ready soon


gosgogs planted last year should be anough fruit for a tart or two


various sprouts waiting in the wings


marrows squash and courgettes
Digindeep

That's all looking pretty well ahead CH...well done

As for my problem, peas vanishing...spotted the little begger at 430 am today.
Scurrying across and under the net....yup! a field mouse...time for some action.
I've got some sheets of plastic and some glass. Hoping if buried upright into the soil it may at east deter him. Any other suggestions welcome..
captainhastings

Got the beans iin place today



left 3 behind in the back yard for seed



Plenty of root in the toilet rolls I would have planted direct but I was waiting for space. Been eating cabbage like an idiot to free up room





sweet corn planted out too


netted the onions because some thing has been taking the tops off and in places whole onions have gone. I suspect the old corvids maybe.



The slugs enjoy my lettuce too
confused

GREAT  ! pictures , super looking and well forward .
Dave C

What a show  
Digindeep

    looking great.

I also use old toilet roll tubes and  newspaper pots especially for beans. You can see the roots and therefore know when its good to plant out   well done.
Christine

DD you need a good farm cat with a pedigree in mouse catching.
darbo

Hopefully should get a good crop of the raspberries.


Rena

Christine wrote:
DD you need a good farm cat with a pedigree in mouse catching.


I could send you ours! He's a top 'o the line mouser/birder! ....think he'd make the trip...?

Seriously though, I agree. Nowt like 'em for pest control!
Digindeep

You are possibly both right, lost the second lot, even though I buried glass sheets well into the soil, no gaps and tight on.

  how do they do it? Must be a secret tunnel somewhere....the Great In-scape.....
Christine

Hmm there is something to be said for my concrete hard standing and tubs on it. Mice don't go through plastic!

I say I say - it's raining again. Rice might have been the best crop. Still the celery looks well and the red cabbages seem happy. I saw a pea pod waiting to fill up yesterday evening when weeding. Broad beans aren't setting though.
Digindeep

At last the tatties are coming into flower, never know, maybe we will be tasting them by the end of this month.
In the poly, toms are also starting to flower, as are the courgettes.
The bed of lettuce I'm really chuffed with.
captainhastings

Had about 6 kg of strawberries so far so got some jam sorted.
Also tried the rhubarb cake dam nice too





courgettes starting to come now



squash starting to shape up



My third sowing of broad beans coming along nice



parsnips are thriving




sweet corn lost a few to slugs but the rest are ok so far


runner beans I cut down on them this year still plenty in the freezer from last year



got some peas past the mice in the end


and this my mates plot I don't know how he does it

Digindeep

Looking good CH.
Certainly reaping the rewards of your hard labour...Well done
Christine

It's certainly the time of the year to consider harvesting innit?

Looks as if more than me might have a good pea harvest. Got rust on the garlic but it'll still be garlic. Just can't compost the rusty bits.
Digindeep

Yep...its good when all your labours, plans, hopes ect come to fruition...
Isn't that why we all do it and put in so much....

Well done    

keep posting as often as possible...we may even spur a few more on...

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