Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Harvest Monday - false security and an allotment update

It's been unusually sunny and hot here the last few days, easily lulling us into a false sense of security. The good thing is it's brought on the growth of things like tomato and pepper plants which really hadn't been enjoying the cold, dull weather. And luckily none of my little brassica seedlings got frazzled in the greenhouse, which did happen one year. Quite a few things need potting on now, so I should get on with that before they become too leggy. Ooh, and I noticed today that the first cucumber and winter squash seedlings are emerging. 

Down at the allotment I've been getting the beds ready for this year's plantings. This meant harvesting the remainder of the leeks, though I did leave a few little ones to go to flower, because they look pretty and the insects like them too. 

I've also made another harvest of purple sprouting broccoli, this was about half.
And the self seeded chard is putting on some lovely fresh growth, before it begins to bolt...so I should really go round harvesting as much of this as possible. 
The broad beans I sowed in Autumn made it through the recent cold weather, phew. They're quite hardy but showed a big of damage  (blackened leaves) after several freezing days (interestingly, the snow didn't cause any damage, it was the extreme cold later that did). They've all been nibbled by weevils (which create little scallops all round the leaf edges) but it never seems to bother the plants too much. I love the flowers, that white and black is stunning.
At home we're eking out the last of the rocket in the lean-to greenhouse. Not many harvests left now. Excitingly our local organic greengrocers has Isle Of White tomatoes in - the tomato company uses waste products to generate heat for their grow-houses, plus they have a warm micro climate down there, which means very early tomatoes - it feels like a real treat.

Here's a quick look round the allotment. I mowed the grass paths the other day, so it looks quite neat (I have one of those push-mowers, which are great if the grass isn't too long to begin with). Also, you can't see the edges of the plot, or around the main fruit bushes, which all need mulching. But on the whole I'm quite pleased. No doubt the grass will need cutting again the next time I go down though....so I'm trying to get rid of some of the smaller grass paths by mulching with cardboard, to save maintenance in the future.

Standing near the entrance looking down length. One of my dwarf apple trees in the foreground. Shed to the right (out of shot). Bags of manure ready to spread on the beds (I went with a friend to collect manure the other day...very well-rotted, I could do with a trailer-ful!)

About two-thirds down...the neat bit. I've started mulching the summer raspberries on the left. In the foreground is self sown chard which I'll crop and remove when it's time to put the new plants in. Oh and I left a few plants of corn salad to go to flower and seed.

These three beds are potatoes. The two outer ones have manure added on top (ideally this would've been done earlier) the middle bed had manure last year for squash plants, and as I don't have loads of manure I'm prioritising where it goes. I'm also going to try not earthing-up the potatoes (which disturbs the soil) and instead try and find enough mulch material...will see how this goes but may end up earthing-up after all.
The fruit bushes (far end and edge of plot, behind me) are all full of flowers, it looks like another good year for them, I'll try and get some piccies next time. The plum tree next to the shed seems to have responded well to the pruning I gave it last summer so I'm looking forward to plums as well, mmm.

I'm linking in with Harvest Monday kindly hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres
Dave at Our Happy Acres


  1. We dug up all our leeks too! Do you freeze chard? The plot is looking great. We had a lovely couple of days in Norfolk in the sun.

    1. Thanks Sue! I've frozen chard in the past - simmered lightly then packed tight into freezer boxes, which worked well. Not sure if I'll get round to that this year. Though I could always cook a big curry or something with it in and then freeze some of that instead. Glad you enjoyed Norfolk :)

  2. You certainly got plenty done in those few dry days. Your plot looks really good,=. It is so satisfying to look over the beds and imgagine everything quietly growing away, isn't it?

  3. Your plot looks good as does your leeks and sprouting broccoli. I have high hopes for my leek and onion seedlings, hopefully they'll do better than last year.

  4. The leeks look lovely and for a second I thought the chard was rhubarb, it's so red. It looks like you have been busy at the allotment! I am so far behind it's not even funny, what with all the rain we've had.