Summer is here!

Which means it’s all systems go to get planting out the tender plants. The weather has really gone from one extreme to the other. Ground frosts had nipped at the leaves of my potatoes a couple of weeks ago (which could have been a lot worse save for us earthing them up) and then this weekend was too hot (for us anyway) for any serious allotment grafting. So I’ve resolved to go down in the evenings when it’s cooler and I have more time.

First out are the tomatoes just because they were growing far too large for the modules they were in. I’m growing blight resistant Ferline this year, as I had such a disaster with blight on last years crop. To be on the safe side, I will also spray them if it looks like a damp and humid summer again this year (the perfect conditions for the disease) though everyone seems to think we’re in for a hot one. We’ll see.

I have also added some chicken wire supports to my peas which are coming on well. This seems to be about the easiest method I’ve tried which basically just involves weaving some short bamboo canes through the wire and pushing them firmly into the ground. Last year I used netting which wasn’t very sturdy once the peas get heavier, or it’s very windy, and it gets tangled and knotted so easily. I then used some twiggy sticks, which look great, but they were a nightmare to weed under. Especially when you get bindweed coming up that has to be pulled at ground level, I nearly took my eye out several times on the sticks. No, I’m going for the chicken wire this year. I’m always interested to know what other people do and often have a sneaky look around the site, everyone seems to have a different method!

These are my broad beans. According to the seed packet, these should have been ready weeks ago, as they were sown back in November. But I assume it’s down to the harsh winter we’ve had. They’ve certainly made up for lost time now, I only had a few tiny babies last time I visited the plot and look what happens when you turn your back for a few days! Must have been the seaweed feed I gave them last. I’ve not grow them before, so I’m looking forward to trying freshly picked broad beans for the first time. I need to source some recipes now!

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