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  • Penellype
    replied
    Click image for larger version  Name:	017.JPG Views:	0 Size:	1.16 MB ID:	2514579

    Plastic mesh doing a good job of keeping the new raspberry mulch in place. More bubble wrap round the water bins.

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    The remains of the flooding between the raised beds

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    A close up of the bucket of leeks in the growhouse.
    Last edited by Penellype; 02-01-2021, 01:27 PM.

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  • Penellype
    replied
    In the tunnel:

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    Calabrese and romanesco are being harvested.

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    All the carrots have now been eaten.

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    PSB is coming along nicely.

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    The unripe strawberries really don't like the cold and need removing.

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    Some interesting fungi growing in one of the old cucumber pots.

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  • Penellype
    replied
    The remainder of December gave very little opportunity for much activity at the allotment and most of it has been preparations for the cold weather.

    As I usually fill the hotbed in January and it was threatening to freeze the old hotbed solid, possibly for several weeks, at the beginning of Christmas week this suddenly became an urgent job. I managed to do it in one session, dividing the contents between all the unoccupied raised beds.

    On Christmas eve I wrapped all the water bins in bubble wrap to protect them a bit from frost. While I was doing this it started to snow so I removed the most fragile net and replaced it with a plastic cover to keep the cat off, and dropped the nets down on the tunnel roof to stop it collapsing under the weight of snow. By this time we ahd had quite a bit of rain and the bottom corner of the allotment was under about an inch of water.

    When the ground started to freeze at the beginning of this week I decided to dig up 3 leeks and plant them in one of the 30 litre buckets that had grown potatoes. I put the bucket in the growhouse in the hope that it would stay relatively defrosted. I'm not sure how well this will work, as the buckets of carrots I put in the garage at home have managed to freeze over. The water on the allotment turned into a sheet of ice.

    During these 2 weeks I harvested the rest of the carrots, some parsnps, leeks, beetroot, romanesco and calabrese.

    Yesterday I took the usual beginning of the month photos:

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    Leeks have replaced strawberries in the growhouse. The top net has bee taken off the tunnel and everywhere is frozen solid.

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    One of the nets had blown off its hoops. I usually trap these between the layers of the raised bed sides, but they were frozen together so I couldn't. As this bed is hard as rock, if it blows off again I doubt the cat will bother with it for now.

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    The pink blueberry still has its leaves. I've done my best with the bubble wrap round the water butt.

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    Net has been replaced with plastic on the nearest bed as neither the net nor the hoops are likely to survive a covering of snow.

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    No idea when I will next be able to get a parsnip out, but at least the water level has gone down. There are just a few tell-tale bits of ice on the grass showing where the waterline was.

    More photos to follow.

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  • Penellype
    replied
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    Strawberries, chilean guava, blackcurrant and gooseberry along the fence side.


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    Red fruit on some of the strawberries in the growhouse.


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    One of the rhubarb plants thinks it is spring!


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    Part harvested romanesco.

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  • Penellype
    replied


    Strawberries, beetroot, carrots and leeks.

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    Romanesco, calabrese and PSB

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    The brassicas from the other end of the tunnel

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    Leeks are growing nicely and you can see how few carrots are left now.

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    Kale and PSB at the dark end of the tunnel.

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    I have re-posted the pictures in this post as they were behaving very strangely.
    Last edited by Penellype; 02-01-2021, 12:45 PM.

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  • Penellype
    replied
    Oh dear - to be honest the lack of updates is not entirely my fault. I have limited time slots and they seem to have a habit of coinciding with times when the website/forum is down, like yesterday (when I got a server error message). Quite a lot of the time I haven't been doing much at the allotment anyway as it has been either too wet or too cold or both.

    Most of the time at the plot has been spent picking up leaves including yellow leaves from the brassicas, and weeding. In addition I pruned the blueberries as there was quite a bit of dead wood. The bushes are leaning badly towards the sunny side, so I turned the pots round in the hope of evening things out a bit.

    As I have done for the past 2 years, I dug up some rhubarb and planted it in a bucket for forcing. I also trimmed dead leaves off the strawberries and mulched the raspberries (yesterday) with the remains of the chopped leylandii from the green dalek. This made room for the bucket of rhubarb as the black bin is at present full of a sack of sheep's wool that my sister gave me.

    Harvests have been a bit restricted, mainly carrots - the carrot fly damage is getting worse but there is still quite a bit of edible carrot. I've also harvested some leeks, romanesco sprigs and the central head of the last calabrese (yesterday). There are some parsnips ready, which I intend to start harvesting tomorrow, and some of the PSB is showing signs of producing some heads soon.

    As usual I took some photos on 1st December. Very bright low sun made some of the photos difficult.

