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a bit of an anticlimax
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colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 16 11:07 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I have had the plots almost 2 months now and all is going well

I have loads planted and growing as they are supposed to and have been eating the fruits I have inherited - from what I have grown only the lettuce and radishes as nothing else is ready - but the runner and broad beans are doing great - tomatoes are also looking good but have been warned that we get late blight every year and crops amount to nothing - my sweetcorn is getting taller and I will soon need to think about getting a strong border around to keep the badgers out!!

with a huge increase in extra hours at work, weeding and watering have been the main focus so new beds have taken second place - however I have finished digging my 14th bed today - and still have about a quarter left before I can say I have dug the whole plot - altho about a most of this quarter can only be dug in autumn when i thin and move the currants, raspberries, valentinas and gooseberries as they are very closely clumped together

I have 5 days off work next week so will see if i can finish the rest of the beds (while keeping the weeds down)

I made a lovely (well I think it is lovely!) wildlife area - and have little frogs making their way out - I just hope some stay and that all don't locate elsewhere - I already have resident frogs - the one in the strawberry bed does not like me weeding!!

I am really looking forward to harvesting some of my labour, and when fellow allotmenters have asked about plans for next year - well I have no idea - I am too bust trying to stay on top of this years work

(a big thank you to the poster in the brexit thread for keeping me smiling - it is so good to see online allotmenters with a similar mind -albeit with a different sense of humour - to me, when I am surrounded by vastly different thinking on the allotment by me )

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8914

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 16 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you have frogs emerging from your pond, the survivers should be back next year to spawn. They return to their home pond on the whole, although they have been known to deviate to more inviting ones nearby.

Sounds as if you are doing well. Great.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1446
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 16 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The more you work the allotment the easier it gets, so don't despair!

colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 16 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A quick pick your brains session

my gooseberries have loads of fruit on them - but they are a tangled mass and picking the gooseberries was extremely difficult with many scratches and pricks this evening - will i damage the bushes if i prune them back hard now? - or should i wait till winter as advised in tutorials i have watched?

Mistress Rose - I have 3 resident frogs on my plot (that I am aware of) - one in strawberry patch has been there all along - one amongst the potato plants and a little one that I think must be from my puddle as it lives in the logs I have placed around the edge

and thanks MR and greg

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 16 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

winter is the best time to prune gooseberries,one can also turn bits down to the soil and hold them in place to give more bushes.

they are always going to be spikey beasts but keeping them small enough to reach the middle and fairly open makes life easier.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8914

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 16 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nice to hear about the frogs. The idea with goosberries is to prune so you open them up enough to be able to pick. Think they usually recommend that you open up the centre of the bush for access.

colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 16 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

no longer an anti climax as I have had loads of veg from my plot the marrow I can't give away - and I have teeny butternuts getting bigger every day - i have one halloween pumpkin and loads of foilage and flowers which are mainly male - so not expecting many more pumpkins from 5 plants!!

potatoes are all up and i have had loads - those under straw were fewer - but much larger - so weight wise the yield from each bed was pretty much like for like

tomatoes - blight arrived at out ollotment - and within a few days i noticed a black patch here and there on the stems - i was mercenary - all the tomatoes were cut off and plants pulled out - the tomatoes are indoors and seems to ripening on the windowsills and shelves and cabinets :/ (indoor bean plants have all been demoted to the compost heap)

all other produce are doing well and my project atm is building a chicken coop - i have spent 4 days on this so far - and with weekend here have 2 more days to crack on

i live the internet - i am always getting advice and ideas and have been able to change and improve plans - everything has gone so well and I am really pleased that my yield have been as good and sometimes better than older allotmenters am looking forward to getting some time to start planning out next years allotment plans (a lot of changes I think)

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 16 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wait til you finish going through the seed catalogues before finalising any planting plans and even then leave a bit of scope for the thigs that will come to mind or get gifted

allotments can be bad for blight on toms or spuds as most folk grow them every year .
i had most success with things like sweet million started early indoors then planted out under big cloches which are removed after any frost risk.getting an early crop seems to work.

that said a couple of the old timers had dedicated tomato greenhouses and even planted into the same soil year after year ,they were often cropping into november iirc they grew blight resistant(ish) old style varieties and went for numbers of plenty of plants rather than fewer high yield ones.

