Week 21/22

It is going to be difficult to get to the allotment over the next five weeks. Next week I am covering a day for one of the other managers, then the following week I am on sick leave due to my eye operation on the 9 Jul. Then finally, the following 3 weeks I am working full time to cover for annual leave. As a result assess to the plot will be limited to weekends.

The good thing is that my retirement is now just 4 months away on the 31 October and I have just had a nice letter form DWP inviting me to apply for my pension. However, back to the plot and what needs to be done. Over the next couple of weeks there are some crops that are ready to pick, some that need to be planted and plenty of weeding and tidying.

Tuesday 28 Jun – the day started sunny but quickly turned to scattered showers. The plan had been to continue the cycle of weeding and finish planting out the Kale. I managed to get part of bed 1 and bed 2 weeded and get the Kale into bed 1. However, the rain was becoming more frequent, so packed up and went home.

Saturday 2 Jul – started the day by finishing the weeding on bed 1 and harvested my first cauliflower of the year. I had brought cauliflower plants on from seed earlier in the year not knowing that I would be getting the plot so soon, so only managed to plant out 3 cauliflowers. The other two are coming on nicely and should be ready in the next 2-3 weeks.

The next task was lifting the last of the 1st early potatoes. I had already lifted just under half the crop and decided to lift and store the remaining crop. Today I lifted 6 Kg of new potatoes which give me a total crop of 10 Kg from 20 seed potatoes, not brilliant but the soil is not brilliant so next year I will revert to containers for the 1st earlies.

Final job of the day was planting out the last of the successional peas brought on in guttering at home. The first and second planting are coming on well with the first rows pods filling out nicely. Quick check of the other crops showed no sign of any climbing beans yet, but the dwarf beans were doing well. Parsnip, carrots and swede continue to grow and it should not be long before I can start picking cabbages.

Sunday 3 July – The plan to was to take advantage of the early sunshine and get the plot thoroughly strimmed and tidied up. I needed to have the plot looking trim before I have my op and cannot do any manual labour here.

The strimming of the whole site took the best part of an hour, which reminded me to get another tarpaulin and some more weed fabric, as there are areas that can be permanently covered until required. The main piece of grass is at the front of the plot and this is not required until the winter when I start to revamp the whole allotment.

The weed fabric is required for the base area of the polytunnel and where the decking is going outside the shed. I have shopped around and found a wide variation in prices, however, one of the better valued supplier is from Elixir via Amazon

Wednesday 6 July – this was an unexpected visit and is going to be the last for at least a week, maybe even 10 days. There was no specific jobs to be done, just make sure it was weeded as best I could manage and ensure the plants were tended to.

A quick walk around soon identified a couple of jobs that needed doing. The second phase of Broad Beans had got rust, so they had to be removed for burning and some of the climbing beans needed pinching out as they had reached the top of the canes. I also picked the first of this year’s peas from the first successional planting.

It won’t be long before more crops are ready to harvest, the cauliflowers continue to grow along with the chard and the Borlotti and Dwarf beans. In the home garden it is time to lift the Garlic and first sowing of Shallots, this I will leave to Monday when we are due to start a mini ‘heat wave’, ideal for drying them out for storage.

So that is it until sometime next week. I will have to try and get up just for watering as there is a protracted period of heat coming up, starting this weekend.

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