Summer has arrived and so have the weeds

Wow, it is all happening.

It’s been almost a month since my last post, which shows how busy it is becoming.

20130609_172608Every day we visit the allotment there is more greenery. The warm weather and all the rain have done wonders to all the plants, especially the weeds. It is proving difficult to keep on top of the weeds, especially with festivals at weekends and me now damaging my back. But that is the way of growing your own. It requires a lot of attention. I love that though. I have felt like my little vegetable plants are my little babies. Worried the slugs are destroying them and the weeds are taking their nutrients.

But luckily we are both organised and hard working enough to keep on top of it all. Now the light evenings are here, it is so much easier to pop over after work for a couple of hours to weed, scatter coffee grounds around the plants to deter slugs and best of all, pick our first crops.

A couple of weeks ago we had the delight to pick our first crop that we had grown all by ourselves. It was a few radishes, which although cannot make much of a meal, were a delicious extra to our salads at lunch time.20130603_185203

Since then we have had several amazingly fresh salads from our many rows of bright green and red cut and come again lettuce leaves and best of all, in the garlic row, Dave found two which had doubled up, with one poking out of the earth.

20130621_174340As this is all an experiment we picked it to test how long it will be until we can harvest them all.

I have never experienced such beautifully flavoured garlic. fresh garlic is without a doubt, the way forward. It has a delicate flavour, that is light and delicious. I cannot wait to harvest them all and have garlic with every meal, (although I’m sure my work colleagues probably won’t enjoy it as much.)20130621_174355

So the allotment has come on brilliantly. We have planted some more cabbage plants that Chris gave us, and all the seeds we planted are coming up now. The parsnips are coming along nicely and we seem to have a great amount of carrots. The lettuce is in abundance which is great. Some potatoes are not doing as well. The early variety, Swift, is behind all the other varieties, and some have withered away, so we have to keep an eye out for blight now.

On top of all that, we have finally planted our sweetcorn. As it needed a fair amount of space, we cleared out an area in parents old chicken run and have put manure down with black matting, planting through the mat. They seem to be doing well, with no rabbit or badger damage just yet. With some extra space in the homemade area, (we bothced together old bits of rabbit fence), we have also managed to fit in our courgette plants which were in desperate need for planting out. Hopefully we haven’t left it too late and they will fruit well.20130622_121849

There is still a little space left with the corn and courgettes so we are thinking of planting some squash there and the rest on the allotment which still has several empty patches.

Most exciting for me is that we have planted some of our tomato plants into their grow bags. My friends parents gave us around 10 plants which were ahead of ours so we now have them planted up and our ones have made it to their next stage in bigger pots. I just hope they aren’t too behind and that we will still get a crop from them.20130609_183034

And now, with the sun finally shining, I am going to battle with the weeds.

Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.  ~Lou Erickson

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