Saturday, 20 June 2009

An update on the crops.

I have had quite a relaxing day for a change. I got up late (I wont say what time) but I went to bed extremely late last night, so I needed to catch up with my sleep. I had also fed my little grand-daughter throughout the previous night so my daughter-in-law could get a restful night, so I think I deserved a lie in.
The only thing about getting up late is that I can't wait to get out into the garden to see whats going on, does anyone else do this ? I think my neighbour must think I am a little eccentric (or crazy!) as there I was in my P.J's pottering around the garden, pulling up the odd weed, when he called out to say hello!
I went up to the allotment at about 6pm with the intention of just watering the greenhouse, but ending up staying for almost 2 hours. I was digging up marigolds from the herb bed and planting them elsewhere. There have grown enormous, goodness knows why, perhaps it's the' growmore' plant food, I have never seen such big marigolds.
The sweetcorn is looking very healthy with nice thick stalks and growing tall. The spinach beet (perpetual spinach) is delicious and never stops growing, it's great to pick it knowing that it will keep going. Delicious lightly steamed with baby broad beans.
The runner and french beans are growing well up the supports, and the raspberries have doubled in size since I put them in last year. I am very pleased with the onion growth, I was a bit unsure about growing them from seed, but they are trouble free and I would defiantly grow from seed as opposed to sets again next year.
I want to get an Asparagus bed going for next year, even if I have to forfeit potato space. I have been harvesting a neighbours plot for the asparagus., and it has been a real treat. They gave up the plot to move to one nearer their area and no-one has taken it over yet, so myself and a couple of others have been harvesting it. That is until it became really very badly infested with asparagus beetle, they are horrible little things.
The fact that the plot hasn't been given to someone from the very long waiting list is a disgrace, it's been empty now for around 2 months and there are over 100 people waiting for an allotment. Also it's unfair to the next person who takes it over as it is now full of weeds and badly overgrown. Had it been given straight away the new tenant would have had hardly any work to do other than do a plan then prepare the beds for planting. This is an issue that needs addressing all around the country.
Onions and munchkin squashes


Runner beans and French beans


Spinach Beet and Calendulas


Prospero said...

Hi Maureen. Can you give me a quick primer on allotments. Someone lives in an apartment, wants to grow some food, government rents out and administers plots of land. Am I close?

I swear you're the neatest gardener in the world. Squash. There's the squash. Perfectly lined up... no weeds, no craziness. (I should say parenthetically that you don't know what weeds are till you move to frost-free Bermuda. Who would have thought that weeds liked 95% humidity year round. Go figure.)

Just look at the tepee for your beans. Perfect. The sweetcorn. Mine is ahead of yours and I think we'll be having corn any time now). I'll post a picture for you on Tuesday.

Well, that's it. Another novelette.

Maureen said...

Hi PROSPERO, I always look forward to your novelettes. You are very close on the allotment theory, but you don't have to live in a flat to get one. I have a house and a fairly big garden. I have a brilliant link here for you which will give you the 'History' of allotments in Britain
I hope you enjoy the article.
I sometimes find it very hard keeping up the allotment and my garden, but I do enjoy it, but not the weeding. I do have weeds honestly, but try to keep on top of it. I look forward to your corn photographs.

Maureen said...

PROSPERO, I just checked out the link I gave you (cut & pasted) and it didn't go straight to the history page, so see the link on the new post, as that one did. Let me know if you have a problem.

Jo said...

Everything's looking great Maureen.
I agree with you about allotment waiting lists. It would benefit everyone if vacant plots were let straight back out. The waiting lists are so long and it's such a shame that plots are left to get in such a state before being let again.

Maureen said...

JO, thanks for the comment. I am making the most of the crop of strawberries on the empty plot at the moment,they are earlier than my own, but the weeds are so high it looks an eyesore.

Anna said...

Interesting what you say about your neighbouring plot Maureen. The plot next door to me has been vacant for over six months now yet we hear so much about these long waiting lists !!! Council workers were on it last week strimming but oh what a waste.

Maureen said...

ANNA, The whole system is shameful. Plot-holders who don't cultivate their plot get 3 months notice to do something about it, and then if they haven't started to tend it they then get 3 months notice to quit the plot, so that's 6 months before anyone on the list even gets considered.
Your lucky in your area, the council wont strim the vacant plots here. In fact myself and another plot-holder are considering doing it ourselves as the weeds are blowing onto our plots.
There is a small article about this concern in the current issue of 'Grow your Own' magazine, page 29, titled Given Up? A resident in Colchester, Essex has been on the waiting list for 2 years and is so fed up seeing uncultivated and empty plots that she has taken the issue up with her local paper. Good for her and more people should do this and get the system changed.

Joanne said...

Maureen It is looking so well cared for and everything growing so nicely.

Chellebab said...

Hi Maureen, your allotment looks so beautiful and organised. I would love it if ours looked half as good as yours. As a newbie to your blog I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences and hopefully picking up a few tips along the way !!

All the best, Michelle

Maureen said...

JOANNE & MICHELLE, thanks for the comments. It's hard work keeping an allotment plot looking good, but worth it in the end as it make it a pleasure to be there. MICHELLE, good luck with your plot, I will visit your blog again to see how it's going.

Avis said...

Your vegetables look amazing. I understand why you want your own asparagus. It is such a delicious treat when it's tender and fresh.