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    Everything looking very empty.

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    There are some beetroot left under the green net.

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    The newly planted minarette cherry with the leaning blueberry behind. The pink blueberry still has most of its leaves and is much less one-sided.

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    More empty beds.

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    Parsnips under the nearest net.

    More photos to follow.

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  • Penellype
    replied
    Another 10 days... where does the time go?

    There have been quite a few days when the weather has simply not been suitable to go to the plot, and in any case the ground got so wet that walking about on the grass was chewing it up. It has dried out slightly now.

    At this time of year most gardening is of the destructive type. I harvested the last of the pak choi and some nasturtium leaves a week or so ago, then removed the pak choi and remaining lettuces as they were well and truly bolting. After a cold night on Thursday the nasturtiums got frosted, so I spent a good hour on Friday morning removing them and carefully picking up all the seeds I could find so that they don't become weeds next year. I then covered the bed with weed matting to keep the cats off.

    Other than that I picked up some of the fallen leaves and had a good weed around the raised beds and in the tunnel. I harvested a decent sized leek, some calabrese sideshoots, a beetroot and a huge but very split carrot.

    I haven't been down to the plot today as the job I most wanted to get done was paint the fence at home. Mild and dry they said. Mild was right, and it looked like being dry from the radar when I started painting at about 10am. By the time I had finished the back fence it was starting to rain... Hopefully it will be ok, as it was not heavy rain, but I'd really wanted to get the arch done as well.
    Last edited by Penellype; 24-11-2020, 04:59 PM.

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  • Penellype
    replied
    Really struggling to keep this up to date at the moment through lack of time and inability to remember what I did when. There have been several days when I didn't make it to the allotment at all either because I was too busy or the weather was so unpleasantly cold and foggy that I couldn't be bothered. So this is what I have done since the last update:

    I planted the minarette cherry tree where it was. There weren't too many tree roots so it wasn't too hard a job. There was surprisingly little horsetail (I only found 1 root) which is encouraging. I covered the soil and root ball with the weed matting to keep weeds down. there was half a trug full of soil left, so I piled it on one of the raised beds to spread out later.

    The courgette plants were almost completely dead so I removed them and protected the bed from cats with a net. I also removed most of the rest of the lettuces, which had bolted.

    I took the chilean guava to the plot and potted it up into a large pot that originally housed one of the blueberry bushes, using the remains of a bag of ericaceous compost. The plant was very pot-bound as I expected, so hopefully it will be happier now. I put it next to the fence and may plant it there next year if it doesn't mind being in the shade.

    The spinach I sowed in the growhouse is growing slowly, but only a couple of lettuces have germinated from a huge number of seeds, probably because the seeds were old.

    Other than that most of the time at the plot has been spent clearing leaves, removing a few weeds, trimming back nettles and pulling yellowed leaves off the brassicas. I also tidied away the frame from over the hotbed, which I had left in place in case the melons needed tying to it (they didn't).

    I've harvested quite a few decent sized carrots, all of which are damaged to come degree, either by splitting or by slugs or carrot fly. I think if I grow carrots next year they will need to be in one of the raised beds or have their own net if they are in the tunnel now as carrot fly is clearly a problem in there. I've also found a few edible strawberries from both the tower pot in the tunnel and the pots in the growhouse, although to be honest they have very little flavour and the stalk end has remained green. Most of the fruit rots, splits or gets eaten by slugs, so I am not sure whether I should have cut the later flowers off really!

    I also harvested a decent head of summer (!) calabrese, which has been incredibly slow to form. There is another, smaller one which should be ready soon, and I have also had some sideshoots from the earlier plant. I've started cutting shoots from the biggest romanesco plant too - you can cut the outer shoots and leave the middle of the head to grow.

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  • Penellype
    replied
    Originally posted by Bren In Pots View Post
    Pen my Romanesco plants aren't forming heads either I'll leave them a bit longer but it does look like I'll be eating just the leaves.
    Its not only the fact that there isn't a head. The leaves are a completely different shape, much rounder than on the other 2 plants.

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  • Bren In Pots
    replied
    Pen my Romanesco plants aren't forming heads either I'll leave them a bit longer but it does look like I'll be eating just the leaves.

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  • Penellype
    replied
    Inside the tunnel

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    The brassicas are getting bigger and the calabrese is finally starting to produce heads.

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    Carrots are being harvested. the leeks are growing well.

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    Brassicas from the other end and empty cucumber pots.


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    Strawberries on the shelves.

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    These 2 are both from a seed packet labelled Romanesco. The one on the left is forming a head and is clearly romanesco, but the one on the right looks suspiciously like a cabbage, which is very disappointing as I only have 3 plants.

