You might remember how excited I was to find my first squashes including some tiny butternut squashes forming last month. Well, it seems 2017 is going to be the year of the squash! I keep seeing more and more pop up beneath the jungle of leaves. I counted..wait for it…
Continue reading “Squash Overload”
The peas were done for as are my shears by the look of them! Rather than pulling them out, I chopped them at ground level for the roots to slowly nourish the soil with nitrogen.
In its place I tied in the squashes and pumpkins that have been growing beneath the pea supports for a month or two. These are the plants that I didn’t have room for in the main pumpkin patch (which is going crazy by the way). The squashes will grow vertically up the frame, saving space and it should also help prevent mildew and pest damage. It seems to be working well for the cucumbers this year!
I also weeded in between the two supports and threw in some beetroot seeds. It’s probably too late now, but what the hey.
It’s been almost a month since my last polytunnel post, when I planted out the tomatoes with string supports. Everything is growing well, the tomatoes are loving their support system and have lots of flowers and fruits. I keep the polytunnel door open permanently to prevent blight even though it’s quite cool. I also feed the tomatoes every Friday with a liquid feed. Check out the video at the botttom of my post for a tomato tour! 🍅😄 I’ve just harvested the first of honeybee tomatoes and they’re so sweet! I can’t wait to try these in a Mediterranean veg tonight.
Continue reading “Polytunnel Update! [+VIDEO]”
I’ve never had a great deal of luck when it comes to growing pumpkins and squashes and I’m yet to harvest a single butternut squash, despite growing it every year. Although, I do harvest a few pumpkins each year but not many. This year however, looks to be a monster year for the squash family!
Varieties I’m growing
- Crown prince
- Butternut squash
- Spaghetti squash
- Jack Be Little
Now that the squashes are forming I’ve started to feed them once a week. I didn’t bother coving the ground with a weed suppressant membrane like some allotment people do. Instead, I’ve let the plants freely scramble across the ground to suppress the weeds. It’s amazing how fast they grow once they get going! I also threw in some chard plants for the sake of covering a bit more ground with a crop. I can’t wait to try spaghetti squash for the first time! I have so many of them growing too, so I hope they store well.
Clinging to Chard
21st June 2017
20th July 2017
I’ve learnt a few lessons from last year. I grew too many tomato plants in too little space which meant there wasn’t enough airflow and most of the plants succumbed to blight before I could harvest the bulk of the fruit. The plants grew in big plant pots which I sunk into the ground. I watered them from the top of the pots, but since I didn’t remove the base of the pot (I drilled it instead), the roots weren’t spreading or taking up enough water.
I’m doing things differently in the polytunnel this year. Gone are the days of wonky bamboo canes that inevitably poke me in the eyes, head and/or face. The future is string! At least, I hope it is. I planted out all my tomato plants at the weekend, using a new system that I hope will increase my harvest, reduce the risk of diseases, improve watering and take the frustration out of using those bloomin’ bamboo canes. Continue reading “Supporting Polytunnel Tomatoes with String”
I’ve put a lot of effort into producing a good strawberry crop this year and my hard work is paying off!
Early in the season I mulched the strawberry patch with manure, removed all the nettles that stung me last year, I kept them well watered throughout the dry spell and even made a strawberry cage to protect them from the bird.
With these improvements along with the warm, dry weather (bye bye slugs! 👋🏻) I’ve been harvesting a good punnet or more every day or so!
How do you like to eat your strawberries? I’m enjoying lots of brandy snap baskets with ice cream topped with berries! I also love to make rhubarb and strawberry crumble which I only discovered last year as I didn’t have enough rhubarb! You should try it, it’s devine!
There’s been a lot of construction and heavy lifting on the allotment these past few weeks and the plot is really starting to look organised! At the weekend I focused on the strawberry patch. I have three beds of plants, one of which is entirely runners from last year’s plants so I’m not expecting much fruit from them in their first season. None the less, all the plants are in bloom and I’m expecting a bountiful harvest. As soon as the flowers drop and fruits begin to form, it’s time to protect them from hungry birds.
I learnt the hard way to not use netting. If you use it m on your allotment please take care not to make it a danger for other animals! Last year a fledgling robin got caught in my strawberry netting and it was an awful experience. Continue reading “Building a Strawberry Cage “
Do you remember back in April, a sharp frost killed off a number of my plants and seeings? Well my fellow Instagram gardeners came to help and sent me free seeds and plants! Huge thanks to Jason for giving me two chilli plants, a tomato cutting AND a tomato plant! I’m so excited to try them, especially since they are all new varieties.
Continue reading “Thank you 💚”
I’ve had my allotment now for two and a half years and yet, there are still areas of the plot that have be left pretty much unmanaged, for various reasons. For a plot the size of mine, (25mx15m) that I work alone, I know I have come a long way from the jungle it once was…but I still long for the whole plot to look some-what tidy/managed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not after straight lines and precision planting. I just want to feel like I have control over certain areas.
Continue reading “What to do with this Difficult Area…?”
Planting the peas is one of my favourite Spring jobs! The bright green shoots are usually the first of the seedlings that are ready to go into the ground and it gives me a taste of summer, eating fresh peas straight from the pod. Yum! Very few peas have actually made it home, and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten them cooked, but this year I’ll have more than ever.Continue reading “Planting Peas in the Sun.”