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*High summer down on the allotment (July No.1)*

balcony

By balcony

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…………… High summer down on the allotment (July) ……………..

It seems like summer has come & gone since I posted my last blog only a couple of weeks ago! After a couple of weeks of very high temps we are back to the more traditional British summer!

The allotment is coming on by leaps & bounds! I’d never realized before just how fast plants can grow! I take pictures quite often of the different things we are growing & you will have seen many here. I am always surprised to see just how much things change in just one week.

The lettuces had to go into the compost bin just as July got underway as they were beginning to bolt. I’d eaten only a couple & my wife didn’t like them. Gerry took some home & even gave some away to other people. I’ve since sowed some beans in the furrows between two of the three rows. I’d sown Lentils along one furrow quite some time ago. These are now getting bigger & even have tiny white flowers like you find on peas & beans but then they are after all in the same family of Legumes.

Here is what the Lettuce bed looks like now! I hope the beans will be visible in the next photo for my next update in 2 weeks time. Some have begun to germinate but they are at the far end in this view:

As for my onions it’s incredible how they have grown in the 3 months since I planted them on the allotment! In a couple of weeks at most I will have to lift them as the leaves are now keeling over & the bulbs are coming out of the soil (sand?) Again I’ll post a photo in my next update. Here is a close up look at them:

Here is what they looked like 3 months ago shortly after I planted them!

I’m not posting any more photos of the Strawberry bed – I haven’t taken any this month! Nevertheless I spent at least 2 hours weeding just the narrow section of the bed next to the Onions which I weeded as well. I’ve pegged down a few runners & checked them today while weeding. I found that 2 pots were empty – where the the plants had gone that were in them I’ve no idea! If I remember this Friday or Saturday I intend to pin down some more runners so as to have some plants for a new bed next year – elsewhere on the allotment as I’m not prepared to repeat this years exercise of weeding them again!!!

In place of the Strawberries I can show you something else that has come into season: Gooseberries – 1,000s of them!!!

I’ve mentioned before that Gerry has 3 bushes he says are dessert & another 5 or 6 bushes behind the shed which he says are for cooking. So here are a couple of photos of the Gooseberry bushes:

Dessert Gooseberries:

Cooking Gooseberries:

Some I picked to take home & I hardly made a dent in the amount left on the bushes! Those I picked were the dessert ones.

I’ve eaten a few berries from the “cookers” & find no difference between them in taste, I found them just as sweet as the dessert ones! The main difference is that they are a lot softer, more “meaty” & darker in colour. Perhaps because they have not been watered at all – as they are behind the shed I tend to forget about them! Whereas the desserts are nearer the beginning of the allotment & nearer therefore to the water tank where we fill our watering cans. I’ve given all the soft fruit bushes there a real soaking on at least half a dozen occasions.

There are 2 Black Current bushes there as well but I’m unable to eat the fruit from the bushes as I found it completely inedible – yet Gerry & Eddie, the guy on the next allotment, found them to be OK! They must be ready to pick as I saw some on the ground under the bushes today. There is one White Current bush as well. I haven’t tried to eat any of its fruit yet – perhaps put off by the Black Currents! LOL! Gerry doesn’t seem to have a Red Current bush after all, I’m sure he told me he had all 3 colour currents but I was obviously mistaken!

A photo of the Black Currant bush:

I have two beds of Beetroot, this first one are from the seeds I bout & sowed in situ & have done nothing more than water them & keep them weed free. These are at the entrance to the allotment:

These, on the other hand, come from a tray of seedling that a lady had left over. I planted them & have kept them watered & weed free. These are the same ones I’ve posted photos of before whereas the ones above appear here for the first time.

Here is a photo of Gerry working on the greenhouse. He continues to put in glass & now there are only a few pieces left to put in.

This photo shows the tremendous progress the tomatoes I put in growbags, less than a month ago, have made:

The tomatoes in the ground are growing very fast & have set a lot of fruit!:

I’ve made up a sort of framework to support the tomatoes as they grow. All the uprights are canes – there weren’t enough canes to give each plant its own individual cane so I made up this framework. The lowest horizontal tier is made up of old, broken cane pieces & the rest of the tiers are thick string. Some plants are now halfway up to the 3rd tier!

We have 3 or 4 different varieties. My daughter gave me 6 plants of Moneymaker for my birthday in May. These make up about a 1/3 of the central row. A lady gave me some plants that she had left over but up until today I didn’t know their name. As I was talking to her again today I asked her if she knew what they were called & she told me she thinks they are (I’ve forgotten their name!!!) As Gerry’s plants are producing trusses that look very similar to the ones she gave me I wonder if they are the same variety. Mine are called Alicante. When I bought them in Wilko’s they were the only one of the two varieties whose name seemed familiar to me so I bought those. They already have 100s of tomatoes between them. I have no idea of just how many plants there are but we are going to have tomatoes to feed the whole of Huntingdon!
LOL!