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  • Penellype
    replied
    Photos taken 1st November

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    The beans that have since blown over. Although they were still green, there were no beans or flowers left. the rhubarb has almost completely died down now.


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    The growhouse now contains 2 pots of strawberries and some spinach seedlings. The lettuces I sowed have not appeared yet. The nasturtiums in the bed behind are still going strong, but may well get killed by frost in the next few days.


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    The melons have gone from the hotbed. Lettuces behind are bolting and the beetroot is being eaten.

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    More bolting lettuces and pak choi under the net. Empty potato buckets behind.



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    Parsnips under the net waiting for some frost. The courgettes in the bed behind have just about died.

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  • Penellype
    replied
    Wednesday
    Not a bad day. The tunnel door was still shut again, and hopefully I have solved that problem. I spent about an hour at the plot, removing the melons from the growhouse as they had completely died down. There were 3 melons which I brought home to ripen. As there were still quite a lot of fruit on the strawberry plants, I moved a couple of the pots to the growhouse in the hope that they will ripen. I also removed the french beans which had finished, did a little weeding and cleared a few fallen leaves.

    Thursday
    Not much gardening time, so all I did was nip to the plot for some beetroot.

    Friday
    Rather damp and showery, so I spent most of my gardening time at home. I did spend a short time at the plot during which I removed the tomato supports and rearranged the ground cover to keep the cats off. While doing this I uncovered a large number of slugs.

    Saturday
    Rather unpleasant outdoors with a wet morning and generally windy, so apart from a quick visit to harvest lettuce and pa choi in the morning, I left the plot alone.

    Sunday
    A bit more time and slightly better weather some of the time. As it was 1st of the month I took my camera down and took some photos (which I will post later). I also removed the cucumber plants, which had died down, and some of the lettuces which had bolted and were encrusted with aphids. Then I cleared some of the fallen leaves, although with gales forecast over night I wasn't particularly thorough. Harvested 2 strawberries, one from the tunnel and the other from the growhouse.

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    Monday
    Overnight gales had caused trouble at home, breaking off my beautiful pink cosmos plant at ground level . I therefore went to the allotment with some trepidation, expecting to find nets littered everywhere. The nets were actually fine, but the runner bean tripod had been blown over and was leaning on the roadside hedge, One of the thick bamboo canes had been snapped off. I was going to clear leaves, weed and generally tidy up, but I suddenly had a large amount of bean plants to find room for in the compost bins. This meant a complete change of plan and I emptied the top half of the big bin into the wheelbarrow and several trugs, then turned the bottom half into the smaller bin, which was only about 1/4 full but has been housing my trug of horsetail. I then put the fresher stuff back into the big bin along with some of the sheep's wool I got from my sister. The trug of horsetail went in the black dalek with the rest of the wool for now. I then swept the leaves and bits of compost off the path so that they didn't turn to a horrible sloppy mess when it rained later. Having finished that I then cut up some of the bean plants to get rid of as much as I could. I then harvested some beetroot and a couple of split carrots and retreated home as it was starting to rain.

    Tuesday
    A lovely sunny morning. I spent a couple of hours at the plot and finished removing the beans. Tidied up the canes, cleared up more leaves and did a bit of weeding. I also spent some time pondering where to put things. I have several trees and bushes in pots, and while the blueberries will probably need to stay in buckets because of their need for acid soil, I really should plant the minarette cherry, blackcurrant and gooseberry. I also have a kiwiberry, which may or may not survive as it didn't look happy int its pot, a chilean guava and an apricot tree at home that is clearly not going to produce any fruit where it is, so I may take that down to the plot. The question is where to put them - once planted I can't then move them. The blackcurrant and gooseberry should be fine in the shade, so I will plant them near the fence, providing I can dig big enough holes. I think the kiwiberry can also go near the fence, but I will keep it in a bucket as it may otherwise get far too big. The chilean guava can go in a bucket so I can move it around and see where it is happy before planting it. I decided the cherry was fine where it is, again subject to being able to dig where there may well be tree roots. I didn't have time to start planting things today, but hopefully there should be some reasonable weather in the next week or 2, so I might be able to get started.

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  • Ms-T
    replied
    I hope so , pen

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  • Penellype
    replied
    Originally posted by Snoop Puss View Post
    Very odd. Especially if there's been no theft inside. Hard to know if it's better to get to the bottom of it (in which case, it's likely humans) or for it just to stop and remain a mystery.
    When I went down yesterday and this morning the door was still shut. I think it could be the wind, coupled with less wind break from the cut down trees, or possibly a cat pushing against the net being enough to dislodge it. Anyway, hopefully the string has solved the problem.

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