MONTH BY MONTH
1st June and a bit of rain at last, but not enough yet !!! Looking forward to digging potatoes in maybe 2 weeks or so. Lettuces and radishes are maturing now. Tom at the top of the allotments has sweet peas in bloom already, he must have mollycoddled them.
June 3rd looks like a heatwave coming on. Strawberries are ripening in the warm sunshine. A nice downpour at night would be welcome though.
June 9th Had some rain at last everything growing nicely. First potatoes today. Delicious. Runner beans have started climbing the sticks. Sunshine and showers, ideal growing weather. But watch out for the slugs in the wet weather, try putting some soot round the path edges, they don`t like soot. Usually available by the top gate.
June 12th Everything looks very refreshed after that inch of rain we had in one day. Picking the first broad beans today, sown last November, it`s supposed to stop the blackfly if you sow them then. The March sown ones have caught up with them though,
June 19th The November sown broad beans are now picked and safely in the freezer, the blackfly had only affected one plant. They seem to freeze much better than runner beans. Another dry and windy week, after that one down pour.
June 23rd Going to put my leeks in where I have dug out the early potatoes (Rocket) as soon as the row is clear. Looking foward to the next row (Charlotte) a nice tasty one.
June 28th Everything growing well in this warm sunny weather, although we are getting a bit desperate for a few heavy showers to refresh our plants.
July 2nd Still no rain we could do with a thunderstorm in this very warm weather. everythings seems to be growing well though. and the fruit is ripening off nicely.
July 8th No signs of rain yet, and it`s pretty warm still. Ground is looking extremely dry. Planting leeks now after the potatoes. It`s good growing weather for courgettes and squashes though.
July 12th Was I dreaming or did I hear the pitter patter of rain this morning? Lets hope we have lots of showers as forecast.
July 17th Well there`s been rain rain rain all around the country but just a few pathetic showers in our area so far.
July 28th Another pitter patter of rain but only for a few minutes really, and still dry weather forecast, this has got to be the driest July month for a good many years in our area. Everything seems to be surviving though. My pumpkin is taking off, I`m hoping to grow a nice big one for my grandchildren. Harvesting plenty of summer crops now.
July 31st A bit of rain at last. it just made it in the month of July, not all that much but enough to freshen up our plants.
August 5th Crikey we asked for rain and certainly got it yesterday 1 inch of rain in an hour. That filled all of the water butts up I think.
Still time to sow radishes, spinach, turnips, and spring cabbage
Lots of produce to harvest now. Carrots, beetroot, lettuce, runner beans etc. All lovely when freshly picked. It beats buying it from supermarkets anyway. If you get too many runnerbeans or lettuce for instance it`s satisfying to be able to give them to deserving people. Better that then let the produce go hard or to seed.
How can anyone say it doesn`t pay to have an allotment beats me. I have heard these remarks often in the past. Looking at shop prices I think we`re on a winner.
August 24th Plenty of rain at last crops are really loving it. Dangerous weather for potato and tomato blight with muggy days rain sun and wind, but haven`t noticed it so far. My neighbour plot holder has his outdoor tomatoes ripe. That`s a first out here for a while I think without them falling to the blight.
Sept 5th Famous last words it now looks like the outdoor tomatoes are falling to the blight.
But all in all it`s been a great year for crops, they have picked themselves up and made up for the extremely dry weather they endured earlier.
Sept 14th Things are starting to finish off now, the runner beans have all but finished, a good way to extend the season for these is to plant one row 5 weeks after the first. Squashes , courgettes, are hanging in there. Just dug some lovely Pink fir apple the last of the potatoes, they were unaffected by the blight that has struck outdoor tomatoes. Although Angelo`s toms are still going strong maybe it`s the Italian touch !!!
Now is the time when you might have a surplus of veg. I find if you get a box of sand or peat to keep, perhaps in your garage, you can clean your carrots or beetroot up and bury them in the sand or peat in layers and they will keep for months. Better than trying to freeze them as they can lose their taste doing this.
Sept 20th Looks like the leek plants over here have fallen to the dreaded leek moth. Gathering the squashes & pumpkins in now to ripen off in the greenhouse or garage. It`s time to order manure now to be dug in for the winter. Some people have a load every year, but I usually get some every other year.
OCTOBER 1ST Squashes make delicious soup, add 2 red peppers, a quarter of chile, onion, garlic, veg stock and a root of ginger, delicious. Runner beans and courgettes are still producing. Autumn raspberries and blackberries are just about finished.
OCTOBER 13TH Borlotti beans can be harvested before the frosts They should be dried out before, either storing in containers or they can be frozen. Soak for several hours before cooking.
It`s a good time to empty or turn your compost bins it will keep you nice and warm.
OCTOBER 21ST There is always something to do in the winter months. Why not dig a trench out for next years runner beans, and you can deposit all of your vegetable waste into the trench and cover it up as you go along. It should turn into a nice fertiliser for your beans by next May.
October 28th Now is the time to sow broad beans although March is also the sowing time, but autumn sowings largely miss the dreaded blackfly. Also time to plant winter onions. Plant the sets with just the tips showing, and watch out for the birds pulling them out. Garlic can be planted now too, but cover these about two inches deep.
NOVEMBER 4TH You can cut your Autumn raspberry canes down now. Unlike summer raspberries you cut them right down just a few inches off of the ground. It can also be done in the spring.
NOVEMBER 10TH It`s been pretty wet this week but at least it makes the digging easier. Time to dig the chrysanths up although mine are still blooming and hanging on after recovering from the couple of hard frosts that we had. They need cutting right down and planting somewhere frost free ready for taking cuttings around February time.
November 19th Very wet and soggy at the moment, broad beans are appearing as are the garlic bulbs.
November 28th Now it`s freezing cold, not a lot you can do this weather,except to try and prise your parsnips, swedes and carrots out of the ground with a crowbar.
Dec 2nd Knee deep in snow at least a foot not many allotmenteers out here at the moment. Brussell sprouts are tasting nice after the frosts on them.
Dec 15th Not a lot you can do in the garden except come over and pick your brussells etc, but I did see Sailing Arthur digging his plot with 6 inches of snow on it !!!
Dec 30th Milder now and the snow has disappeared from the allotments, still looks bleak and miserable though. Not many people venturing out yet.
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