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Happy and sunburnt


This week has been lovely growing conditions up here. The days have been generally warm and sunny, with showers usually late in the day. Lovely for the garden, but very annoying for me as all day long I am enjoying the sunshine while I am sat inside an office, and when I get home to get into the garden I am left sighing as the rain falls and keeps me from either cutting the grass at home, or getting on to the allotment to garden.

Depressing, well only slightly so.

It did give me a nice break from things, and gave me a chance to do other things. And I did manage this week to plant up my tomatoes in the greenhouses, so now I have 2 cucumber plants and 15 tomato plants all coming along nicely, and benefiting from the extra growing room. I have yet to decide what to do with the chilli plants, whether they should live at home or at the allotment, what pots to put them in, whether to use a trough, that sort of thing. I’ll address that in the coming week.

After a long weekend away (Friday to Sunday in the glamorous locations of Northampton, Twickenham and Skegness watching a rugby match and visiting relatives) it left the whole of one day to get onto the allotment and hopefully get things done.

So this weekend on the allotment I busied myself with the task of weeding. As I know I’ve mentioned before it’s a very gratifying exercise, as you can get up close and personal with what’s growing, see exactly what needs your help and clear a lot of bad things away.

Today I was on the plot at 8:30 (well it was a bank holiday and I fancied a lie in). I managed to weed the entirity of the plot, and yes, right now I am exhausted! Some of it’s easy to weed, around the sweetcorn and the squash it’s easy to hoe the area and go through it nice and quickly. However, some of it, like the carrots and the parsnips are a lot more intensive and I do these on my knees. It was a glorious day out there in Yorkshire, so I had my shirt off and was wearing shorts.

Life isn’t all hunky dorey on the plot. The sweetcorn has a yellow tinge to it, the soil is nice and damp so I am hoping was due to cold. I’ve fed them with tomato feed and we’ll see what happens. You can see the leaves are quite yellow…

One of the butternut squash has been attacked and it is not happy, even though it does have new leaves coming. I’ve watered and fed it and we’ll keep an eye on it. This is what the attacked one looks like …

The others look like this …

I’d worked my way up the plot and got to the beetroot, and did the first of the days planting. I put in another row of beetroot, so I have 3 rows now, and moved on to the onions and potatoes. The potatoes are all banked. It’s amazing how much happier they look when they are all banked up, well I think so anyway…

The next job was more planting, and in went 8 runner bean plants. We’ve found out that 8 will give us all the runner beans we need, and unlike other beans we don’t tend to use many of them frozen, so we don’t grow too many. Plus 8 tend to crop very well. So here is the bean section, and you can see the broad beans, runner beans and french beans …

I fancied an easy job next, so I took the netting from the mange tout as it had reached the netting and was getting a bit squashed. Anyway it’s free now and can grow nicely.

After the mange tout I planted 2 part rows of early peas as I’d read that if they went in now they would give peas in September, so we’ll see what happens with the ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ I’ve put in.

The next jobs were the ones that I had deliberately left till the end. All involved lot of kneeling down and bending over crops. I weeded my rows of carrots, turnips, parsnips, swede and spring onion, but by the end of that my knees were in a definite bad way. Luckily (?) for me it left one job. Getting under the pea netting and crawling between the rows of peas to weed them. There was a reason I left it till the end.

Mrs MK turned up just as I had finished and was crawling out of the netting with food for me, and so I had a little break and I had a royal inspection of the plot. Luckily it met the high standards that are imposed.

The food had given me a second wind so I weeded the fruit bushes, and was impressed by the amount of fruit on them. I’ll write about them some other time…

But by the end of that I really was ready to call it quits. It was just off 3 pm, so I had been busy gardening for just over 6 hours, so called it quits and went home for a well deserved cup of tea and some biscuits.

I didn’t water the plot but we have had a few showers. If we don’t get much more tonight then it’s going to get a good soaking tomorrow.

As a result of todays fashion blunder my knees feel as if they’ve been on a cheese grater and my back is as pink as a baby’s bum. I know it’s not clever to overdo the sun but luckily I have the genetics of my father and will go brown very quickly (usually in a day or 2). And after-sun is applied liberally and I only have myself to blame.

It looks like it might be a good week, so I hope to be out there later in the week.

Speaking of my father, I am jealous. He’s had his first crop of new potatoes already ! Admittedly they were growing in the greenhouse, but I was impressed.

More blog posts by muddy_knees

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My God, Muddy.
How do you keep up with that lot?

No wonder you're cream crackered. I hope you enjoyed your cuppa. :o)

25 May, 2009


I enjoy weeding aswell. Trouble is nowadays once I get down on my knees I can't easily get up again.
Your vegetables are doing really well. I have some potatoes in tubs and they need earthing up now. And I have some beans just sprouting now. Everything seems to be very slow this year. - or is it me ?

26 May, 2009


Hello Knees,
What a lot of hard work, but it's already paying off! Maybe I should get a wife too to bring me food and keep other distractions at bay? (only kidding).
If you have one, I'd like to see a close up of your french beans, as we are growing some for the first time, but are very underwhelmed by their performance so far. Praps Hywel is right though, and it's just a bit slow?

31 May, 2009


Goodness, what a lot of work you've been doing again, you seem to have "magic" green fingers! I am amazed at how you manage it all!

Presumably you put netting on the mange tout to stop birds eating the seeds?

1 Jun, 2009

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