26 June 2017

Allotment update ...2

I've had some annual leave over the past couple of weeks so lots of time to spend in my allotment, yeah! Turns out things happen super quickly in the allotment at this time of year and you have to keep on top of things. Lots of exciting developments, so I thought I would do a little update...

You can find update number 1 here and my very first allotment post here.

I must admit to neglecting things over here a little prior to this, so aside from the shock of the oh SO many weeds I was in for a few pleasant surprises also.

Lurking in the rather messy 'fruit' bed these little guys we hiding under all the weeds! Score! We unearthed the strawberry plants in the tangle that was the plot when we took it over. Since then these plants have been pretty much left to their own devices in the corner. But moving house hasn't seemed to have bothered them.

We picked a good couple of tubs full and I enjoyed them for my dinner. Mark even put some in a yummy smoothie.

The peas, well they have exploded! We are new to growing everything, so no idea how many peas is a good amount to plant. But perhaps we planted a few too many here. They are a massive creepy, curly tangle, but they look amazing.

I was so excited to see the actual pods on the plants. I think out of all the allotment plants I am most excited about the peas. I plan to simply eat them fresh from the pod, that's the best way.

We have carrots! I must admit some of our beds have been a little more challenging, due to not being entirely sure the difference between a vegetable and a weed when they first poke through the soil.  But these guys are very obviously carrots!

I was carefully digging the weeds around them, but accidentally dug up a teeny tiny one. Eek, it's the saddest thing ever digging up a teeny baby carrot. I tucked him back in safely, hopefully he will be ok.

I was well proud of our potato plants, they look fantastic. That is until one of our allotment neighbours invited me over to see hers. About 3 times the size and her plot is thick with plants. She let me dig up some of hers though so I knew how to do it once the time was ready. I got to keep a few, and we enjoyed those for tea too, delicious fresh from the ground spuds. yum!

This little guy was curious to see how the potato plants were getting on too.

We have lettuces! I am not sure what variety but they look so good. So far not many have been nibbled either. Seeing the little lettuces all in a row so reminds me of Beatrix Potter books and illustrations of Mr McGregor's garden! hehe.

Our onions are doing super well also, it is so pleasing to see them in their neat little rows.

I'm including this pic of some radishes we picked a couple of weeks earlier too. Radishes, so it would seem, are super easy and grow super quickly. But we had rather a lot, and they are a whole lot 'hotter' than regular supermarket ones, so er a little difficult to know what to do with so many radishes.

Just having a well earned allotmenting break, it's hard work all this gardening you know.  We have no seats or shed to put them in yet, so the ground will have to suffice for now.  But once I am muddy I don't really care. People must think I am most odd on my walk home with my muddy knees! hehe.

So as pretty as the veg pictures are the allotment isn't all glamorous! It is a lot of hard work and it takes up a lot of time to maintain to a decent standard. Once you have taken it on it's quite a big commitment.

I hadn't been to the plot for a couple of weeks prior to this and I was quite shocked and a little sad to see that the weeds had taken over massively. We have some empty beds still and well you couldn't see the soil. With  the beds with veg in it was difficult to see the shoots and differentiate them from the weeds. Untangling the weeds from around the veg and carefully digging is not too much fun.

This jungle is the current state of our raspberry patch. The plants are in there somewhere and they will produce fruit a little later in the summer.  But I would love to get this patch under control a bit more.  I always want everything to look nice, but it is a lot of work just to keep everything manageable, so aesthetics kind of go out the window.

A lonely little potato in the onion patch! hehe. There are literally potatoes everywhere in the allotment. I have no idea what kind of planting plan the previous tenant had, seemed to just grow potatoes over the whole thing!

Now I 'think' this little guy is a parsnip. This bed was so overrun I kind of left it until last, then had some friends come and help which was fab! I must admit I had to ask a fellow allotmenter to help me identify these little parsnip guys in amongst the crazy weeds.  I am happy to report though I have uncovered a few parsnips now, we shall see how they get on.

We were able to harvest our first onions and garlic! Here's Mark digging out the first onion.  We had this one for tea too!

So our garlic went in on the shortest day and was harvested on the longest day.  We picked all of our garlic now.  Not sure if it is meant to look like this (in the pic) but it sure smells garlicky! Mark made some garlic bread which was delicious.  We are storing all of this in our out-building at home and goodness what a lovely strong smell they give off every time you open the door!

Pretty pleased with our first garlic haul.

A very proud allotmenter.

We are super pleased that everything we have planted (from seed no less) has sprouted and seems to be doing well. Plus the things we moved such as rhubarb, strawberries and raspberries all seem to be good too. This growing stuff is really just down to good luck! Bung them in the ground and they do all the work themselves! Easy peasy!

Well I am sure there will be more updates to come, we still have carrots, peas, potatoes, raspberries all to harvest and our teeny trees to put into the tree nursery too. Not to mention edging all our beds, painting our fence, making the paths look nice, putting in the poly tunnel and the shed and a nice patio seating area... stay tuned for more exciting allotment updates to come...

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