Allotment Adventures: Planting out….

Two days on the plot, half the list done.

We did loads but there is so much more to do, isn’t there always….First up say hello to the summer squash! This is on Joe’s plot. Three yellow courgettes, four green courgettes, 3 crookneck squash. Yes, that’s a lot of squash. The first year I had the allotment, I had six courgette plants and one week an amazing 37 courgettes. I’ve never grown as many since and we’ve only ever sown one crookneck squash which has always been sufficient for our needs. So I am aware that we’re going to be swimming in summer squash. However, the plan is that Ma and I will water, feed and weed this area but Joe can take as many as he likes and there is a list of people willing to take on excess courgette, we can give some away for the produce sale and I quite like gluts. I want to make pickle, I can freeze grated squash for cakes and sauces and this is the world’s best use of courgettes (which I think I can adapt for frozen squash!). Also could I take a moment to recommend, DIY Diva, the blog that I found this recipe on, Kit is amazing, a country life is not my dream, (maybe if I could just do it in the city – Richmond Park or near Ham that would be fine) but Kit could convince me. She’s a builder and I love how much time she spends with her Mum, (although Ma and I know our limits and don’t mix power tools with wine – one of us would lose a finger!). All that to say we’ll cope with a glut.Something we don’t feel that we’ve ever had enough of is cucumbers. This is the cucumber bed five Boothbys Blonde, three Marketmore, the gherkins didn’t make it!

We also planted up the Uchiki Kuri, Butternut, Candy Roaster and Burgess Buttercup (in the three sisters bed). Then I noticed that one of the buttercups hadn’t make it and replaced with a spare uchiki kuri. Of course to get there, we had to dig up raspberries and fill the beds so it wasn’t as simple as it sounds.

We planted up the tomato beds too. The large bed is for the cherries. Red Pear and Yellow Delight. The two square beds are nine plants each, one full of San Marzano and one with five Marmande and four Cuor di Bue. We gave twelve plants to Joe and there are some spares and a mystery tomato that just came up and I’m planting in a bucket because I want to see which of the four five types it is! I sowed calendula in the two smaller tomato beds and I’ll plant out the basil in the larger bed in a couple of weeks.We also sowed the french beans and the sweetcorn and I’ll sow dill, coriander and marigolds next week. Finally I planted out the five surviving celery plants in the bed with the sweet peasWe weeded (obvs), topped up the potatoes cleared the chard bed, picked broad beans and watered loads. Then sat with a glass of wine and admired our little plot. So the trick is to freeze a bottle of wine and take the frozen wine to the plot in a rapid ice. By the time you’ve stopped work, you have some really cold defrosted wine. Seriously, best thing ever…Other good things are that another of lovely my allotment neighbours says that this year she’ll give me a boysenberry plant and some strawberry babies for next year. So my soft fruit empire plans have changed but will grow!

Finally, here is the updated task list….

  • fill new beds with compost
  • earth up potatoes
  • plant out courgettes, summer squash and some winter squash
  • sow french beans
  • sow sweetcorn
  • sort out some pea protection
  • trim grass paths
  • paint shed
  • sort out old compost bin
  • weed (the raspberries are appearing everywhere they shouldn’t!)
  • sow dill and coriander
  • sow marigolds and calendula
  • repot the small lavender

Next week, I have to get to everything else on the list and more weeding and all of the watering, I reckon it’s going to take me about an hour right now and an hour and a half by the end of June! I couldn’t wait for summer in February but now I’m wondering why I yearn for summer, so much work…

In addition, I need to do the following:

  • fill the last square bed with compost
  • plant out the leeks
  • re-sow the kale
  • pot on the rest of the cherry tomatoes
  • sow some courgettes for the plant sale
  • sow pak choi for after midsummer
  • prune the plum tree

About nicdempsey

Erm...
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