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  • Not really surprisingly, today I didn't feel much like digging. I spent the morning trimming the roadside hedge again as there was quite a bit of new growth and several large brambles. I also went round the edge of the plot pulling out the horsetail (more to do) and also pulled some out from in amongst the strawberries (a losing battle).

    The strawberries are producing a steady stream of ripe fruit with some slug damage. I'm washing these and cutting out any damaged bits then drying them and freezing on a tray. The plan is that when I have enough of them I will make some jam.
    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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    • Horsetail day today (what a surprise!). I finished pulling as much of it out from underneath the roadside hedge as possible, and removed what I could see from all the raised beds except the one with the cauliflower and turnips in (bed 6). This bed currently contains one cauliflower and 2 turnips which are all ready to eat. It will soon be dug in a similar way to bed 4 and planted with tomatoes.

      There were some bits of horsetail appearing in amongst the raspberries, so I removed as much of these as I could, and then set about what I had intended to do, which was dig it out of the tunnel. I was going to do the road end east side, but when I looked closely I found some growing at the shed end as well, so I tackled that first. Considering I have dug this bit 4 times now there is a remarkable amount of root still coming up when I dig. After about an hour of this I'd had enough and picked some strawberries and peas and a beetroot for lunch.

      After lunch I went back and did a bit more, so I have dug about 1/4 of the area of the tunnel today. I felt I had earned my bowl of strawberries and ice cream and an afternoon watching Royal Ascot (with bits of gardening at home in between the races). This is likely to be the programme for the rest of this week, one of my favourite weeks of the year and my nominal "summer holiday".
      A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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      • Rain! The cold front that is bringing a couple of cooler and fresher days (and chilly nights) arrived this morning and for a short while there was some fairly heavy rain. As soon as it had stopped I dashed down to the allotment to collect up the water (probably a watering can full) before it evaporated. It was fairly windy so everything was soon dry again, but hopefully the plants got something from it.

        I did a little more digging in the tunnel before the rain started again, this time just enough to wet me without producing anything useful. I went home for lunch, taking with me the last of the cauliflowers and a bag of strawberries (mostly slug damaged).

        With almost no rain in the forecast for the foreseeable future, I swopped my 2 litre water bottle for a 5 litre one that I found in the garage. I can carry 5 litres of water, although it does make the walk to the plot rather harder work than the much lighter 2 litre bottle. I am going to have to remember not to water the blueberry out of the dustbin that I am storing this tap water in.

        The rain was a bit of a nuisance as it stopped me from doing as much digging as I wanted to. I'm very aware that the weather is going to turn hot soon, and I'm not going to be able to do so much digging. I wilt at 25C. Hopefully I can get most of the tunnel dug over in the next couple of days and the cauliflower bed done over the weekend - I need that for the tomato plants, but I have to eat the turnips first!
        A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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        • I don't think you have made a post here where your not pulling or digging horsetail out.
          However see
          Would you believe it! A use for the Mare’s Tail! | Craigentinny Allotments
          Jimmy
          Expect the worst in life and you will probably have under estimated!

          Comment


          • Hmm last url points to
            https://www.progreen.co.uk/kurtail-gold
            Never heard of that, has anyone ???
            Jimmy
            Expect the worst in life and you will probably have under estimated!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Penellype View Post

              I felt I had earned my bowl of strawberries and ice cream and an afternoon watching Royal Ascot (with bits of gardening at home in between the races). This is likely to be the programme for the rest of this week, one of my favourite weeks of the year and my nominal "summer holiday".
              I hope you wore a hat

              On the subject of everyone's favourite weed, my neighbour seems to be having success with a brew made of white wine vinegar, salt and a dab of washing-up liquid. Obviously it kills everything it touches, but he's confident enough to put some sweetcorn in after it and that all looks fine (better than mine in fact... grrr)

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
                I don't think you have made a post here where your not pulling or digging horsetail out.
                However see
                Would you believe it! A use for the Mare’s Tail! | Craigentinny Allotments
                Jimmy
                I don't think I have gone a day at the allotment without digging or pulling horsetail, at least not since it started to grow! Very interesting link - I've no interest in using it as a spray, but I find it encouraging that the article comments that you can get rid of it by forking over and removing it then keeping it down - that is exactly what I am doing.
                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
                  Hmm last url points to
                  https://www.progreen.co.uk/kurtail-gold
                  Never heard of that, has anyone ???
                  Jimmy
                  Not heard of it but the guy who has the allotment next to mine said he bought some weedkiller off the internet that was guaranteed to kill horsetail. He's sprayed half his "field" with it and the horsetail has gone brown. He started digging it out this morning. I forgot to ask what it was that he used, but I don't use weedkillers anyway so I won't be buying it.
                  A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by bikermike View Post
                    I hope you wore a hat

                    On the subject of everyone's favourite weed, my neighbour seems to be having success with a brew made of white wine vinegar, salt and a dab of washing-up liquid. Obviously it kills everything it touches, but he's confident enough to put some sweetcorn in after it and that all looks fine (better than mine in fact... grrr)
                    I wear a hat for the allotment (but not for watching Ascot) .

