Monday, June 11, 2012

Growth update.

I've been working nights for a week - and combined with the fact that the week just past has been exceptionally rainy, has meant that I haven't been up to the allotment (again!). 

Clare went up to weed the beds yesterday, and came home delighted at how things are getting along. After getting up this morning, I went over to see this for myself.

The carrot bed.

I'll begin with the carrot bed, which is the first bed to the left of the gate when entering the allotment. Most of the shoots are now at least 10 centimetres high. While the carrot bed looks quite cluttered, this is as it should be, as thinning them out can attract carrot fly. 

The parsnip bed.

Next to the carrot bed is our parsnip bed. Much like the carrots, these are coming along well. 

The front of the bed had be left empty as we had initially run out of parsnip seeds to plant. We've since sown more seeds in that spot.

As we move past the parsnips, we come to the celery. As mentioned in previous blogs, there's two stages of this - at the back, the first lot (looking beautiful and healthy), and towards the front, the younger lot, which are coming along quickly.

Moving right along, our onion bed is one of the highlights of our unfinished allotment, as it is one of the beds where the growth of the veg is at its most visible. 

In the next bed, we've planted garlic (at the back), and "butterhead" lettuce beside it. The garlic is, at present, practically indistinguishable from the onion plants. Despite being planted out late, it's growing well.  
I didn't hold too much hope for the lettuce, but they seem to have taken to the soil well. 

After the butterhead lettuce, we've chard growing - but I don't have a photo of this taken  (my bad...) 
Beside the chard, we're growing some "cos" lettuce (pictured, left). While small yet, these are growing well. 

At the very front of this bed, we've a couple of rows of radishes growing - staggered so that we'll get two crops of them. I love the speed at which radishes grow (we harvested one yesterday, which I ate raw - delicious and peppery!).
After this bed, we've two separate square beds. In the back one we've a couple of rows of potatoes growing. While they're growing, again I haven't a photo taken. Beside that we've a bed of lettuce growing. 

Following this are three parallel beds where we've sown beans and peas. One of these was pictured in the last blog, so I didn't rehash it here. 
More interesting, I think, is that the beans and peas that we sowed out have sprouted (as per picture on the left). We'll have to train these up the frames built for them.

After the pea and bean beds, we've planted fifteen asparagus plants in one bed, and finally , at the very top of the allotment, we've one last bed where we're going to plant out two year old rhubarb plants that a friend donated to us. No photos of these yet, but will hopefully update this in the next post.

Back at home:

Things are growing well back at home. 

We've four chilli plants that reside in the kitchen window. These have grown substantially taller than last years variety, and have started producing chilli' already. One chilli was so large that we cut it off after a while for fear that the plant was putting all its energies into that one fruit. 

Outside, our two cucumber plants continue to grow, but alas, there's no sign of flowers on either yet! ;o(

They've got so big at this stage, I've had to build climbing frames for them. Fingers crossed that it won't be too much longer before they start to flower and produce cucumbers.

At polar opposite to the lack of progress with the cucumbers is our blackcurrant bush. 

This has grown about two foot so far this summer, and produced so many new branches that I think I'm going to have to prune some of them back before the summer is over.
The year old branches have produced large amounts of currants. While still hard and green, there's definite progress in how big they've gotten.  
The couple of strawberry plants that are growing randomly about the garden are all fruiting too. It looks like this year we'll produce at least twice as many strawberries as we did last year - not that I'll be eating any, as the kids always have first "dibs" on them!
Several of our tomato plants didn't survive the frosts of April - and a few more just died. I'm not sure why this was, but I suspect the PH of the compost I used may not have been ideal for growing them. 
On the other hand, enough of them are growing well, and my next task is to re-pot them so that the surviving ones are grouped together. 

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