PlotDaze

An inner city allotment


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Flowers!

We have always grown some flowers on the plot, even just for the colour, but this is the first time we turned over one of our beds for them. We used the seeds that come free with magazines and some we had saved from flower heads in previous years. Here’s the bed now, the colour is waiting to burst out ( I hope! )

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Some rudbeckia, ageratum, nicotiana and chrysanthemums.

The asters are not faring well and keep getting munched, and we’ve had conflicting advice about the chrysanths. Take the the first flower head off or leave it on?? We’ll try some with the head off and see how it goes.

We always have a few pots dotted around the place just to entice the bees,

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Cheery geraniums, sandwiched between the raspberries and a sweet dumpling squash. A bit random, but space is limited!!

And no allotment could be without some nasturtiums! Supposedly very good at keeping carrot fly away … This variety is called, ‘Empress of India’.

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We’ve never tried them, but you can eat the leaves and the seeds.

We’ve been growing the sweet peas up a Bean pole ‘Maypole’ that was reduced in the local garden centre because the box was damaged! The verdict is out on how it looks but the house smells great with all the flowers. This variety is called ‘Royal Family’ we think. Bit of a royal theme going on !

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A rogue cosmos always creeps in somewhere!

We have so many flowers, a lot in pots, that happily come back year after year and our bulbs that reliably return, and ensure the plot is colourful from spring onward. It’s all about the bees!

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Three allium bulbs (corms?) were planted four years ago … multiplied a bit since then.

And to finish … lets get back to the veg. Here’s a pic of what we harvested yesterday. All the work is worth it.20160627_094950 (1)

 

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June 2016 … first day of summer?

Missed the ‘Strawberry moon’, it was too cloudy over our house, but according to the calendar it’s officially summer. Nobody told the sun unfortunately, and we’ve had showers instead. Never mind.

We’re growing the aubergines outside this year, well sort off. They were potted on a few days ago and put in a trough that’s in a large plastic greenhouse. Hopefully the bees will be able to get to the flowers to do their work and we will actually get an aubergine!!

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The variety is ‘Black Beauty’.

The bean bed has been very slow. As we mentioned, the runners got blasted by the wind and are straggly. We’ve put the climbing french, greens and purples, with them on the same canes. Maybe when the get stronger they can shelter each other. Family love and all that!! This was one of our no dig beds, maybe that had something to with it? But we’ll definitely be turning next years bean bed over before we put them in.

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They’re struggling, but they’ll get there! The spare mange tout are in the huge pot, and the lychnis are beginning to flower.

Speaking of spares, everyone has them. We usually pass them on, or sell them at the ‘open days’, but we still have some, as I’m sure you have. We’re going to have to separate the courgettes soon ( no one wanted any more courgettes, I wonder why?? Glut??) and the spare purple french beans are thriving.

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Spare corner!

Sometimes I think we need more room!

And to finish,in honour of the strawberry moon that shone last night, here is a picture of our strawberry patch, all netted and flowering. This was taken about a week ago. Apologies for the messy (?)  nature of our allotment, but it’s always like this about now.

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The Strawbs and the skip dived herb ladder!

 

Happy plotting!


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June 2016 Sunnier days!

It’s been so long since we blogged. Internet problems (you miss it,you really do!) amongst other things have stopped us, but like Gloria Gaynor, now we’re back, but not from outer space.

This year we actually made a plan for the plot! A big one. And within a few days it was changed, but at least we had done it, an achievement in itself! OK, lets begin…

The dwarf French beans got demolished by the wind! Absolutely wrecked! As did the French climbing & runner beans, even though they were sheltered by the Broadies. Nothing bothers them, they are the Hob Nob of the bean world (nod to Peter Kay there!) so we had to improvise a wind-brake, plastic bags are useful for something.

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Improvised wind-brake! Some protection for the beans and Chard.

We’re growing Callaloo for the second year, in the ground this time rather than  giant pots. As well as it tasting nice, it looks good, and has a lot of the other plotters pointing and asking, “What’s that?”20160616_102612.jpg

We saw on the interweb, while nosying at other allotment pics that some one had grown a ‘pea and bean wall’. It looked great, the french beans and sweet peas were all a deep violet and as well as affording some privacy and space saving, it looked great. ‘Give it a go’ we thought and bought some mange tout seeds … that have suddenly become yellow and sweet peas, which I’m sure said they were purple cupiani on the packet are a bit multi coloured. Ah well, best laid plans and all that. The mange tout still taste nice despite the colour and the sweet peas smell amazing.

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The Purple Pea and Bean wall! (Yellow!!)

We skip dived a ladder, painted it and use it for the herb pots. Against the shed it stands up fine! It’s a great space saver, we don’t have the room for growing our herbs in the ground. It was worth nearly breaking our necks getting it from the skip.

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Lots of mint for the Mojitos !!

There has been a lot going on at the allotment, we’ve tried to grow things we’ve never had much success with … aubergines etc but that’s for another post. We don’t want to bore you. Here’s hoping the sun returns soon! Happy plotting !