Thursday 20 July 2017

The allotment in July 2017

I write this just after I have boiled up over 2kg of redcurrants and then left them to drain before I turn it into jelly. It's been one of those types of months at the allotment – the produce is coming thick and fast and it's now a race against time in order to use it.

Along with the redcurrants there's been the first crop of potatoes. It's always exciting to dig below the surface and search for buried treasure. At first you think there's only one or two potatoes but as you go down further and expand your search it's surprising just how many potatoes you end up finding. This variety is Desirée and they make a good all-rounder. We bought some potato sacks as part of our seed order so it will make it easier to store them for longer this year.
When we grew broad beans last year we also put in the companion plant of nasturtiums. The reason for this is that broad beans are prone to blackfly but are lured away by the nasturtiums. We didn't do this this year but we have seen the difference. The blackfly did attack our broad beans but we did fight back by spraying them with a mixture of water and Ecover washing up liquid.
Along with my choice of a plant-based washing up liquid we were helped by the blackfly's natural predator – the ladybird. I'm not sure what variety this ladybird but it was certainly getting its fill of aphids.
Now we need to talk courgettes. At the beginning of the season we started a planting trial with the courgettes after we germinated them on the window sill. A couple of plants were put in the greenhouse, we left two at home on the patio in a wooden box and the rest we planted directly into the soil. The winner? It has to be courgettes directly in the soil – good job we have an allotment! We currently have so many that I think I am going to have to start leaving some on the doorsteps of random strangers!
There's still plenty of crops to come. Our sweetcorn is looking really strong at the moment. We planted them in a block to aid fertilisation and took advantage of the free munch pile to put round the bottom. The tassels are now showing so hopefully the cobs will come soon.
As we have now a row freed up after the broad beans were harvested it has now been filled with our winter crop. Last year we dug some leeks up for our Christmas dinner and we were still digging them up for weeks afterwards. When it's freezing outside and it makes a good excuse to pay a visit to the allotment otherwise you may not see it all for months. At the moment we can't go enough!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you've done so well. Your plot is looking so much better than ours. Now the deer are getting in, our heart has gone out of it and all we've got (pretty much) is garlic and potatoes.


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