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Our allotments - End of May


By balcony


As promised a couple of weeks ago here is my latest update on the allotment I share with my friend, Gerry, from church.

The lettuces seem to grow bigger every day! You can almost see the difference from day to day!

May 22nd

May 31st

The onions are also making great progress! The difference obviously is less marked than with the lettuce but nevertheless they have made good progress.

May 22nd

May 31st

The strawberries now have fruit on them! I have been watering them a lot but the soil doesn’t hold onto the water. I gave them a good soaking on Monday & did some weeding among them on Tuesday. Would you believe me when I say the soil didn’t feel at all damp! I had to spend at least 3 hours on Tuesday & almost as many again on Wednesday pulling the bindweed out that is suffocating them! I spent the whole time on my hands & knees trying to pull out as much root as I possibly could. I still need to spend a couple of hours more on the bed before I’m finished! But I’m almost afraid that it will be like the painting of the famous Forth Road Bridge – by the time you get to the end it’s time to turn around & start again!!! LOL! If I continue with Gerry next year I’m going to suggest we lift them & put them in another bed while we clear the present bed of the bindweed roots, (even if we have to resort to chemical warfare!).

May 22nd

May 26th

The following 3 photos are all about the compost Gerry brought down to the allotment a couple of weeks ago.

He had filled up about 6 70 litre sacks with compost but they were too heavy for me to lift into the wheelbarrow. I had to resort to digging out nearly half a sack before I could get it into the barrow. I had to do the same for all 6 sacks!

This one only got enough compost to cover about half the bed! I’m waiting on Gerry to bring some more compost. The two little trees you can see are Fig trees that Gerry put in last year I think. I’ve given them a good soaking on a couple of occasions but they don’t seem to be in any hurry to start growing this year!

I spread the compost out over the beds I’d created in the last few weeks. This one got a complete covering. We have now filled it up with tomato plants.

I planted the 6 my daughter gave me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago & I also planted my seedlings. They weren’t doing very well on the balcony but now I hope they will do better on the allotment.

Tomatoes May 22nd

We have put in three rows of plants. Gerry’s were the best plants! A lady on one of the allotments I’ve been chatting to gave me some tomato plants that she had left over, so I planted them as well.

Tomatoes May 22nd

I had intended to plant another row with the seedling still growing on my balcony but they will have to go elsewhere as the bed we have planted up can’t take any more plants!

Tomatoes May 22nd

Even though it isn’t visible in these photos I have planted a third row of tomatoes & Gerry’s plants are amongst them. I didn’t remember to take another photo after finishing the planting. Nor did I remember to take photos of them today (31st May). The only photos I took today I took as I was leaving to go home.

The lady that gave me some tomato plants she had left over also gave me some Beetroot plants she didn’t want. Unfortunately there is little to see at present but in my next blog, in about 2 weeks time, I hope you will notice the difference!

Beetroot just planted May 28th

The Raspberries are coming along very well, now they are nearly knee high!

Raspberries 31st May

Gerry has been given a greenhouse! He took it down to the allotment on Saturday & told me about it when I saw him at church on Sunday. I saw it for the first time today. Now we have to decide where to put it! I can only see two possible locations, one, sacrifice a bit of the Raspberry plot; two, put it at the far end of the allotment in an area that is just weeds at present. That place has the advantage of being the most sheltered spot on the allotment while at the same time getting plenty of light all around.

That site would need clearing out & levelling.

Greenhouse awaiting assembly May 31st

Although this photo is now a couple of weeks old, & therefore not representative of the present moment, it’s a photo of Gerry’s potatoes earthed up. I will get another photo before writing my next update.

Potatoes May 18th

Here is a photo of my Amaryllis planted in front of the shed on the allotment.

Amaryllis May 31st

Here is the fortnightly view of the allotment from inside of the shed!

Allotment as seen from inside the shed.

To end this blog I’m going to put in a photo of the soft fruit bushes. You will notice that the soil in the raised beds is wet. That is because I’m trying an experiment. I’ve sown Pinto beans & Chickpeas. I’ve no idea what they will look like when/if they germinate nor how the plants will grow! I imagine the beans may be similar to Runner beans, in which case I will need supports. But I have absolutely no idea whatsoever of what Chickpea plants look like or how they grow! We eat these Pinto beans & Chickpeas at home.

Soft fruit bushes May 31st

This blog is longer than previous blogs because I wanted to show just how fast some things are progressing as well as the new things we have planted. Next time I will try to remember to add photos of Gerry’s potatoes, Runner beans & Sweetcorn. Perhaps the greenhouse will have been erected by then as well!

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Wow. you've made progress.. a good set of pics...
Good luck with the greenhouse...:o)

31 May, 2010


Thanks very much, TT! How do you manage to post a reply so quickly? The ink's not even dry yet!

I haven't a clue yet as to the size of the greenhouse - it was the same with the shed as well! We will make good use of it no doubt!

31 May, 2010


The soil looks good on your allotment plot... :o)

31 May, 2010


You have done well.

