Midsummer Murderer

I’ve had a pretty busy few weeks and I wouldn’t say that I’ve neglected my plot, but I haven’t been to it nearly as much as I would have liked either.

The weather has been pretty odd for June, a mix of horrible rainy days and milder dry days but nothing like the hot, sunny weather we had two weeks ago. It’s hard to believe that midsummer’s day is only a week away. The warm weather did however, start a growth spurt on my plot and it’s looking significantly greener than it did a few weeks ago. Most of the greenery, however, is weeds. They seem to be trying to take over the plot, within a week, they went from tiny seedlings to tall bushy weeds all over my paths and on the parts of the plot that are still unused.

I visited the plot on Sunday and spent over four hours just pulling weeds up from the paths and from the paths around the outside of my plot in an effort to stop them from spreading onto my plot. In fact, I did so much weeding that I gave myself a hoe-ing blister on the inside of my thumb, ouch!

Beetroot, Swiss Chard and Perpetual Spinach. You can see some of the weeds on the paths here.

I did feel a little guilty tearing up some of the lovely red poppies but it had to be done. I truly felt like a murderer though, when I had to thin out my beetroot and swiss chard plants. After all my weeks of careful nurturing, I had to pull out about half of each to give the rest space to grow. It did give me a chance to have a cheeky nibble on the baby chard leaves though.

I planted out my borlotti beans which had been hardening off at home for a week and I finally planted some carrots, a bit later than I wanted but it couldn’t be helped. This weekend, I hope to plant some florence fennel and pak choi too. Unfortunately, my pumpkin plants all died, all three of them, and my courgette plant. I have literally no idea why this happened, they had been thriving before. I have heard they are very easy to grow and really prolific so god only knows why they died, it seems I am having trouble with plants that are seemingly easy to grow and no bother at all growing the trickier plants. I’m just going to chalk it down to bad luck and try again next year.

Borage. Spot the ladybird?

Apart from that, the plot is thriving, my potatoes plants are huge and my jerusalem artichokes finally showed up, after months of nothing. My rhubarb which had disappeared in the bad weather in april, is back with a vengeance and is now pretty huge. My borage grew far larger than I expected and the two plants are a lovely addition to the plot, I’ve seen lots of bees buzzing around them. My first sowing of peas are starting to really climb now and the second aren’t far behind. I also have lettuce, rocket, salsify, cabbage, onions, shallots, celery, purple sprouting broccoli, artichokes, red currants, raspberries and strawberries growing very strong, in addition to my tomatoes at home and my herbs. Not bad for the first three months of my gardening adventure.

Peas, borlotti beans and early potatoes
Broccoli, celery and cabbage

It’s amazing how different the allotment looks since I started it in March, it’s difficult to get the whole plot into the pictures but you get the idea. I still have a million and one things to do, I need a gate, some proper pathways, a patio area, and lots of other bits and pieces. I’m also hoping to get some food out of it soon, that is, after all, the whole point.

Plot P26 on the 10th March 2012
Plot P26 on the 10th June 2012 – 3 months later

0 thoughts on “Midsummer Murderer”

  1. Looking good! Very neat and tidy, that’s brilliant progress in a few months. The weeds are insane, aren’t they? I dropped down today for ten minutes to have a look at the show plot and it’s just jammed with weeds….oh well. I’ll get around to it eventually.

    Re courgettes and pumpkins – I’ve lost two this year, and a third isn’t looking good – could be a virus or something. The trick is to get them to a certain size and then they’re invincible. All my others are doing grand. I’ve been through eight melon seedlings in the poly though, trying to get one to take. Some died off, some sort of rot, others have had their centres eaten – slugs? millipedes? There’s always something on the attack different years – last year it was cabbage white caterpillars scoffing everything, this year is slugs and millipedes.

    But then there’s a lot of good stuff going on too, armfuls of salad leaves and broad beans and asparagus, so I can’t really complain! Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Orlaith 🙂 Somebody else mentioned their courgettes died off the other day so maybe it is a virus. I’m not going to get too hung up on it, being my first year in the garden, I’m going to try concentrate on my successes instead, so I don’t lose hope!

      The weeds are just ridiculous, I’m going to have to try do it once a week to keep on top of them, they seem to go wild if left untended for any more than 10 days to 2 weeks. I’m hoping to put bark down on the paths so that should help somewhat.

  2. It’s looking great, Fiona! This year seems to be a bumper year for slugs with all the wet weather. I had planned to put straw on my paths but unfortunately the slugs like to hide in it. I have decided to keep my paths clean by just scraping the weeds away with a spade, leaving nowhere for the little f***ers to hide!

  3. I lost all my courgettes and butternut squash recently too, I think the sudden cold and wet spell did them in. I’m going to try and get some more seeds in the ground as soon as possible, hopefully they’ll make it!

  4. Fiona, I’m a beginner, too, and bought Borage as a result of hearing about it first on your blog. I wonder if I will be successful if I start seeds outside now, mid-June? Oh well, I have them, maybe I’ll start inside and see if I can get them to sprout. Good luck with your allotment!

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