Thursday, 25 June 2009


I think it's fair to say that I have a poppy problem! Every bed, in the paving, everywhere there are big pink poppies. I can hardly see the plot or what's growing on it for poppies. I usually let a few grow but this year I've been a bit preoccupied selling my home and trying to buy somewhere so I've only rushed down to water the greenhouse. I haven't carefully thinned the poppy seedlings down to a managable number and have been over run! I'm not sure if you can see that from the photograph.

It's not bad though, there are plenty of bees and other pollinators, my crops are all doing well (have a regular supply of strawberries for Elizabeth as well as raspberries, gooseberries and soon the blueberries start cropping.

My sweetcorn is doing well, and the interplanting with beans and squash seems to be working this year. The three free roses are fantastic and I've had cut flowers with loads left on the plant for the insects for a month now.

My greenhouse is overflowing with tomato plants and it's a mammoth task potting them all on and more importantly finding pots!

I was also pleased to see the broad beans are thriving despite the odd bit of blackfly. And more pleased to see that there were loads of ladybirds, ladybird larvae etc feasting on the blackfly - its year three and my no chemical principles seem to be paying off.

My next big challenge is how to keep the greenhouse watered whilst I'm in Iceland. Think I need to beg a few favours - they should be able to help themselves to the first crop of tomatoes that will ripen in the next week or two.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Time flies

It seems like absolutely ages since I last spent time at my plot! I've made the dash down there to water the greenhouse but not much else in the last few weeks (my weekends have been taken up with visits to relatives, friends and my Hut).

Absence however has this remarkable power - the allotment goes wild. I now have metre-high poppy plants everywhere (the first one is in flower, a lovely large pink bloom). The weeds are also huge (despite pulling them up everytime I see one - how do they escape!).

On the plus side I do have lots of fruit this year - a bumper crop of pears, apples and plums (see pic) and it doesn't look too bad on the cherry and gooseberry front either.

In the greenhouse things are going well - I had over 100 tomato plants of different varieties but have managed to give many away (hurray!) and potted on the others. Still many toms in pots they have outgrown but will hopefully get to those this weekend. There are quite a few toms already on the plants - some the size of golf balls!

I've finally managed to grow carrots - after my third attempt at sowing seeds. Wonder what I did wrong. And I've only got about 4 parsnip plants after sowing nearly 3 packets of seeds!!!

I've also planted out sweetcorn and squash as well as beans (trying the 'three sisters' again this year).

Harvesting-wise I've had a continuous but small supply of strawberries (they rarely make it off the plot), a few early onions, asparagus and lettuce. The cherries are ripening and I guess the garlic will need lifting soon.