Wednesday 29 July 2020

Life on the Weald (and in isolation) June 2020

Life on the Weald - and in isolation - June 2020

1st June: Duke of York - 1st Early Reds

The Duke of York first early potatoes, planted twelve weeks previously looked ready for lifting and I was not disappointed.  We lifted just a few and hopefully the rest will get larger as we pick just what we need.

They looked good and tasted good!

1st Early Duke of York

At home.the garden was coming into bloom with summer flowers and shrubs as we approached mid-summer.

8 June - garden in bloom

With lockdown, Luke had cleared his back yard and lifted the paving slabs to lay artificial grass to give the children somewhere to play and we became the beneficiaries.  Luke was kind enough (and strong enough) to transport the slabs to the allotment and, whilst maintaining social distancing, he and Sylvi laid a path between our plot and our neighbour Viv's plot. So now we can get down the path to pick the raspberries.

9 June - new path
Putting netting over the redcurrant bushes had paid off and denied the birds (and marauding humans)  a feast and luckily Jerome was still small enough (just) to get inside the fruit cage and pick them without having to dismantle it.  I don't think we will be so fortunate next year!

14 June - redcurrant harvest

On 15 June we began lifting a second row of Duke of York potatoes and were pleased that they were larger than those harvested earlier in the month.

15 June - First early Duke of York potatoes

We also managed to harvest some Mangetout and more were on the way.

17 June - Oregon Mangetout peas

The regular peas were also beginning to fill and would be ready to pick shortly and we began to harvest some of the early raspberries.

17  June - first picking of raspberries

It would soon be time to harvest the first Patty-pan squash (although the plant had been given to us as a yellow courgette).

17 June - Patty pan squash

Once we have lifted all the First Early potatoes, we can make a start on the second earlies, We have two rows of Nicola and a half row of Charlotte on the allotment and two rows of Charlotte at home.

22 June - 2nd early Nicola potatoes

The celery put on a growth spurt in June and I gave it a liquid feed with some general fertiliser.
The beet spinach which I had grown between the celery rows was beginning to show new leaves but some of the plants were beginning to bolt!

22 June - celery and spinach

I planted out the kalettes, purple sprouting broccoli and kale that I had grown from seed and used plastic bottles to provide some protection from wind and predators. 

22 June - improvised cloches over kale

There were signs of life on the grape vines growing in pots and grapes beginning to form.

22 June - the grapes are forming

The courgettes and squashes were beginning to flower but the runner beans behind them didn't appear to know they were supposed to climb!
22 June - courgettes and squashes

There were also signs that pollination was successful with the appearance of tiny squashes.

22 June -signs of the first butternut squash

22 June - the first Crown Prince Squash setting

The Musselburgh leeks which I had sown from seed and planted temporarily in clumps in a seed bed were looking ready for planting out and they will go where the First Early potatoes are waiting to be lifted.

Musselburgh leeks ready for planting out

There had been a chilly start to the month with a top temperature of only 14C on the 6th and the 10th followed by a heatwave around 24th/25th June with temperatures of 31/32C.  But, at the end of the month the temperature suddenly fell to only 17C , which was a bit of a shock to the chilli peppers I had just planted out.

Hoping that we may see some more sunshine, less wind and a few showers in July

John Austin

Hove, June 2020

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