A number of you have shown interest in my little experiments & are interested in following them. I’ve taken many photos of them but here are some of the latest I have.

So here then are some photos of the Garbanzo Beans (aka: Chick Peas) fairly close up. It’s a shame I can’t show you a bigger photo as you would then be able to see the small white flowers like those on peas & beans:

The Pinto beans are making good progress & I hope to show you the seed pods developing in my next blog on the allotment. In fact I hope that in 2 weeks time all 3 types of experimental plants will have pods to show you.

Finally here is a photo of the Lentils I have growing in 3 short rows. They still look very close together but I have been doing a little thinning – though probably not enough! LOL!

I have since sown three more beds with many more plants but as they are only just now germinating I’ll wait a while longer before showing you them.

We have started to harvest some of the New potatoes. As we have had no rain since March, except for a little during the 2nd week of June, they have grown under very dry conditions. The last two weeks have been very, very hot & the soil was more like sand than soil!

Here are the first potatoes we have started to lift:

Due to such dry conditions they have made very few tubers!

I began to wter them about 3 weeks ago but it has made no difference as even a few hours after watering when I dug these up the soil under them was bone dry!

Here is the result of 5 or 6 plants that I weighed when I got home:

This is the last for this blog, although it’s supposed to be a view from our shed DOWN the allotment, it seems to have moved slightly to the right as I pressed the button as you can see our neighbour’s allotment almost better than ours! I will be posting at least one more as the Gladioli in front of the door are just beginning to open & will look really lovely in a couple of weeks time!

Hope you are enjoying my updates as I could go on for longer than I have – I have so many photos! LOL!

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: High summer on the allotment

Next post: *High Summer Down On The Allotment (July 2)*



Comments

 

Thanks for the tour Balcony, you seem to be doing well on your plot and that greenhouse is coming on nicely as well, hope you are not right about you`re opening sentence,!!!! we were getting desperate for a drop of the wet stuff but I like to think we`ll get a lot more sunny days yet, lol.... My waterbutts are all full again and the grass is green, not only that school holidays are yet to come.......
Those gooseberries look yummy, the birds are having a fieldday in my dads garden as its a good year for his bushes too.....
Looking forward to next update..........

16 Jul, 2010

 

that was brilliant xx thank you for sharingxx

16 Jul, 2010

 

WOW....what a lot of fruits and vegetables.....:)))

17 Jul, 2010

 

Now that's what I call 'living'

17 Jul, 2010

 

You've done so well with your allotment...
fascinating photos ...

17 Jul, 2010

 

Wow! You must have a big allotment to fit all those veggies in Balcony? Great blog ... you have been busy!

17 Jul, 2010

 

Well done you have worked hard on your allotment.

17 Jul, 2010

 

well done from me to..... its all looking great...

17 Jul, 2010

 

I have a dumb question....what you call an allotment....does that mean yard to me? Or is that just the part of your yard that you 'allow' for flowers & veggies? There are a few other expressions made on the site that I don't quite understand =(

17 Jul, 2010

 

Floralhead there are no "dumb" questions! If you don't know something - go ahead & ask! On my last blog I explained it to a lady from America. If you check out my blog from June 30th you can read all about it. In the meantime here is a link to a Wikipedia page with a much longer explication:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allotment_%28gardening%29

Just copy & paste it into your browser address bar.

Please ask about any other expressions you don't understand & I will try to give you a clear explication.

Thank you everyone for your comments, they are always greatly appreciated! :-)

Lincslass, I also hope my opening sentence isn't going to be proved right - I'd really, really like to be wrong!!! The little rain we had last Wednesday will do a lot of good, just that the dust dry soil that looked like grey sand on Wednesday morning now looks, & feels, like dark grey cement!

17 Jul, 2010

 

I'm thinking of making a 2nd part this week to compliment this last blog as I've left out photos that I've included in other blogs but have "fallen" out of this one - like the Sweet Corn, Potatoes growing, Squash, Sunflowers, etc.

18 Jul, 2010

 

drool
mid winter here some of the winter over plants have actually grown 1 inch
cant wait till you nice northern folks send the summer here

18 Jul, 2010

 

Sorry but we're in no hurry this year to see it gone - not like last year when it was cold & wet & thoroughly miserable!!!

18 Jul, 2010

 

Thanks Balcony, I will check things out.

19 Jul, 2010

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