                    I'd be worried about applying too much salt to the soil, and vinegar would make it acid, at least for a while. Interesting that the sweetcorn doesn't seem to mind.
                    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
                      Hmm last url points to
                      https://www.progreen.co.uk/kurtail-gold
                      Never heard of that, has anyone ???
                      Jimmy
                      Maybe where the saying 'Put the Kibosh on it ' came from......if it REALLY works , might be worth going out of 'The Box'..???
                      Never Let the BAD be the Enemy of the GOOD

                      Conservation and Preservation for the Future Generation

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Penellype View Post
                        I wear a hat for the allotment (but not for watching Ascot) .

                        I'd be worried about applying too much salt to the soil, and vinegar would make it acid, at least for a while. Interesting that the sweetcorn doesn't seem to mind.
                        Amazing........ ?how can a LADY be in Ascot Mode without a hat ...??
                        Never Let the BAD be the Enemy of the GOOD

                        Conservation and Preservation for the Future Generation

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by geepee View Post
                          Amazing........ ?how can a LADY be in Ascot Mode without a hat ...??
                          I'd feel daft watching telly in a hat!
                          A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by geepee View Post
                            Maybe where the saying 'Put the Kibosh on it ' came from......if it REALLY works , might be worth going out of 'The Box'..???
                            I'd prefer not to use weedkiller. If I'm still digging out similar amounts next year I might consider it, but there are things I don't want to kill.
                            A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                            Comment


                            • More digging of horsetail today in the tunnel, trying hard to get this done in the next couple of days. Progress is slow, but steady. The bit I am doing now (road end east side) has only been dug over once so far.

                              Also today I cut down some of the geraniums (cranesbill) that were near the tunnel edge - as well as harbouring snails and horsetail these were also drinking precious water supplies. I deadheaded the remainder to try to prevent them seeding everywhere. I will remove these plants soon, when I get the time.

                              While I was doing this I noticed a small greenhouse had appeared on the road side of the hedge. It is not the sort of thing you expect to see waiting at a bus stop! This turned out to belong to the man who has the next allotment - he is going to put it where his horsetail is when the weedkiller has done its job. It appears to be plastic windows in an aluminium frame - it will be interesting to see how it copes with wind.

                              Altogether today I made 5 trips to the allotment, taking a 5 litre can of water with me each time. 2 of those occasions were when I was passing in the car. I should shortly have an empty 10 litre can (its currently full of rain water for the blueberries at home, but they will drink it fairly quickly in the heatwave as they are big bushes). I won't be able to carry 10 litres all the way to the allotment but I will be able to take it down in the car when I go past. I'm determined not to leave my plants short of water.
                              A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                              Comment


                              • More horsetail digging in the tunnel. After 2 sessions of digging I have finished the road end east side except for Mr Toad's house. I may need to disturb him soon.

                                I also cut the grass, trimmed the west hedge and chopped down some of the flowers near the tunnel door. I want to get these out of the way now as I'd like to put the blueberry bush there (in its pot). It is currently in the tunnel, but it has aphids and the predators can't get at it in there, so this is now top priority.

                                Other than that, I picked over the peas and brought back a bag full for the freezer. The sugar peas are flowering at last - they are purple podded ones and have nice bicoloured (purple and pale purple) flowers.

                                I've noticed when picking the strawberries that almost all of them are damaged. Some have holes in which are clearly made by slugs, but most have brown marks on the surface. I thought this might be where slugs have crawled over the fruit, but there is far too much of it - I would have expected much more in the way of holes. I think this is strawberry seed beetle damage https://www.kenmuir.co.uk/image/data...TLE%20_57_.pdf - I don't get this at home so I didn't recognize it. The few plants that I potted up and moved into the tunnel to ripen are not damaged in this way.
                                Last edited by Penellype; 22-06-2018, 09:12 PM.
                                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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