fingers and hooves crossed my two burpee big boys (triffid toms at over 8ft tall,6 ft wide and heavy with fruit) will continue for a while and vine ripen most of the crop.

colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 16 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

crossing fingers for u dpack

am hoping that at least half my tomatoes ripen - (have had 4 from approx 100 so far :p) - i have 2 more small beds of tomatoes i am keeping my eye on - and hoping they escape (including my free heinz tomato plants )

I haven't even looked at seed catalogues yet!! but have been gifted a fridge britax water jug and a seedplanting info wheel inlast few days - as well as been loaned a cordless drill and cordless screwdriver from another allotmenter (the old fella who gave me the honeysuckle that is now moving across the back of my shed ) for continuing my coop as I have blisters on palm of right hand

awww the allotmenters are all so lovely - but i really am not as helpless as they seem to think - but i do appreciate that they are always on the lookout for me

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8914

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 16 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That is one advantage of allotments, that you all look out for each other, at good ones anyway.

If you want to ripen up some tomatoes, try putting them in a bag with a ripe banana, that is supposed to work as the banana gives of gases to ripen other things. If all else fails, there is always green tomato chutney to fall back on.

The honeysuckle is lovely, but make sure you keep it under control, as it can get rather over enthusiastic.

colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 16 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

having had such a good few months i am excited about planning for next season's planting (am soooo looking forward to a huge harvest of garlic next year) - especially after my weekly shoppng walking through the fresh section and saying in my head - "don't need that...don't need that...don't need that"

[picked many red tomatoes, which with those I have ripening indoors is over 200 tomatoes so far - and I have loads still on the bushes - altho I am (overly) diligent of checking for blight - and am ready to pull up any suspicion of blight on one of my other beds of tomatoes]

my corn, butternut, pumpkins, parsnips, broccolli and leeks are looking great and fighting a good fight against the weeds where i haven't had time to get stuck into that task

i can't believe all the produce i have harvested and all i have left to come in the 3 months i have had the plots - and hoping that after a full growing season next year I have plenty more

thanks for the advice to just plant the spindly sadder looking plants i started off in my flat - they have given great yields - a lesson that once in the ground they start flying and recover from the less than perfect start

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14821
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 16 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm so glad you enjoyed the fruits and vegetables of your labours. I planted everything very late this year, and am only now digging up tiny early potatoes. Although I did disappear on holiday for two months and it didn't rain, so I'm pretty chuffed that anything at all grew. The ones in the spare room have produced nothing, which just goes to show.

colettedeann



Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Chelmsford
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 16 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

this season is almost done - i still have leeks brassicas parsnips to get up - and pumpkins to harvest when grandkids come over next weekend

i still haven't done my planning for next year (well i have done some in my head - but need to put in on paper as i will forget)

i was given the edge plot alongside my plot as the bloke gave it up when he harvested his pototoes so i now have 3 halves - i have limed and blood, fish and boned it and planted green manure aver a large section- and have planted out onion and garlic sets this week - next week i have more onions and elephant garlic (given to me by an allotmenter to try) - this plot has a few damson trees (i think) and a big group of valentino raspberries there is space for a small shed which will be opposite the coop and for early potatoes in the spring

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 16 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i found big cloches (plastic waterpipe for hoops and 500gm polythene for a skin ) were really useful for getting both winter salads and providing a really early start to broad beans ( try aquadeluce), early peas/mangetout etc
after the early legume harvest just cut off the tops and leave the roots in as the nodules will continue to fix nitrogen while the next crop grows.
a few quid on making covers can add several months to the growing season

green manure is good for adding organic matter to soil but a combo green manure/crop plant is even better .things like black mustard seed and coriander are cheap in asian supermarkets , most can be green manure after a couple of months but saag is nice.

if you have a perennial weed problem (docks etc ) solarisation (a sheet of clear plastic over the soil) during winter and early spring will get them to shoot early so they can be hoed off a few times before real planting. it takes a few goes to get rid of them but will weaken them quite quickly.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1446
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 16 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack, that sounds like a good idea-encouraging the weeds to germinate/shoot early, and so getting rid before you need to use the plot for cropping. A couple of seasons should deal the perennials quite a blow.

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