31 May, 2010


Wonderful progress.....wish my lettuce looked like that......
Don;'t talk to me abouut bindweed!!!!!!!!.....we "suffer" as grows faster than you can pull it out.......A friend has told me that the best time to "spray" is in September when these "'orrible weeds" are dying back....they will take the effects of the spray back down into the plan t......and hopefully kill it.......The manufacturers of these sprays don''t tell you this,......they want you to keep buying their productrs....sneaky I call

31 May, 2010


Thanks for your replies! :-)

Amblealice, I'm quite pleased with the lettuce! I plan on cutting one or two during this week some time! They are the type that form big round heads, I think it's called "Webbs Wonderful". But my wife, who eats quite a bit of lettuce, thinks if I leave them that long they may become "hard" & she likes hers tender. For the last 2 years I haven't been capable of getting a piece of lettuce into my mouth at all! I feel that I shall have to give it a try though. I have never been a "fan" of lettuce but I used to eat it as long as I had a piece of tomato to go with every piece of lettuce but now not even that works!

About the bindweed, I've read that you can use a systematic weedkiller in a jar & just push some of the tips into it & then they will absorb it & take it down to the roots. That way you avoid spraying, with all the possible bad outcomes associated!

31 May, 2010


great blog and lovely fruit and veg. Useful tip about the jar for bindweed. using a plastic pot with the bottom cut away works well for spraying most plants but the bindweed winds itself through other plants so craftily that it is impossible to use a sprayer on them.

1 Jun, 2010


I use that method Scotsgran, on ones that pop up very close to another plant. I usually catch them when they are just poking through the soil.
That is a good idea also Balcony, except the allotlment would be full of jars!!!
Some weeds take the killer down into their roots easily....others seem to store it...I'm sure the creeping thistle does that on purpose!!

1 Jun, 2010


Great blog,Balcony,and everything is looking good.You have put a lot of hard work into that.The greenhouse will be a great help to you,especially for next years plants,or overwintering things...Lucky you :o)

1 Jun, 2010


Gosh what a lot of work , worth it in the end.

1 Jun, 2010


all coming along well now.....

1 Jun, 2010


Thank you all for your comments, I'm pleased you like this blog. :-)

Scotsgran, I had never thought of that idea, sounds good, Thanks! :-)

Amblealice, I'm sure you are quite right on the allotment being full of jars!!! You can't begin to imagine the amount of bindweed I had to pull up - or the amount still left!!!

Bloomer. I'm afraid that practically ALL the glass has broken! :-( Gerry had carefully stacked it all up on edge against the apple tree's trunk on Saturday. But today it was all lying flat with the door on top & every single pane of glass was broken!!! Only the few pieces with a triangular shape were saved because they were apart from the rest.

Poor Gerry now has to collect up all the glass & take it to the council tip! Nevertheless, he says he has some glass at home that perhaps he can cut to size & use. It costs a lot of money to replace all that glass.

1 Jun, 2010


On Saturday we got around to harvesting a few of the lettuces! Gerry took a couple home with him, although he later told me that a he met a lady from our church & as she was going to the shops to buy some lettuce he gave her one of his.

I picked one for my wife during the weekend but unfortunately I must have left it at the checkout at Sainsburys where I went to buy a couple of items my wife had asked me to get. I looked everywhere here at home but couldn't find it!

My wife went to start the lettuce I brought home for her on Friday afternoon but found practically no heart & only tough outer leaves! She wasn't too happy about that! She only found 2 or 3 very small tender leaves where the heart should have been! I guess I picked it too soon! It never occurred to me to check the interior! The next time I pick one I shall have a good look at the interior to avoid a repeat!

Gerry & his wife told me they liked their lettuce very much - perhaps Gerry having more experience in picking lettuces than me spotted a couple of good ones whereas I just picked the nearest to the path.

6 Jun, 2010


Hi firstly thank you for leaving a comment on my first blog.You are doing so well with your shared allotment ,everything is looking great ,its quite exciting watching the things you plant from baby seeds grow and come to life then to eat and enjoy .I must try and write another blog soon to let you know how our allotment is coming along .
Best wishes

8 Jun, 2010


Thanks, Jeansusan, & it's always a pleasure to comment on anybody's blogs! I was interested to read about your experience on your allotment. I thought I might learn something I could use.

Gerry & I put up the frame of the greenhouse on Monday but we have no glass to put in yet, after all the original glass was broken.

As we have had a bit of rain this week & after catching a cold I haven't been down to the allotment since Monday. I doubt I'll be able to go down before Friday or Saturday. :-(

Looking forward to reading your blog on your allotment.

9 Jun, 2010


Everything is really taking off now, isn't it? That greenhouse will be a great asset, too!

9 Jun, 2010


It is taking off, yes! Other than Monday I haven't been able to go down to the allotment. :-( I probably won't be able to go down before Friday or Saturday. Missing most of the week will make a tremendous difference! I've been going down for several hours daily most days so I will really see how everything has progressed! Fortunately we have had some rain this week so I won't have to worry about watering my seedlings & recently planted tomatoes, sweetcorn, runner beans, beetroot, etc.

I probably caught this cold because last Thursday night I had been very hot in as Friday was even hotter than Thursday I left the bedroom window open & slept only covered in a thin cotton sheet. I awoke about 4am feeling cold & pulled the duvet over me. The same happened on Saturday night but this time I awoke about 1am feeling cold & pulled the duvet over myself. On Sunday I felt a sore throat coming on & by Monday I was feeling worse but on Tuesday I had had such a miserable night that I didn't go to the allotment. Today I've had a lot of chesty cough so haven't been down today either! :-(

9 Jun, 2010

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