The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Mid-Summer night's Nightmare ...


By balcony


Mid-Summer night’s Nightmare …

After being off for a week I returned to our allotments & found this:

The potatoes behind the shed that I earthed up the last day I was at the allotment were full of weeds & horseradish!

A week ago the beetroots could hardly be seen for their small size, now they have grown a lot but so have the weeds!

The poor lettuces are just about holding their own but only because they were already quite big.

The onions are rapidly becoming overloaded with the bindweed that is trying to grow up them!

These potatoes of Gerry’s are less affected by the weeds than the plot behind the shed. I also earthed these up the last time I was down here.

Strawberries? Wot strawberries??? This is just one solid mass of bindweed! Only a couple of weeks ago I’d spent a couple of hours on a couple of days trying to pull out as much as possible but at the time I thought it was probably like the painting of the Forth Road Bridge, no sooner do you get to the end when you have to go back & start all over again!

The Lentils have germinated during my week’s absence.

The Raspberries have grown from knee high last Monday to hip high in just one week! They have literally doubled in height since I last photographed them a week ago!

This new bed of Raspberries I made up from the the ones I had to lift to make way for the greenhouse have picked up quite a bit during this past week.

While I was off sick Gerry planted some onions that he had been growing at home. I was rather surprised to see that he had planted them quite close to the greenhouse door.

He had also put in more Sweetcorn & now the little patch has got a little longer. The plants I put in for him a week ago have grown considerably!

Our tomatoes are coming along very nicely indeed! The 6 my daughter gave me for my birthday a month ago are going “great guns”! Money Maker she said they were called & they well may make us some money as well – or at least save some! My seedlings have also picked up a lot during this last week – they are Alicante. Gerry doesn’t remember the name of his & I don’t know the name of the plants the elderly lady from another allotment gave me. So it will be interesting – seeing how 4 different varieties get on!

While I was away from the allotment Gerry put in the last of his runner beans & put up the canes to hold them up.

A few weeks ago he sowed a couple of rows of Sunflowers of two different varieties. These had germinated & a week ago I drew up a little soil around them to give them a little support. Well in just a week they have shot up as well! He told me at church on Sunday that he had sown a third row as there was room for another row & he had had many seeds left over.

Gerry likes these Artichokes, for their architectural quality he says!

To finish this blog I’ve included the view of the allotment that we have from the shed. Perhaps the next photo I take will be the last as the VIEW will have been obstructed by the Raspberries that grow in front of the shed!

Hope this blog hasn’t become too long & that you enjoy the fortnightly updates as much as I like making them! LOL! I’m astounded by the progress the allotment has made in just 3 months!

See you in a couple of weeks time – if I can find my way out of our jungle!

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Early June down on the allotment

Next post: High summer on the allotment



You only have to miss a couple of days and can tell the difference, you`re not that far from us Balcony and last weeks weather certainly made a difference here, it was what I call good growing weather,weeds an all,can`t ave one wivout t`other !!!!!,
Its all doing great and yes enjoyed your blog. BTW Pleased your back on form again, stay fit or the weeds will win....

14 Jun, 2010


Oh dear! I expect you will get on top of the problem, though..... in time.

Those plants that aren't choked with weeds are doing really great, Balcony, thanks for taking me on a tour of your yard :o)

15 Jun, 2010


Those artichokes that Jerry likes so much will have edible artichokes on Balcony. If the flowers are left to open they will be like the flower on my avatar. I sympathise about the weeds. If you have any spare compost, as you weed the beds, put down a layer of newspaper around the plants you want to keep and cover with compost. The paper will keep out the light and the emerging seedlings will die off because of lack of light.The compost is to hold the paper from flying away. If weeds grow on top of the paper you can easily rake them off and compost them. In case anyone wonders why I am giving such strange advice it is because I know you have a problem with your back and may not be able to constantly be on top of the weeds. As soon as you see another emerging piece of bindweed pull it out. I think you are suffering from the seven years seeds are seven years weeds syndrome. Obviously watering and feeding will be even more important. I would use seaweed extract for veggies and fruit. Apart from that everything is growing like a weed. Well done, you will be feasting on fresh produce for months. It is good to see the progression through the season and I appreciate it.

15 Jun, 2010


Hi, just a thought really, I remember my husband saying growing potatoes clean the land, just wondered as you really need to rotate your crops maybe growing potatoes on the really bad weed infested parts will eventually clear the problem? I'm in Cambs too so I know the problems around here, particularly the winds on these flat fens lol!

15 Jun, 2010


I suppose the pitfalls of growing in an allotment is the sheer size of the project. I think you are doing a marvelous job. It doesn't seem that long ago that you were saying that you and Gerry were getting the allotment and look at it now....well done!

15 Jun, 2010


Thank you all for your comments & I'm glad you like the update blogs I thought of doing every couple of weeks! :-)

Lincslass, thanks for wishing me a quick recovery! I'm feeling much better now thanks & as you can see from this blog, I'm back down on the allotment!

