Monday, 11 September 2023

Tops Off


No longer green but brown, the potatoes have been shorn of their shaws.  I do this as soon as the first sight of blight arises.  At an allotment site you will never be able to avoid blight being blown across from other plots, but cutting off the haulms ensures that the leaf blight doesn't descend to the tubers.  Commercial growers only harvest three weeks after they have cut off the tops as they say it toughens the skin.  So not a pretty sight but the crop has been secured.  (Slug damage will be the next worry if the weather turns wet before they are all lifted)

Wednesday, 16 August 2023

Still a Sea of Green


But lurking beneath there are splashes of colour.

These Petty Pan have galloped away, along with the Uchiki Kuri, Turk's Turban and Shark's Fin Melon.  

Now if only the carrots had been an equal success.  This year they have just refused to get going. I have sown and resown, bought in new seed - to no avail.  I am beginning to think it is the lack of sufficient sunlight this summer that has put them off.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, 12 July 2023

Green July

 Green is, without doubt, the dominant colour at the plot.

Admittedly weeds as well as cabbages are green.

But at least one area is brown.  The carrots have now been sown three times! The first two showings didn't survive the drought conditions in May and June.

Tuesday, 4 July 2023

Sleepy Time Interlude

 It's sleepy time at the pond:

But what is this?

It's a duck race...

Looking for an exit...

Disaster averted

Wednesday, 21 June 2023

The Shark has Jumped...

Been a bit busy since my last post. Too much gardening, and especially weeding to do. The school had a plant sale to be prepared for. To add to the mix I was allocated a place "on the shelf" at our allotment site just as the growing season got into full swing. Happily there have been family events too. The shark is a visitor to Alnwick Castle Gardens - a great otherwise safe place to take grandchildren without foregoing horticulture! (Mind you they do have "The Poison Garden" behind a closed gate.) Excuses aside, here is the current state of play at the plot:

Pride of place goes to the potatoes.  Here's the maincrop

and here's the earlies:

The soft fruit has only recently been netted

This shot takes in the broad beans, cucurbits and bean wigwams. (There are two Shark's fin Melons amongst them!!)

And here is the reverse view of the broad beans with Jerusalem artichoke, rhubarb and peas in front

This picture shows the end of the spring cabbages with short rows of parsnip, celeriac and celery beyond

And on to the brassicas hiding under their protective netting.

and the alliums all grown from seed.  (The bed to the left is going to be carrots now that the rain has finally arrived.)


Hope you enjoyed this brief tour.

Saturday, 29 April 2023

Macro Greens

Microgreens have taken off in a big way. Here is one stand at the local garden centre
Amazing to think that none of these was marketed in this way 5 years ago. All you got was mustard and cress hidden away with the salads. I am always on the lookout for overwintering plants that can survive Scottish conditions. Miners lettuce, lambs lettuce and spring cabbage have all worked to some extent. Well I now have a new addition to the list in Mustard Greens. (I have only included the pulsatilla in the frame to give a sense of the season)
The mustard greens were sown on 10th September last year and were not protected from the birds, slugs or weather. They didn't do much and I was prepared for failure (as with the Little Gem lettuce in the adjoining bed which sadly deteriorated being caged from the birds and protected with fleece from time to time). But these held on looking green and small. Then they put on a spurt from March to April. With the first signs of forming flower heads I harvested them in two batches and we ate them as Chinese geens. The mustard flavour was not overpowering (by my reckoning) and the greens tasted geat raw too. One consideration in their abrupt harvesting was that they now towered over the new spring salads in the bed which will soon provide delicate thinnings - or as a marketing agent would call them, microgreens.

Thursday, 27 April 2023

Willow on the go

The willow arch in the school garden is up and running with a flush of green leaves. So reassuring to know it must have put down roots.  And the dome next to it isn't doing badly either!