Thursday 2 June 2016

The Allotment in May

OK, I know it's June but all these photographs were taken in May and sometimes there just isn't enough days in a month! Again we been lucky with the weather in that every time we have have put in a stint it hasn't rained. However we have learned that at this time of year the greenhouse gets far too hot during the day for seedlings and some have fried. It's been a month of losses and gains so let's have a look around the plot.
When we moved plots we dug up the dormant rhubarb crowns we had planted back in November. We also bought another well established rhubarb and it seems they have all survived and enjoying their new home.
In the boat the strawberries are slowly growing. At home our strawberries are far more advanced so these may be a crop for next year.
We thought the leeks we had sown were never going to germinate but a heavy rainfall seemed to be just what they wanted. As we haven't got a raised bed yet we used some of the deep troughs we had at home. One thing that hasn't germinated is the cucumbers. Not single one has come up. I don't know if it was a dodgy pack of seeds or if the greenhouse was too warm or even if we watered them too much.
Something else we have lost is the sweetcorn. The heat of the greenhouse was too much for them and they frazzled. In the spot we had designated for them we have instead bought some Brussels sprout plants. There's lots of birds around the allotment so we have netted them straight away. The other week we had a very tame pigeon fly onto the plot. I thought it looked in very good condition and then noticed it was ringed on both legs. I guess its fearlessness was because it was a homing or racing pigeon.
We planted some sunflowers directly into the soil but these haven't germinated either. Mr JibberJabber found round the back of the shed an old metal frame which seemed perfect for some sweet peas. So sweet peas purchased and hopefully we will get some summer colour and fragrance from them.
From our trip to the Isle of Wight at the beginning of the month we brought back an Elephant garlic plant from The Garlic Farm. You can see from the size of it how it got its name. It also has a very strong garlic smell to it already but we will just have to be very patient before it is ready.
The broad beans are still doing well. They have grown so much that we have had to start supporting them with twine. The bees are loving the flowers and there always seems to be at least one buzzing about. So far they have been free of the dreaded blackfly. To help combat this pest we've sown nasturtiums which have started to come through.
We sowed the broad beans at home along with the purple sprouting broccoli. Seeing how well both doing I think we have learnt our lesson that home is best for germinating.
The first batch of potatoes have started to show. We keep finding potatoes all over the plot from the previous tenant so the soil must be particularly suited to them.
For the soft fruit it looks like we have both red currants...
and black currants. I think we will have to net these as well soon as the red currants I had at home last year got munched by the birds.
The gooseberries are getting fatter by the day. As I don't know what variety they are I don't know how big they will get so I may have to prepare myself for some taste testing. I hope they aren't a cooking variety!
Down in the salad patch you can see where the little gems are. The problem with some of the other salad leaves at the moment is I'm not sure what is weeds and what isn't. Although with such fertile ground we spend more time weeding at the moment than anything else.
The last crop of the month is the tomatoes. We still don't know what variety they are but the first flowers are about to come out on them.

We saw a bug hotel at a garden centre the other week. Miss JibberJabber liked the look of them and I said I had the materials at home for her to make her own. At Christmas Mr JibberJabber was given a selection of wines in a wooden box. I couldn't bear to throw the box out so it went up to the greenhouse. I got it out and up the allotment it went along with some paints and a range of bug bedding we already had. Master JibberJabber took such a liking to it that he has now said he wants to make one. Good job I have another wooden wine box stored away!

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  1. may was such a fast and crazy month with crazy weather to go with it. you have worked so hard! hopefully you will see all the fruits of your labor

  2. An amazing variety is growing in your allotment. I now also really really want a strawberry boat in our garden!

  3. Wow the allotment looks amazing, such a lot of work has gone into it and that is evident from your photo's. What will you be making with the red currants and gooseberries? Jam and pie?

  4. Looking good and a lot less weedy than mine although can I brag and say my rhubarb is bigger than yours!! Love the strawberry boat :) #HDYGG


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