Summer progress

cerinthe m

Another weekend of good weather, and we’re making good progress on the plot now. How mother nature has been kind to us of late (to us weekend allotmenteers anyway), rain through the week, and then nice dry weekends. And it has now started to properly warm up.

Most of my plants are still way behind where they’d normally be by now, but I’m hopeful that everything will catch up.

The circular, bee-friendly, wildflower bed on the plot is brimming with Cerinthe Major which has self seeded well, and also lots of poppies.

poppies

There was, inevitably, lots of grass and bindweed too. I’ve been meaning to tackle this bed for some time now, but have been busy elsewhere, so it had been neglected somewhat. I did my best to pull out the worst clumps of weed, without disturbing too many of the plants I want to remain, and eventually managed to create a couple of clear areas which have now been filled with white Cosmos, which I’ve been growing from seed.

I’m planning on getting some foxgloves sown, so come autumn I can have a good weed out and plant up the foxgloves for next year, ensuring I scatter as many poppy and Cerinthe seeds around at the same time.

herb bed

My herb bed at the top end, is undergoing a bit of reconstruction, so watch this space. We lost a rosemary plant one winter and last year we lost the sage plant too. I also decided the hyssop had to go as it had been completely taken over by couch grass. So half the bed is empty, and the other half is mainly full of oregano which has spread itself around, a bit of mint and fennel and some random plants (self sown forget-me-nots and spare strawberries and tulips). It needs a good tidy-up, some new herbs and a proper edging (not sure what yet). I’d also like to put some large stones in there, sort of rockery style (I think they’ll come back into fashion and I aim to be ahead of the curve) but I’ll have to source some first.

broccoli cloche

As for the rest of the plot, John has been working his way down the bottom end, and I’ve been following him, along with our friendly/cocky blackbird, filling the newly dug ground with plants, while the blackbird pulls out the worms.

Under our very attractive cloche, are 12 broccoli plants. Fully protected with environmesh against pigeons and cabbage white butterflies.

I’ve also planted 5 purple sprouting broccoli, 3 cucumbers and 3 butternut squashes – all of which have little plastic bottle cloches over them for protection until they get a bit bigger. And my climbing beans have also been planted, despite their (so far) puny size. I’ve also filled gaps in the rows of dwarf beans and beetroot and sown some lettuce in between the bean poles. And a row split into 3 has been sown with more carrots (late crop Autumn King), some more parsnips and some perpetual spinach. Just the sweetcorn (shop bought plants) and leeks to go in now. The summer solstice is my deadline.

I just hope this warm weather gives everything a good energy boost. I’ve used chicken pellets, homemade compost, and Bio-Grow black gold seaweed fertiliser. I can’t really do anymore now than weed and hope.

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