Friday is fertilling day surely?

 

Well, I’ve finally fertilled – the potatoes that is – and you can see the results of my initial groping about in the allotment bed above.  Alongside 2 of the largest courgettes I’ve ever seen, which clearly are basic actual marrows, and my fav veggie so far, more beetroot.

I’ve harvested 2 potato plants so far; and I’m aiming to harvest the rest over the next dew weeks.  I’ve a question however for my more experienced readers.   I thought the seed potato – the one that was chitted and then planted – would end up withered and exhausted.  But as each of the potato plants I’ve harvested so far have had a brown potato along with the little gathering of pale, blond, new looking potatoes I’d like to ask – is this the original seed potato???

The beetroot have been great; so much so that while harvesting this little load I’ve also planted out some more seedlings, hoping for a further harvest before autumn really sets in.  The weather has been really hot, and really dry, so much so that the tomatoes have suffered – quite a few crisped off leaves despite a regular session with the watering can.

The other beds are looking good: beans and sweetcorn competing to fill up not only the bed, but the air-space above it.  The sweet-peas that I planted just because …. are adding a nice touch of colour at the end of bean alley, and the netting has proved very successful at keeping pigeons off the brassicas.  I’ve also planted out some swede seedlings, and another set of PSB / cauliflowers / Kale.  But the onions seem to be hiding ….  I think next year I need a dedicated allium bed.

Now – it’s finally raining – so I’m off to watch some tennis!  Here’s the cooked result of the marrow / courgatte tasting.

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Getting my harvest head on…

Somewhere under the leaves are lots of courgettes!
Well, the heat of the last week has paid dividends; and I’m stuck into harvesting courgettes in good order.  I’ve gone for Tristar, so I’m getting pale green, yellow, and classic dark green fruits.  Seems an abundance of pale green at the mo, and as the experienced squash fans will know, if you leave them any time they grow from courgette to blimp, just as your back is turned. 

Also managed to start picking the rocket, so I’ve planted more to keep me fed this summer,  and the beetroots.  Roasted, with rocket (!) and some squishy goats cheese I think.  Everything is coming up big time.  Just to show you, here are two pictures: the kale etc 2 weeks ago:

And here they are yesterday. Amazing, and one of the reasons I’m really enjoying this.  

The tomatoes have made similar progress, so I’ve pinched out as many side shoots as I can find (love the smell of tomato plants, let alone the taste of tomatoes), and as recommended I’m trying to keep off the potatoes (now flowering), until the requisite 90 days have passed.  It’s worse than the 2 weeks wait!  

An actual, genuine crop appears!

I can confirm the beans inside were very small, but tasty!  So pretty impressed by that.

I’ve installed a 100l water butt; however the tap is busted.   As a result I’ve had to rig up a temporary bung for the tap-hole using an old wine cork.  Strangely I seem to have a reasonable number lying around.  You may recall that ever since I bought the hose the rain has been much more prolific.  So I anticipate that actually getting a water butt probably means I should move onto digging out paddy fields.

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Asparagus looking much happier with visible means of support

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Think the yellowing means a deficiency.  Feeding time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s tasks have been: sowing brassica’s to fill Brian with more green stuff than I suspect he ever actually ate.  That means sowing purple sprouting broccoli, kale, cavolo de nero, and cauliflower into half seed trays and popping into the plastic greenhouse to get them going as strongly as possible.  And providing support to the asparagus, which wasn’t enjoying the delightful May breezes, alongside siting the water butt.

As for Mick, well, the spuds are looking very perky; so I’ve started to earth up (mound earth round the base of the plant).  They are too tiny at this point to really need it, but it’s supposed to protect the new tubers from the light (which makes them green), and helps with warmth and moisture (moisture trickles into the rows that you make to water the tubers, the steeper sides of the mounds capture the sun’s warmth better).  May just be to make the firtling easier when you come to harvest!

And it’s raining again – hence the blog update….

Starting to rock now …

Broad beans went in last week, and I’ve now (yesterday) tied them up a little better as the droop wasn’t too appealing.  Look strong ( if wonky), and the bees are clearly happy enough to pollinate.

Initial burst of courgettes has suffered a little from front, but most of leaves are fine.  Four more planted, and I’ve now built a wigwam for the runners.  Which, as you can see on the right, have stormed up since the weather turned warmer and moister.

Sweetcorn is now in as well.  Everything in this bed started at home in a small plastic greenhouse as I’m hoping that should give them the best possible start.  Theory that didn’t work with the sweet peas: planted 12, and only 3 seeds have come up.  So I’ve planted them along one of of my bean supports to encourage pollination (well, to add some colour too).

Eagle-eyed viewers will see I’m using the low tech string approach to the runners: train the beans up string tied to a cross- beam. If it’s good enough for Hampton Court, it’s good enough for me.  And if the sweet pea survivalists actually manage to put in any growth, I may experiment with string cordons too.

The eagle-eyed will also spot that the corn / runners are not doing the pucca 3 sisters thing with the beans growing up the sweetcorn.  As the beans are taller than the sweetcorn it didn’t seem practical … Learning for next year, get the sweetcorn off to an earlier start.

Meanwhile Mick is incapable of keeping out of the action, even during Keef’s better solos.  The chitted potatoes are poking through.  Whoop-de-do!

Sir Walter would be very proud

No sign yet of the carrots or parsnips, but I have popped in the beetroot that had germinated.

Next task is to populate Brian with brassicas.  Seed sowing into the plastic greenhouse, and then a fortnight later I hope to be planting out.  And I really must remember not to plant all at one go.  Half trays will be fine, different seeds each end.  Oh, and salad onions; to help protect the carrots when they come up.  It’s all go!

The planting continues apace …

Back to the plot this morning; and I’ve finally moved the broad beans, and courgettes into place.  They look a little floppy at the mo; so I’ve given them a rather good soaking.  Think they will need a little more staking.  Worryingly spotted a number of small holes in the leaves of the beans.  Something to keep an eye on.  

Also planted out 4 courgette plants; mindful that they ‘don’t like being transplanted’, and since two out of each set of 3 seedlings came up successfully, they are nestled together in little pairs.  I can’t be the only gardener who hates culling the smaller, weaker seedlings.

And finally; 4 onions, grown from seed (planted back end of January) at Hadlow.  Refugees from my ‘allium bed’ that has been converted to asparagus.

I’ll need to add some staking for the runner beans, and I’ll pop in a couple of sweet pea seedlings (the only one that actually germinated) to aid pollination.

Hope we get to see some sun soon!