Allotment Adventures: Maintenance

After last week’s excitement, the plot really needed some attention. As ever this time of year, both the weeds and the things you want to grow are all thriving. So we picked: beetroot, carrots, salad, gooseberries, I gave the mint a haircut (because you’re supposed to give it a hard prune when it starts to flower) which Ma took for tea, the last bag of potatoes, the last rhubarb and two courgettes. In the week, I’d picked four courgettes and some sweetpeas. I’m not doing a running tally of everything we harvest (but I am thinking about it for next year!) we are doing it for courgettes and we’re at 15 so far this yearWe are also at the stage of the year where it seems to take as long to wash and sort the produce as it does to pick it! Especially as I made pesto out of the carrot tops (much to the disapproval of some of my facebook friends!).Anyway, after the harvesting it was all about tidying. We decided to take the sweet peas on the edge of the carrot bed out. Ma weeded around the courgettes and the bits of Joe’s plot that he hadn’t got to and for me it really shows that no-dig reduces weeds, I’m not saying we never get them because we do and we need to spend some time on the edges and paths but compared to Joe’s dug over plot, our weeds are so much lighter and that’s a good thing because my weeder is not getting any younger!I did the watering and feeding, I’m very excited to see the candy roaster and the uchiki kuri start to set fruit! I also planted some things. The boysenberry went in. There was some space up near the courgettes so I stuck the cucamelon in there. I also planted out my new pink next to the other one and repotted the lavenders. So I have to find space for the leeks, some curly kale and the ammi visnaga next week.  I’m also waiting on an order of kale and brassicas to arrive. We’ll use the kale but I’m going to ask Joe if he wants the brassicas we can’t use in the space that Ma has just weeded. It’s always better to have something in!I also tidied up the tomatoes (they do need attention, there’s no getting around it).Oh and finally, we’ve had some success with the cucumbers and the seeds have come up. I’ve decided that I’m not going to start them off indoors any more, next year I’ll either plant straight in the ground in May with some plastic over them or I’ll start them in pots but in the cloche because they really don’t seem to like being transplanted from my living room to the plot!We do seem to have a lot of stuff self-seeding, the aramanth is rampant and we seem to have two types. We also have nasturtiums, rocket and coriander doing its thing, mostly on my path. The borage is all over the place, including coming out of a compost bin and in my white flowers (I don’t know if I mentioned it but I bought a load of discounted seed from Wilko a while ago mixed it altogether and threw it in some soil near what it now the french bean bed, and most of the flowers are white, but some of the seeds were wildflowers and the borage looks nice there. We also have mystery squash, one growing with the french beans and another on the path. I can only assume it’s from a bird but I’m going to leave them to see what they do They’re only weeds if they’re plants you don’t want!It’s doing well and it looks pretty good. I can’t believe that we’re in July already and I’m thinking about autumn planting already. Because there is so much to do, we have the return of the list.

  • Weeding. The edges of the plot, the tops under the plum tree and the courgettes, which are going to need lots of attention.
  • Tidy the shed. Ma is itching to do this so we’ll get it done
  • Paint the shed
  • Sow dill in the cucumber bed
  • Sow beetroot and fennel
  • Sow chard
  • If kale arrives plant it out.
  • Plant out the last lavender
  • Find a place for the ammi visnaga and plant it there
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About nicdempsey

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