So we’d planned where the runner beans were going back in January, when Mrs Allotment10and10a worked out the rotation, for this year.
We’ll as we had a day off and it was sunny we made a packed lunch and thought we’d get weeding and building the beans support.
I soon lost interest in the weeding but we persevered.
Now structure building on the plot usually starts, ends and in the middle has some form of argument.
No that’s not what I meant!
Are you doing this on purpose?
Why aren’t you listening to me?
And so on.
So when this one went relatively well and we added cross braces because of the wind, we were both quite impressed with the quality of this one.
We also mulched the trees and blueberries, and it’s the first year we have flowers on the blueberries, so fingers crossed for some fruit this year.
We also picked up a reduced Broom plant in Homebase, and planted that in what will become the flower bed.
Now just weeding the salad and courgette beds now…
So weeds had conquered the raspberry bed. It had only been a few weeks since we’d finished off the raspberry bed, and it was clear the amount of bark we’d put down to suppress the weeds wasn’t enough.
So after 2 hours weeding and 3 buckets for cooch grass, bind weed and all sorts of other things, we laid 400 litres of bark and, I have to say, it looks good, in my opinion.
The autumn canes don’t seem to be doing much but there is growth on a couple.
So we are back from our holiday, and it was amazing to see just how much had grown.
Our first trip up to the plot was to just water, as it had been dry whilst we were away and weren’t impressed with the Thomson flight times and 2 road closures and diversions on the way home.
The broad beans had really come on, and we have pods now on the over winter ones.
The trees have come on too
Artichokes have artichokes…
The weeds have conquered the raspberries, watch the space…
And the courgettes are ready to be hardened off.
Plans were afoot to have a couple of days up the plot with our remaining holiday, watch this space.
So, it’s currently 25 degrees and I’m sat next to a swimming pool, wondering, no hoping that it’s rained a bit at home, sorry.
Last Sunday we planted out our brassicas and netted them off. 2 varieties of sprouts, PSB and kale.
We mowed the paths because we knew if we didn’t it would be awful when we came back from holiday. Everything got a good water and we tidied the shed, again. Even more hanging space now:
And hooks for the watering can roses, so they can be deployed at a moments notice, and hopefully won’t fill with mud again:
And Mrs Allotment10and10a wasn’t impressed with my lack of artistic vision for the numbers:
We’ll be back on Wednesday and the polytunnel will need a soak but I’m hoping for some broad beans and artichokes to be ready. I’ll keep you posted.
Today marks the end of an era, it is a sad day in the Mr and Mrs Allotment10and10a house.
I went to the freezer, and found that we only had one bag of broad beans from last year’s harvest but we must remember to look on the bright side… broad beans will be fresh soon and the freezer will fill again.
I think broad beans are possibly my favourite vegetable, after asparagus, of course.
Any way we boiled up the last of the broad beans with pasta, chucked in some tomatoes and feta and coated in pesto.
The chicken was pan fried and basted with garlic and herb butter. More on the herbs another time but we have made a herb hanging basket and they are loving it.
This meal was really tasty, easy and fairly quick but what got me most excited was, in a couple of months we will, hopefully, have most of the ingredients on our plot and make this fresh.
So Sunday morning comes around, and it’s allotment time.
The sun was out but there was a cold breeze, but Sunday morning allotment time means I can put the radio on and listen to BBC Essex Quest. I’m getting far too old, too quickly, and my Essex geography is terrible.
Anyway, we are trying to stick to a rotation, and after broad beans comes brassicas.
We dug over the bed, finding raspberry suckers and small potato plants (it’s been 2 years since we had Red Duke of Yorks in there).
We had assistance from a little red helper.
Then the structure for the netting went over.
We’re hardening off the brassicas to plant in a couple of weeks. So more on this soon.
And it’s been awhile since we took in the whole plot, so here goes…
Without the big shed it has really changed the plot.
The allotment needed some water and I thought I’d take some pictures…
The artichokes are starting to form, can some recommend what to do with them, we just give them away because the plants are too good to get rid off.
Blueberries are starting to flower it’s only taken 2 years.
Fruit trees are starting to settle in, and are budding.
So are the raspberries.
Planning for a visit over the weekend, watch this space, there’s plans afoot for brassica beds.
So the weatherman was predicting rain, torrential rain and rain on the top this weekend, so we were up early and on the plot by 8:30, to make the most of the day before the floods came.
4 hours later and we hadn’t had a spot but were hungry, so left.
I’d been hardening off the broad beans I planted recently for the last week and got them in.
We finished off the fencing the roots bed and edged all the way round. Carrots, parsnips and Swiss chard. More to go in later.
Finally managed to find some chilli plants because the seeds we started don’t seem to be doing anything.
Mrs Allotment10and10a weeded the polytunnel and we planted the chillies.
And she potted on courgettes.
And some flowers.
And I potted on some bedding plants I started from seed a month ago.
And then finally we moved our secondary water butt next to our primary water butt and connected them together. Much tidier now.
It’s been a busy weekend and I ache, but feel we are making progress and it’s starting to look like an allotment again.
Well Good Friday bought good weather to Allotment10and10a so we decided to spent a couple of hours plotting.
Our maincrop, Cara, and salad potatoes, Pink Fir Apples, are now in.
I always forget how much work it is digging in potatoes, but hopefully we’ll not get blight this year.
I was helped by this little fella…
We also spent some time edging out bed for roots and and redoing the boundary fence, more on that to follow.
So after 4 months of putting it off I finally finished off sorting the raspberry beds outs.
I ached, sweated, had dirty hands and my fat fingers couldn’t cope with the tiny, tiny bolts I’d bought. But I’m happy with the results…
We have a row of summer fruiting canes growing at the back and a variety of autumn fruiting canes at the front.
Since the photo was taken I’ve added five more to the right bed and we mulched all of them but I forgot to snap a photo, I’ll try to remember next time.
Allotment10and10a is starting to look like an allotment again, especially after a mow of the grass and a tidy of the edges.