Friday 18 August 2017

OUR ALLOTMENT - