It’s been quite a while since I last posted an allotment update. Too much to do, too little time to do it! My main tasks initially were building more deep beds and getting some seedlings started. I also tried growing some potatoes in large pots with limited success as the potatoes wern’t that big.
My first attempts at growing form seed apart from a few brassicas, carrots and peas many seeds just rotted as the tray base kept them too moist. Next I tried in trays.
I had better success this way but unlike this picture above I soon learn’t to stop putting water in the tray base as mentioned above and just keep the soil moist. I transferred the carrots that did make it into a larger pot.
I also potted on the first brassicas that made it from my first attempts from seed.
Slowly I started to get the hang of it, wish I’d taken more photos though. I also planted some beetroot and spring onion seeds in the green house bed as well as some cucumbers in bowls with holes drilled in the bottom,
I’m even trying some brassicas in the greenhouse bed too.
Also got some brassica seedlings and potatoes going in some outside beds and put carrot seeds in an old bath. I’m only growing a small amount of peas this year as I’m still building the last few of my deep beds, all that sieving takes a long time.
Using old carpet as weed control was one of the biggests mistakes I made as it created a perfect home for slugs. Later I cut it all out of my beds from around much larger plants and, using a pair of little tongs, pulled out over 100 slugs. I started using beer traps, small coffee jars 1/3 filled with beer to start keeping the slugs in check. I empty them out once a week and the beer traps now account for 30 – 40 slugs per week. All the brassicas have really come on strong since I started getting a grip on my slug control techniques.
Things are going great in the greenhouse too. Now got cucumbers I’m picking and beetroot ready as well. Only real problem was that the beetroot grew so fast they blocked out the light on the spring onions so I transferred some outside and planted more beetroot and normal onions outside as well. I have now harvested the carrots I tried growing in the pot. They were all pretty small to be honest but this taught me to thin out the other carrots I’m growing. My main problem seems to be getting my iceberg lettuce to grow. I think the greenhouse gets too hot for them, maybe I should be trying to grow them outside once the seedlings are big enough.
Latest July pictures from the allotment. Finally got out the last of my seedlings a month ago. Late I know but I was late getting the deep beds finished. Here’s the brassica mix first and then more curly kale. Next pest to keep an eye out for will be cabbage butterfly caterpillars. Even on the last netted bed the butterflies just lay eggs on the leaves pushed against the netting.
Now removed the netting. Found 1 cabbage was chewed up by a snail. I’ve also removed the bottom leaves from all the brassicas in an effort to help the plants produce better heads.
The outdoor carrots seem to to be doing fine even though I planted them a bit late.
Last year the grapes were poorly formed so this year I’ve been heavy handed with the pruning every two or three weeks. If a shoot got to 50cm without any sign that it was going to produce a bunch of grapes it came off. I also nipped the ends off of all the forming bunches last prune.
Latest pictures from inside the greenhouse, the beetroots and cucumbers are doing great.
The carrots are getting there but the iceberg lettuce seem to not be doing so well as mentioned earlier.
The greenhouse brassicas latest. Probably planted them too close together.
Also got 1 jalapeno seed to germinate at the start of June, coming along nicely. I’ve also just got some more seeds to germinate too. Last pea and brassica seedlings in the background.
Finally I’ve been making up comfrey and nettle teas for fertiliser which I use mixed in with the water every couple of weeks. I only let it stand in the buckets of water for a week before straining the tea through a bit of cloth in a funnel as I don’t want it to get too smelly.
I’ve also got hold of some bocking 14 comfrey roots. Out of the 5 bits of root planted only 1 has currently produced a plant since planted out a couple of months ago. It’s the larger plant center top. I don’t weed this little bed as I’m just leaving to nature.
Well thats all for now although I’ve also installed a little allotment wildlife pond.