Hello, it’s been a while since there has been an allotment update. So let’s get to it with some really good news, Pathways, the charity that own the allotment site and have withdrawn their plans to develop the site. This doesn’t meant that they won’t enter plans ever again but for the moment, we are safe. This is really good news. The committee has worked really hard, especially our chair, Christina but overall I think the previous CEO at Pathways underestimated how much the allotments are loved not just by the plot owners but by the community, even if they don’t have time for an allotment, people love the idea of them and appreciate the work that we do in preserving green space and wildlife.So let’s get to my little piece of allotment and how things are going. Let’s start with the bad things, something has been attacking my rhubarb, I’m blaming the fox. Because it’s not insect damage, so it’s birds or foxes (we don’t have deer wondering about in Ealing and while there may be rabbits, I’ve never seen them. Also on Saturday while I was on the plot, the blasted fox strolled across my plot and used it for a toilet. Yes I did chase him off…..Mangled rhubarb aside, it’s all looking pretty good on the plot. The broad beans are flowering and, so far, aphid free (someone else on the site has it already!), all the soft fruit seems on track or a little early. I finally have all six blueberry plants in buckets. It’s interesting though, the two I bought from Morrisons are the smallest and it’ll be a while before they’re big enough for fruit, so sometimes nurseries are the way to go!We did actually get some work done on Saturday. To start with we collected water. The mains water doesn’t come on until May but fortunately for us, the plot has 4 wells on site so we went to the nearest and pumped water.Then we got the potatoes into bags. The offer from Grow Your Own didn’t arrive, so was cancelled and I got my money back. This leaves us with 7 bags of potatoes (1 anya, 2 sharpes express and 4 nicola), I need to buy another bag so the last three seed potatoes will go in next week. Now I’m thinking about it, the bags come in twos so I may end up with 9 bags for completeness!After that and watering the garlic, blueberries and gooseberries, we collected more water and built frames for the sweetpeas. I got on with planting some of them out. I have more in the cloche, so if they don’t survive the frost, I have more that can go in or I can build more frames in other beds. Ma uncovered some of the beds, one of them had a raspberry problem! This bed was next to where the old raspberries were and it had taken advantage of it. We’ll have to keep our eye on that bed but meanwhile behold the size of that root….Sweetpeas in, I also sowed peas and beetroot, but this point we’d been on the plot nearly 5 hours and it was raining. So I covered the bed with fox deterring net and chickenwire and stopped. I picked chard and mint and some rhubarb and we went home.Next week, I need to sow carrots, spring onion, salad leaves, borage and parsley outdoors. The whole plot needs a good weed and the shed needs painting, the shed also needs sorting out inside. I need to turn out the compost heap and see what we have but we also have plans to buy more compost to finally fill up the new beds.
Indoors I need to pot on the celery and the leeks need taking outside and putting in the cloche, I also need to sow tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes and winter squash.
Then it’s just a case of waiting for the weather and the end of May when it all gets crazy…
To protect your beans from insects, one guy on our allotment site uses water mixed with washing up liquid. He sprays each plant thoroughly every now and then. Worth a try perhaps?
I’ve tried it before but it doesn’t seem to work that well for me!
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