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Living Life in the fast lane


Monday 11th May

Today I took a risk based on what the police call “information received” (however in my case it wasn’t details about a major bank raid but rather the weather forecast from countryfile). After seeing that the weather for the back end of the week ahead was going to be what could best be called ‘dismal’ I decided to jump the gun a bit and get busy on the allotment.

It’s been a hectic weekend with a testimonial rugby match, a family barbecue, lots of relaxing in the sun and some midnight volleyball. After this very full weekend I definitely had some catching up to do, and as it turned out to be a lovely day on Monday with the sun streaming down I felt the sudden drive to get my greenhouse empty again. That being the case after some initial weeding I’ve finally put the French beans, sweetcorn and squashes in on the allotment.

The sweetcorn (‘Landmark’) is put in the traditional blocks (to allow wind born pollination) with about 18” between each plant. I managed to put in 41 plants. Some of the plants I put in were nigh on a foot tall and definitely look better in the ground. Some of the others are little more than 3 inches, but they are all in now and can do their own thing.

The French beans (‘Sprite’) are in rows with about 6” between plants. I personally have about a 18” between rows but have got away with as little as 12” in the past. French beans seem to be a very forgiving little plant, and usually crop very well indeed. I also noticed that the ones I sowed straight into the allotment a few weeks ago are now coming up as well, so I have 3 rows of about 36 plants.

With the courgettes (‘Satellite’ and ‘Optima’) I always make sure I leave about 3-4 feet around them and bank the earth up so that the plant itself sits in a hollow, this makes it a bit easier to water and ensures that the water doesn’t run away from the plants. There are 2 of each sort. ‘Satellite’ is a round variety and ‘Optima’ is a normal courgette. I did sow 3 of each, so the 2 spare plants are being given away to friends. Waste not want not.

I also put in 3 butternut squash (‘Butterboy’) and 2 pumpkins (‘Hundredweight’), again in the hollow method for ease of watering. Butternut squash and pumpkins are strange plants. They start out quite bushy like courgettes but after a while they go from being a bushy plant to putting out runners and growing along the floor. Usually they grow in exactly the direction you don’t want them to grow in (following sod’s law). This year I’m going to try and steer them in the direction I want them to grow in (by gently moving the runner and fixing it down with hoops of wire). What I’ll try and do is to get them to grow towards each other.

I’ve also put some more spring onions in, so I now have 2 rows of the lovely things.

Whilst in the greenhouse I planted up the cucumber and the tomatoes into the grow bags, so the allotment is looking nearly complete.

The final thing to do today was to move the pots of tagetes and nasturtiums to the allotment. I put them in various places, just positioning them randomly to see how they grow and to spread their protection around.

So in the evening I sat at home with a collection of old papers and a pair of scissors. Why? You’ll have to wait till tomorrow …

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Such a busy time you have had but all looking good. really good blog for me. we have applied for an allotment and are hoping to hear soon if we have been successful. The plot we would like is overgrown but has been worked fairly recently. doubt if we will get anything in this year other than some flowers for cutting, is there anything veg wise(other than cabbage) I can plant as seed now that can go in next month?

12 May, 2009


Sounds like you had a good weekend and your allotment is filling up nicely,lets hope your squash and pumpkins behave themselves and grow in the right direction lol,you will have to keep us posted on that one.Curious so will look tomorrow !!!!!!!!!!.

12 May, 2009


Wow it all looks fantastic, great tip for watering the courgettes i will do that tomorrow...
Great blog..can not wait fot tomorrows

mrs m x

12 May, 2009


Great blog. You have been working hard. I can't wait to see your mountains of veggies when they are all ready.

13 May, 2009


well if you have gone off 'half cocked' and the weather forecast is wrong then you will ahve another shot at gardening. lucky you. i have little time this week due to work and children's demands of time. but i can get my gardening fix on here.

13 May, 2009

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