PlotDaze

An inner city allotment


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July 2019

When were not moaning about the heat, we’re moaning about the lack of heat. Never satisfied eh? Well, what a month on the allotment? It’s not all Hugh Fearnly- Whatnott perfect, with everyone helping each other, tolerance and instagram prettiness is it? Nope. So when people get a little bit … er above themselves, we find it best to avoid them. Why let a few bloated, blotchy, rotten old apples ruin a perfectly good barrel? It must be the heat … or a full moon.

Anyway, the problem area by the old BBQ seems to have perked up a lot. When it rains the water runs down the brick wall and just settles at the bottom, becoming muddy. We’ve planted some shrubs – salvia – which struggled and even pickling onions –  most of which rotted, just to sort it out. We think we have solved our problem though. The cosmos – Purity- just seems to love it, along with some Lychnis and a few little Geums by the border. It’s not looking so bare now.

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Cosmos Purity

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It’s all green in the green house. The peppers – Poblano, Cayenne and Sweet – are bursting though. Can’t wait for them to begin to ripen. We need more sun. They’ve been fed on smelly, diluted Comfrey mix. It seems to work better than normal tomato feed.

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Cayenne

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Poblano or Ancho chillies? Either is fine by us.

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California Wonder, sweet peppers.

A few years ago now, someone on the allotment, gave us a throw away, catty remark about our plot. It’s stayed with us ever since,

“Oh you’re  good … with flowers.”

We got it. It was meant as an insult, but we just thought … ‘THANKS’, because without the flowers, like these lovelies we picked last week,

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Always looking for vases …

You don’t get this.

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Keep positive people. HAPPY PLOTTING.

 


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March 2019

Well, March certainly did come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. It felt like there was a storm for about two weeks straight. The wind just seemed to get worse and stopped us from getting stuff done outside quite a few times.

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Dwarf Narcissi

We unwrapped the dahlia tubers this week. We only lost one, no doubt it will be replaced. When you see the displays in the garden centres and they’re so cheap, sometimes two for a fiver, how can you resist?

I wish we had somewhere special to keep them, but they were wrapped in old newspapers and stored in a large plant pot in the greenhouse. They don’t seem to have done too badly. We put them individually into pots with some fresh compost to get them ready to begin shooting, then when they’re strong enough they can go in the soil.

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Some of the dahlias. Not too pretty at the moment.

The seedlings seem to have picked up after a very slow start. We sowed various brassica seeds about ten days ago and today have already began potting some of the larger ones on in newspaper pots. The tomato and chilli seedlings are still very small, but hopefully with the good weather coming they should pick up … fingers crossed.

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The cayennes – the second lot. Lost the first lot to a hungry cat!

Our rose bed, which we assembled from a three broken troughs is beginning to take on a life of its own. The roses are thriving along with the spring bulbs that we planted in it. It’s a forgotten area of the allotment, right at the back next to a huge composting area, but it’s beginning to look o.k., even better now we’ve added an obelisk to its centre. Hopefully the flowers will grow around it and we’ll have fresh blooms for the house this summer.

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Happy plotting!


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Early starts

We’ve been getting to the allotment at about seven in the morning. It’s quieter and cooler, we seem to get more done without having to stop for a chat. Antisocial? Us! It’s also absolutely lovely at that time, lots of bird singing, no sirens or traffic noise. Perfect.

And onward… The spuds have really come on in the heat of the last few days, drinking up the gallons.

rubbish photo but you get the point! Pots in bags

rubbish photo but you get the point! Pots in bags

We stuck in three Dumpling squash, I know they’ll over run the bed but we try to keep them under control. Our Butternut squash are really struggling at the moment. The late spring has done unto them.

Three little dumplings!

Three little dumplings!

For the first time we’re growing Callaloo (apologies if it’s the wrong spelling!). It’s small, or is it? How big should it be at this time of year? Who knows? Anyway we’ll be giving some of the seedlings away to let other plotters have a go.

Callaloo, is meant to have vibrant red and yellow leaves. Looking forward to seeing them.

Callaloo, is meant to have vibrant red and yellow leaves. Looking forward to seeing them.

We thought we would show you our old hanging basket. We stick all our plant cutting in one basket and let it grow, it’s just beginning to bloom. There are geranium, fuschia etc in there, it always makes for a colourful basket, and everything can be saved for next year.

The cuttings basket.

The cuttings basket.

Is there ever a time when you can just do nothing? No. Something always needs watering, snipping, dead heading or cropping… must remember to sit, relax and look every now and again. TTFN!