I finished digging and planting the second brassica bed before the heatwave hit. We now have a little row of Savoy January King 3 cabbages and a row of All Year Round cauliflowers. They’re hiding in netted tunnels away from the prying eyes of rabbits. I had plenty of seedlings left over so planted 2 cabbages and a cauliflower in a little grow bag to see how they do. I’ve offered the rest of the seedlings to P and L to cover some of their rabbit losses
I don’t want to tempt the Fates by saying this, so I’m going to whisper it and we’ll gloss over it quickly before the rabbits notice and up their game, but
We’re 9 days without a rabbit breaking into the plot!
Okay, that came out bolder than I was expecting. Clearly my excitement knows no bounds. I planted out my Delphinium Excalibur in celebration.
It’s a bit difficult to tell it apart from the weeds in the plot behind in that photo, and the red string on the fence has a CD tied on the end as an improvised rabbit scarer. Speaking of weeds, they’re loving this hot weather. It’s too hot for me to do much at the moment (33°C) other than go around at midnight to water everything, but when the weather cools I’ll get my shears out. The list of allotment jobs to do is never ending. The Tequila Flame and King Canute lupins need deadheading. I’m going to give them a little while to settle into their new spot, but they’re not looking particularly happy at the moment.
The rosemary has been moved as it also wasn’t faring very well. We originally planted it beside the herb bed, but the heavy clay offers poor drainage and it was beginning to turn yellow. So, we’ve dug it up again and relocated it to a large terracotta pot where we’re hoping it’ll be happier.
The pumpkins (Howden) and gourds (Cucubita pepo) are doing really well and will soon be too big for their net tunnels.
Rob has set up the tomatoes in the semi-glazed greenhouse, and we have a number of seedlings waiting to be planted out. The tomatoes are a mixture of Gardener’s Delight and a few unlabled plants from a friend. I can’t dig beds fast enough to keep up with the seedlings – they’re mainly flowers and I’m hoping to plant them near the gate. There’s Allium Cernuum, Echinops Blue Glow, Scabius Blue Cushion, Echinacea Bravado, Calendula Art Shades, Hollyhock Giant Single Mixed, and Hollyhock Charters Salmon that the mums sowed and repotted when they visited for my birthday. There’s also a few Cardoons from L, and two artichokes (Green Globe) that aren’t faring too well.
Since the fencing in of the beds the Jerusalem artichoke bed has shown the most progress. It’s in desperate need of weeding, but it’s also home to a flourishing courgette, and a selection of Stuttgarter (giant) and Karmen onions.
The first brassica bed isn’t looking as healthy. The Broccoli Romanesco and an unknown (to us) variety of swede have both suffered aphid attack. Amazingly, the parsnips we thought would fare the worst have done the best.
The only other crop we’ve planted so far this year is potatoes. The second earlies, Marris Peer, are flowering, whilst the main crop of King Edward has just started coming into bud. Our sacks of Anya are also looking like they’re ready to burst into flower.
From the rear of the plot, facing towards the gate, our allotment currently looks like this:
I’m amazed at the amount of thistles coming through the weed suppressant fabric on our path. We only laid it in March. Still, we’re a little island amongst the undergrowth-filled abandoned plots, so I think we need to accept that there’ll be no escaping the weeds.