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What Bank Holiday Was That Then

Ever had a couple of months or so, when you can't catch up with anything but everything seems to be catching up with you. The recent erratic weather has at last settled down here and the past few days have been gloriously warm and sunny, allowing me to catch up with sowing and planting directly into the ground, rather than relying on cold frames and my poly tunnel. Up until a few days ago the poly tunnel was brimming with plant pots and seed trays, containing a variety of seedlings in various stages of development. Overall germination of most seeds has been good despite the fluctuating temperatures over the past few months. Most plot holders on our allotments have been delayed this year with ground preparation and in particular rotavating, due to the sticky ground conditions after the wet Winter, remember that!!

Roots Bed N1 Plot
Roots Bed N1 Plot Carrots, Beetroot & Turnip So Far
 On N1 Plot (roots bed) several rows of Carrots (Flyaway), Beetroot (Boltardy) and Turnips (Purple top milan) were sown in April, germinating quickly and are off to a good start. Although some of the Carrots have been attacked by flea beetle, there is still a general absence of pests and aphids around, apart from garden snails which are again on the increase. Maybe the Song thrush will make a come back to devour them, I haven't seen or heard one, in these parts for many years now. Several rows of Cabbages have germinated within the past couple of days. Another later than normal sowing on N1 Plots' brassicas bed. Lots of fruit seems to be developing already, on all of my fruit bushes and trees, so hopefully a good fruit harvest is to come, again, this season. Rhubarb has been excellent so far this year, obviously helped by the wet Winter. One failure I have encountered so far this year is that several drills of Spring onions sown in 5 different areas of my plots have failed to germinate. I suppose there's a first time for everything. The 4th vegetable bed on N1 Plot now contains my Asparagus bed and several rows of main crop potatoes (Desiree) which are currently growing well. Having planted the majority of my main crop potatoes into No 2 bed on N2 Plot, some time ago, I had several tubers left over, so 3 more ranks were planted into the L-Shaped bed at the lower end of N1 Plot, along with the previously mentioned ones into bed 4. I spent yesterday planting out my Sweetcorn plants (Lark F1) into the main bed on N2 Plot, from seeds sown earlier and raised in my poly tunnel. Several rows of Peas, (Hurst greenshaft) Broad beans, (Aquadulce) Lettuce, (various mixed) 1 row of Leeks (Bulgarian giant) and seven wigwams for French climbing beans currently make up the remainder of this bed. 7 Climbing french bean plants (Cobra) were planted this afternoon to test out the cooler night time temperatures before the remainder of the plants are added into this bed later. Earlier this week I planted out Runner beans (Enorma and Scarlet Emperor) on N1 Plot along the top of their previously prepared trenches.
Alongside the Runner beans, 11 Marrows have been planted. The lower end of the L-shape will be taken up with squashes and pumpkins in between the potato ranks. Cucumbers, Black eyed beans, melons, tomatoes and several other seedlings still remain in my poly tunnel for protection from the current cooler night time temperatures.
N2 Plot Main Bed
Sweetcorn Peas Broad beans N2 Plot Main bed
 In 2009 when I built the shed at the lower end of N1 Plot, (from pallets), I also built and attached a bird box to the eastern side of it. This year a pair of Great tits has used it to rear their family in, with several chicks in there at the moment. Hopefully I will be able to get some photographs of them soon. 

Another failure to date was my earlier idea to use the raised beds at the lower end of N2 Plot as seed beds. Lettuce and Cabbages, sown into them in late March were devoured by slugs/snails, so a change of plan was to sow parsnips into one of the beds using the remaining beds to re-plant various "thinnings" later in the season. These will be surrounded by slug pellets which I don't use on open ground.

Main crop Potatoes
Main crop Potatoes N2 Plot Bed 2

Slug Pellets
These are Useful and Work Effectively

Marrows Planted Out This Week
Runner beans 2014
Runner beans Planted Out
Harvesting Rainwater
More Rainwater Containers Installed
Asparagus N1 Plot


  1. Weevils are attacking our peas and braod beans - hopefully this spell of good weather will get them growing and they won;y be defaetes altogether. As for the carrots we will have to resow as the slugs have munched the seedlings - at least we think it's slugs.

    1. Hi Sue, Same problem here with the weevils think its flea beetles again. My carrots were cut off at ground level but only on the end of the rows near grass paths. The lack of sunlight seems to be a factor too with cabbages and some other brassicas from seed not doing well.

    2. Our peas and broad beans are definitely pea and bean weevils as the leaves are nothched.

    3. Glad to hear you are getting a good spell of weather which as you say should alleviate the weevil problems. Can't say the same for the weather here, overcast and rain today again and temperatures only 15C in the poly tunnel yesterday.

    4. It's changed and we have had miserable wet wet weather for three days now.

  2. We have had a lot of hailstones this week so the garden is covered in fleece to protect the vegetable seedlings. I must take some photos soon. I haven't opened my packet of Slug Gone yet so it is good to know that it works. We are using Nemaslug nematodes this year after a pathetic harvest last year. Marion x

    1. Hello Marion, hope the hailstones have passed by now. Our weather is still showery and overcast but usually sunny later in the day. The slug gone has worked o.k. so far but not as good if it is persistently wetted. I've heard good reports about Nemaslug. A cheap option is oatmeal. I have actually seen slugs turn away from lettuce etc to go for it, so if its too close to plants it might attract the slugs/snails anyway and it must be kept dry.


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