Thursday, June 28, 2007

Catastrophic, that's the only word I can use to describe the state of the garden. For most of June, the weather has been rainy and miserable and significantly colder than it should be. This has not really helped the garden at a time of year when everything is expecting sun :-(
Some things do seem to like the weather;
So I am not too optimistic about this year's results, which of course is an enormous disappointment to me. And I think I have an enormous work session ahead of me this weekend to try and tidy everything up as the weeds are rampant.
Highlight- This morning I harvested 4 lettuces, some rocket 2 gherkins that had grown oversized and 3 courgettes. And some oversized radishes that maybe I can grate into a salad??

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Monday, June 18, 2007

I cannot confess to having spent a great deal of time in the garden, and it shows, some of the weeds are getting very ugly.
In fact this weekend was devoted solely to picking stuff!
Strange story though - I dug up a few potatoes and was surprised to see that there were only a couple per plant... I don't know why this is, as they seemed to be growing so well?? Maybe I need to leave them longer.
Apart from the weeds, many things seem to be growing well, including the tomatoes, the potimarron, the onions (which have splendidly thick necks) and the parsnips. However one of my Qld Blue pumpkins seems to have died and so has one of the melons. I will try to plant some replacements this weekend, I don't think it is too late.
My broccoli seems to be taking off, there are at least 12 plants that have come up past the seedling stage. I will thin them out a bit later on. And the green beans we planted last weekend have sprouted quite well. It has rained and I think that if we get some more sun, a good growth spurt should happen.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

A fairly victorious weekend in the garden.
As you know, I had put down a tarpaulin, to smother a very grassy section where I wanted to plant my green beans.
Well, this weekend was the great moment. I lifted the tarp. Lo and behold underneath was a completely weed free area that to boot was beautifully moist and crumbly. And I was especially pleased that the grumpy neighbours were there (BBQing and not digging ha ha) to see the wondrous occasion. In ten minutes I had a quick fork over (this is the bit that I had already bastard trenched in January) and Biggest One (who is becoming a more willing helper) helped me scar out some rows and we planted our beans: in all about half an hour's work. I cannot tell you how triumphant I felt ! I suppose it is mean but I thought it was a great rude finger sign to the site supervisor who thought my methods were bunk.
Best of all we were treated to the sight of a gigantic green lizard and a tiny field mouse that were disturbed by our efforts. The tarp has been moved, to the last bit that needs clearing, then I will have succeeded in planting a 100 m2 allotment in less than 6 months. untidily I admit, with carpet paths still, but planted nonetheless.
AND we went home with about 20 strawberries, some new potatoes that were hiding under the carpet, two handfuls of peas and two beautiful red lettuces.
There are also:
So all in all I am very pleased now when I got to the lot, as I feel that all my hard work has paid off, at least a little.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Phew, yesterday morning was actually quite hot so I was quite enthusiastic down at the allotment. At one point I was sweating so much that I actually had drops of sweat running down my face which is highly unusual for me.
I managed to dig over two plots, one of which filled with aubergines, some straggly tomatoes that may possibly die, we will see, and another melon plant, a Charentais this time. I put in some compost as I dug so the soil might be rich enough. I had been to the nursery Saturday morning where I spent 20 euros on those plants, leeks, brussel sprouts, a rhubarb and some fancy organic fertiliser which hopefully will help me grow some better root veg in the next few weeks.
The sprouts went in next and the rhubarb. I realised that my plans to plant my green bean seeds were fanciful so I gave that up as a bad joke. Next weekend,it won't be too late then.
So there I was on me hands and knees planting 50 leeks and my neighbour comes over "you're planting leeks then are you?" He is a pleasant chap so I refrained from answering "No no I am using them for bizarre sexual gratification". I was pleased though because he showed me his plot and it's worse than mine!!!! His peas are useless too, he has even less than me, and his veg were very weedy. Nice lettuces though, and some great red onions. I said to him, "that patch there is getting overrun, why don't you cover it?" and he answered, "Oh you're quite right, but when I saw the aggro that you got for that, I thought I wouldn't bother!" And he went on to say that my idea of mulching and covering seemed to work very well. I felt so vindicated!!! I replied that I didn't give a monkey's nuts what anyone (meaning the "supervisor") thought of my gardening techniques, that's not the point of having a veg garden!!! So victory to those persistent enough to tell fools to p**s off!
Anyway, here is this week's roundup of life in the garden:
Well, I am still finding the whole lot untidy and pretty weedy, it could do with just a two hour session of hoeing but my priority now is the beans. I am still just weeding sporadically to keep the worst bits under control but it's not really ideal. On Thursday I must try and get hold of some more straw at the racetrack and keep mulching as it seems to just be the best idea to get it all tidy quickly!!!

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