Wow. It’s 25 June. Can it really be that the last time I updated the allotment diary was 6 June? Goodness time does fly.
So, tons have changed. Given that time-lag recall is not my forte, let’s just recap what’s what as of ce soir.
Where to start? There’s been so much. So I’ll just recall as I go. The big (huge) clump of semi-wild yellow flowering iris have been moved out of the long front raspberry bed to the south-west corner. Seems to have survived the transplant. The other half of that massive clump of iris are now taking up real-estate in the back patch, on the principle that plants planted keep the weeds down better than anything else – even heavy duty mulch. Roots muscle out place in the earth.
There are now two vegetable plots. The farthest to the south-west has two pepper and two tomato plants. These were the first veg crops we planted at the allotment and they’re doing well. So planted in early June.
The second bed to its side contains half a bed of runner beans, and half a bed of yellow zucchini. Planted just last Saturday – 23 June. We planted the started seedlings (bought from the garden centre) in high summer heat, with a kiss of water and lots of hope. We went back tonight to check on things. The poor beans were flat out wilting on the ground but more water perked them up. (We still have to set up a bean support of poles for the beans.)
The eastern side of the plot (under the fig and holly tree) now has a small flower bed dug in – with a pink and a white flowering cosmos and lobelia. Annuals to help fill the gaps and provide a splash of colour. I used to grow cosmos on Crow’s Corner, Cumberland Ontario, and I really like the way they flower all blooming summer long – so long as you’ve got them in a spot they’re happy in.
We’ve also brought up a lily of the valley in a terracotta pot – still meditating on where best to plant it. Likes full sun in gentle, balmy spring, and cooler, shadier conditions in the high heat of summer. Maybe up in the top terrace (yet to be levelled or developed) – along the side by the damask rose and the new sea holly? It’s a bit cooler up there, shaded, but would be pretty full-on sun in the spring, before the deciduous leaf cover comes into play. In any case, there’s no rush and that little lily of the valley is happy in the pot for the time being.
In the bed that comes into the allotment from the red rose on the arbor, we dug over the ground there and planted in a small flower bed, with some plugs of lobelia and a perennial flower picked by Mr G at the garden centre. (He’s the flower guy!) A veronicastrum virginicum roseum – ‘pink glow.’
Quite the mouthful but the picture on the plant tag has long spires of pinkish purple flowers. (A bit like a butterfly bush). And in my view you just can’t go wrong with perennials in a garden. They’re like investment banking – they just get better and better as time goes by. (Or at least usually). And besides, if it’s not a good fit at the allotment it can be moved back to the back patch. (I’m loving how the two spaces are working in harmony – the only conflict being that of the time to spend on each plot of ground.)
Oh yes. There’s now a sea holly. From the thistle family. Spikey. Looks a plant from outer space. A strange white luminous purple – like something viewed under black light disco. Mr G loves it.
I know I’ve missed out on lots. Like the morning we went there just to water the tomato and pepper plants, then ended up doing 3 hours, and Mr G moved the plastic composting tub (a big square one that’s about 3 feet by 3 feet square), levelled ground to place it in an absolutely perfect spot (no easy feat as the ground is tough as concrete and peppered with rocks, masonry and bricks) and then in the end had bricks to edge it in nice and snug and firmly. The top opens easy and the bottom hatch that opens to get the rotted compost out slides up and opens smooth as can be – just like new. He’s a master.
And I’ve not touched on the exciting new real-estate revealed by another clear out of overgrown brambles and bind weed at the back, once the big compost tub was moved down to the ground level entry area. We’re starting to see where the love shack might go. The Mr found some scaffolding poles at work that people wanted to chuck out – we’ve got to figure out how to get them back home so’s to use as a frame. Might be the next arbor/pergola entrance to the next plot besides ours. We could grow something up the pergola – a grape maybe? Or simply use as a firm support for edible crops – cordon tomatoes maybe?
Or mentioned that slowly the paths are becoming weed-free. And that maybe – just maybe – we’ll install a removable swing seat onto the scaffolded arbor. I’ve always wanted a swing….
Yeah – we’re getting there.
Sweet Pepper – ‘Snack Orange’
- big crops of smaller sweet orange fruits (5-8 cm long).
- crops through late summer and autumn
- fruit starts green and turns orange
- plants reach 60cm high
- likes full sun – protect from frost
- prefers well-prepared soil with plenty of compost / rotted manure
- plant at same depth as pot
- water regularly
- apply a high potash liquid feed twice a week after first fruits form
- regular picking encourages more fruit development
Sweet Pepper – ‘Golda F1′ (Franchi)
- large, thick-fleshed early to mid-season variety
- fruit ripens to yellow
- resistant to disease.
- choose a warm, sunny spot
- plant in good, well-drained soil
- water regularly
- for bigger crops, liquid feed with tomato fertiliser weekly once fruits have formed
- regular picking encourages the yield
- see http://www.seedsofitaly.com
Tomato – ‘Alicante’
- popular variety bearing good crops of fruit through late summer and autumn
- non-bush cordon variety
- likes sunny, sheltered spot in fertile, well-prepared soil (minimum 10 degrees C)
- once fruits have formed fertilise with liquid tomato fertiliser twice a week until late August
Veronicastrum virgicum roseum – ‘pink glow’
- erect deciduous perennial with spikes of pink flowers mid-summer to early-autumn.
- grows in any moist soil in full sun or partial shade
- grows 120 cm high by 45 cm
- a plant rated as ‘perfect for pollinators’ (eg bees, hoverflies, hummingbirds etc)