Pip_c: I'm only too happy to take you on a tour of our allotments. An allotment is a public piece of land usually rented out by the local town councils to people who wish to grow their own produce. Many now grow more flowers than vegetables & even turn them into gardens where they can spend their time away from the bustle of daily life.

My friend Gerry has a plot & a 1/2.

Scotsgran: Gerry grows them only for their Architectural qualities, he's not interested in the edible buds or the flowers, even though he lets them flower & set seed.

Thanks for the advice on the paper & mulch. That's something to be taken seriously as not only will it cut down on the weeding but also on the watering. Thanks again! :-)

We've already made a start on the Lettuces. They got me back to eating them after I couldn't get a piece passed my lips last year, or this year until now. LOL!

Fran44: Again, thank you for your kind comments, I really do appreciate people's feedback! :-)

We will clear the strawberry plot this coming winter & try & clear out the bindweed. I spent 2 days, a couple of hours each day on my hands & knees pulling out every weed & doing my very best to eliminate every last piece of bindweed root. I still needed a third day day to finish but I was abandoning the rest of the allotment at a time when we had many things to plant, weed & water!

Although your husband is perfectly correct we still need to dig out as much of the roots as we can. Potatoes only work while you earth them up, after a couple of earthings up you have to stop & let the potatoes grow! That's when the bindweed would make a comeback!

Dylandog: Thank you also for your comments on my blog. Gerry has had these allotments for about 10 years. It's me who's new to this. I joined him in March this year to give him a helping hand. As I've been out of a job for over a year this is a real life saver till something comes up! I'm very grateful for Gerry's offer to let me join him down on the allotments.

15 Jun, 2010


When you take the strawberry plants out to dig out the bindweed do remember to wash the roots before you replant them with none of the original soil sticking to them or you will be transplanting the bindweed back in again and be no better off. Glad you are enjoying your time on the allotment.

15 Jun, 2010


[See you in a couple of weeks time - if I can find my way out of our jungle!]

well at least you wont starve

17 Jun, 2010


Thanks, Scotsgran! Can you remind me again in October? ;-) (Just joking!) I think we will probably throw away the majority of the old stock & start a fresh with runners I'm going to try to grow this summer.

I spent 3 hours today just cleaning out the strawberry bed! The rain stopped me from finishing it! It rained for about an hour & I was trapped in the shed! I had my lunch & then sat watching the rain while shivering! Then I remembered I had brought down the book my daughter gave me for my birthday a month ago on Allotment Growing so I got it out & read it for about 1/2 hour!

"Not only by lettuce shall man live ..." paraphrasing the biblical verse about bread. There's nothing else to eat down there!

18 Jun, 2010


Pitty about the weeds but everything seems to be doing well in spite of those. Bindweed it dreadful to get rid of. You can't leave even the tinyest bit, and it spreads very quickly aswell. I have no doubt you'll get the allotment weed free in no time now you are better :o)

19 Jun, 2010


Looks as if it would not be wise to go on holiday for a fortnight!. Sorry to hear that you were not well.

19 Jun, 2010


Felinfan: Go on holiday??? For a fortnight??? Are you mad??? After only a week without going down will necessitate a month of weeding to get back to where I was before catching a cold!!!

Thankfully Gerry weeded the onions a couple of days ago. I spent 3 hours weeding the strawberries on my hands & knees on Friday & the same today! The bed still needs at least another 3 hour session to get it clean! But it's the same section I had to leave a few weeks ago. It's where the bindweed is thickest & where the strawberry plants are also closed together as well as being the most difficult part to access!

Hywel: The weeds have really gone "overboard" during the month of June! If I hadn't had that cold that stopped me getting down there for a week, plus the rain, of course, I might have been able to keep on top of them. It's the Strawberry bed that takes up so much of my time though. I'm not prepared to repeat this next year! For some reason it's the patch with the greatest amount of bindweed! We're going to lift the Strawberries in the autumn. I don't think many plants, if any, are worth saving. I'll root some runners to transplant to another bed - far from the bindweed!!!

19 Jun, 2010


Everything is growing so well - and not just the weeds. Yes, I am sure that the view from the shed will soon be a green screen. :-)

23 Jun, 2010


Just looking at the photos I've taken I can see the difference almost daily! The Raspberries are about 3/4 of their final height - I hope! In a few weeks the allotment will become invisible from the shed as the Raspberries grow & form a green wall.

By then I'll probably move to the greenhouse, Gerry & I were putting in a few more sheets of glass & now over half of it is glazed! I took down the last of my tomato plants to the allotment & Gerry has bought some Growbags which we will use for the tomatoes in the greenhouse.

23 Jun, 2010

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by balcony

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    19 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    8 Apr, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Sep, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Jun, 2007