• The end of july

    • Harvests

    • Hoverfly

    • Red Tailed Bumble Bee

    • Allotment

    Everything is growing in abundance.  The long hot sunny days have enabled many of the vegetables to become ready for harvesting both at the allotment and in the courtyard.  The courtyard is alive with the buzz of visiting bees and hoverflies (and even the occasional dragon fly visiting briefly too!).

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  • Growing in small spaces

    Nibbly bed in July
    CourtyardThe courtyard garden at the back of the house is in fine fettle currently. There are bees and hoverflies buzzing around and the plants are all healthy and vibrant, along with the small amount of veg growing too in abundance. The courtyard only began it’s journey to a new lease of life just last spring. We’d moved into the house the previous autumn, and I gave myself a challenge of turning it from an area of sterile tarmac into a wildlife friendly courtyard garden. Read more

  • The end of june

    • Bees galore

    • Apples

    • Courtyard bed

    Another busy and vibrant month.  The weather has been rather kind, with a good blend of ocassional rainy days and long warm sunny days and I am pleased to say that the main veggie bed area in the allotment is all finally dug, mulched and planted up and growing well. At the end of the month, I covered up the turf pile and planted some squash in it.  I’m not sure that they’ll make it maturity as I fear the slugs may quite like the covered turf pile with a new ‘take-away’ being planted up, so will see how that goes.  At least the turf is covered and can begin to break down properly with the aim to use it as a mulch in time.

    The courtyard beds (one small ‘nibbly bed’ and a slightly bigger bed) is now planted up with a mix of salads, and leftovers from the allotment.  The Wautoma cucumbers have been planted outside into tubs, along with some of the Rosa de Berne tomatoes in the beds too.  The aubergine plant is the only one of my youngsters which hasn’t kept up to speed with the pace of growing with the others plants but am hoping that will catch up in time.
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  • The vegetable beds

    • Vegetable beds

    • Onions and beetroot

    • Leeks

    After the creation of the no-dig beds planting up has finally taken place. I’m doing a very simple four year crop rotation on the beds.  The first weekend in June I planted up the potato and roots and onions beds.  My potatoes I have to admit I wasn’t sure if they’d come up as they’d been nestled away in an understairs cupboard for far too long and very straggly tubers needed trimming down when planting out.  Whilst everything else is aiming to do the ‘no-dig’ way, I’ve put these in in a traditional manner and will try the no-dig potato growing method fully next year. On the roots and onions bed I’ve used some veggie-mesh to give the young parsnips some protection whilst they are still young.  I grew these from seed in cardboard tubes at home. During the second weekend of June, I planted up the legume and brassica beds.  Thankfully a neighbour was throwing out some trellis panels, so I’ve upcycled these into a tower for my beans and sweet peas to climb up.

    Bed 1 – Legumes

    • Peas – Deuce Provence
    • Runner Beans – Polestar
    • Courgette
    • Sweetcorn – Lark

    Bed 2 – Brassicas

    • Mixed cabbage (red and green varieties)
    • Lettuce – Oak Leaf – Flashy Butter Oak
    • Lettuce – Cos – Devils Tongue

    Bed 3 – Roots and Onions

    • Leek – Bleu de Solaise
    • Parsnip – Tender & True
    • Onions – Kyoto Market
    • Onions – Ishkura
    • Onion – Red – Brunswick
    • Beetroot – Sanguina

    Bed 4 – Potatoes

    • Potatoes – Oca
    • Potatoes – Anya
    • Potatoes – Pink Fir Apple

    This year I had too much for some beds (sadly the tomatoes now to be grown at home as my beds just aren’t big enough to squeeze them in!), and too little grown for other beds such as the brassicas one, so have added some of the ‘others’ that don’t fit into the normal rotation that fill up spaces – these include – lettuce, sweetcorn and cucurbits like the courgette.

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  • All done with the digging!

    Beds dug and mulchedSince getting to the halfway point earlier in May, I’ve been popping across to the allotment as much as time will allow and doing more digging and clearing. The weather (thankfully!) has been good, a little too hot at times, and intermingled with occassional rainfall. Finally, after much mopping of a sweaty brow and achey shoulder and back, the final digging and clearing of the beds is complete. The final two beds have now been mulched and are all ready for planting up soon. All the cow manure which has rotted well has been used on the beds too. The first two beds mulched and completed a few short weeks ago, have held the moisture in well. There are a few little weeds popping up on the beds, mainly Fat Hen, but these are very easy to pull out of the mulch when at the second leaves stage. Before planting up, I’ll do a quick weed, then give it a gently hoe in places to break up the larger clumps of manure.

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