Coming to the end of the summer growing and harvesting season. The squash were picked. The crown prince and gemstore did very well. The onions and squash are now stored and drying on the floor of the garage. The ground where the onions and squash grew is slowly being dug over, rain permitting. A few tomatoes were picked, but the plants were browning. The last of the runner beans were picked, the remainder left to go to seed. They have been very good this year, pity they cannot be stored fresh. A handful of raspberries were picked from the primocanes. But, the five strong brocolli plants were tidied and netted, several strawberry runners were potted for future rows and the first long parsnip of the was dug up, shortly for roasting with carrots and potatoes.
Started the month by pulling loads of big beetroot, digging up the row of "King Edward" potatoes and picking the first meal of runner beans. Slug damage is noticeable on some potatoes. Pulled the onions from the ground and arranged on wire grids to dry.
Continued picking the first row of beetroot and carrots. Dugover where the broad beans had been and transplanted into it 5 4 m rows of 25 leeks from the single row from a packet of "Musselburgh" seeds sown in April. Weather has been dry and the "Glen Ample" raspberries are smaller than liked although the first picking was good.
Continued picking the broad beans and asparagus through the month. Stopped harvesting the asparagus at the solstice and left some broad bean plants, which black fly had visited, to turn to seeds for sowing in late November. Continued the regular all round weeding. Pulled the first beetroot.
Planted 10 squash plants early in the month keeping them under fleece for most of the month. Planted 6 "Gardeners Delight" tomato plants. Planted 5 brocolli plants, covering with the netting, the netting support hoops were taken from over the strawberry plants.
Started picking the asparagus. A good harvest continued through the month. At the end of the month there was the first harvest of broad beans. Bean and asparagus rissotto on 1/6/15.
After returning from Pembrokeshire on 16th had quite a bit of work to do. 1/ Weed onions. 2/ Sow runner bean seeds. 3/ Mow grass and trimmed grass edges. 4/ Earth up the potatoes. 5/ Sprinkled the "Nemaslug" natural slug killer over the earthed up potatoes and over the runner bean seeds. My neighbour complained about slugs eating his new runner bean plants. Towards the end of the month the bean plants are showing through uneaten. Also sowed half a row of carrots and beetroot and howed around parsnips, carrots and beetroot that are showing.
This is the month to get the allotment fit for the coming year. The potatoes and onions are planted. A full working bday and a a few afternoons was invested to 1/ prepare the seed bed and sow leeks, parsnips, beetroot, carrots and sunflowers. Space was left for further rows of beetroot and carrots. 2/Remove winter cover and weed the two rows of broad beans. 3/ Dig over where the brassicas are to go and sow mustard seeds. 4/ Dig over wher the runner beans are to go and erect and assemble the cane framework for the beans to climb. 5/Mow the grass pathways. 6/ Spray weedkill over the grass in the asparagus beds. 7/ Begin to hand weed the raspberry beds. 8/ Sow the squash seeds at home.
Ken Muir delivered 12 off cold stored "Gariguette" strawberry plants on 17th April. These came with general instructions on how to care for them and particular intructions to plant them urgently. A 2 ft wide raised bed was prepared, given a dressing of sulphate of potash and covered with a black plastic sheet with holes cut in it every 18 inches. The strawberry plants were set within these holes in the ground and then well watered in. The row was covered with a tunnel of fine mesh netting.
The trip to Peru has taken up the first half of the month. On return a shallow trench was dug for a single row of the "King Edward" maincrop potatoes , which had chitted and were placed 6" apart along the trench and then covered with earth. The lady on the Nemaslug order helpline suggested the best time to first apply it was when the potatoes are first earthed up. Also on return 2 bags of "Sturon" onion sets were pushed into the ground at 8" intervals along rows 12" apart. This should produce 150 onions.
The allotment is unsuprisingly looking in need of some work to get ready for sowing and planting. Worked out a general plan for the allotment this year and ordered some seeds last November. Now able to suggest a more detailed Allotment Plan for 2015. The only things that will be carried out this month is to cover the white hoops with netting to protect the aquadulce beans that are now showing.
One Christmas present was a packet of "Nemaslug" Slug Killer received with the hope that edible "King Edward" potatoes will be harvested this year. The packet contained some chocolates and a telephone number to call when the nematodes are needed.