Allotment Journal – Plot Update

A large part of this week has been spent keeping the grass under control and digging out weeds. With warm temperatures, longer daylight hours and the odd day of rain nearly everything that we don’t want to grow is growing, and growing at quite a pace. We also planted the young rhubarb plants and dug out the raspberry bed on the orchard plot. We replaced a few of the lavender plants on plot one, and have done absolutely nothing on plot two!

The garlic continues to rust…. They’re not looking especially well…..

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The leaves have started to turn yellow, suggesting the rust is now well and truly set in and starting to seriously impact the health of the garlic. Garlic isn’t typically ready to harvest for at least another 6 to 8 weeks depending on variety. I have cut all the infected leaves again in an attempt to nurse these sickly garlic plants through to maturity. You can see from the photo below, the amount of orange blisters is much more severe.

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I think that this bout of rust will definitely have a negative impact on the size of our garlic bulbs. I’m just hoping that there is sufficient healthy foliage left to allow the garlic to continue growing and we end up with something.

On the plus side, the strawberries are flowering.

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The tayberries are beginning to develop fruit. I shall look to net them soon to prevent the birds from eating our crop.

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On the orchard plot, the seed potatoes we planted a couple of weeks ago are beginning to sprout up through the soil.

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We’ll let them grow about 10cm tall before we start to earth them up.

We planted the rhubarb. These plants are rather small but they should grow HUGE, so we have spaced them quite far apart.

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I also spent 5 hours digging out a bed for the raspberries. I wouldn’t mind but the bed is only 3 metres by a metre! The orchard plot is riddled with couch weed and bindweed so it’s a terribly time consuming task to clear the plot. We decided on a raspberry ‘island’ between the vegetable beds on the right hand side of the plot and what will eventually be the asparagus bed on the left hand side. There’s currently a huge mound of compost there.. that’s a job to be done in a few weeks time.

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Now to get to the garden centre to purchase some bean poles and posts for the raspberry and tayberry beds. Cold weather is due over the next week or so, so I’m going to delay planting up the pea, Borlotti bean and runner bean plants. Just as well really as we still need to create the supports.

And finally, when we bought the raspberry canes I couldn’t resist this…..

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It’s a herb called Angelica. It will grow large, up to 8 foot tall. I plan to candy its stems, soooooo 1970’s!  Or make a preserve. Alternatively it can be cooked with rhubarb or apples, to make crumbles. If it’s good enough for Mrs Beeton! The stems are impossible to buy so I thought it would be fun to try.

It’s a biennial, part of the parsley family, it LOVES heavy clay soil, and dappled shade. We have the perfect spot on plot one. So in it went. Now to wait for it to grow.

Posted in Allotment Journal

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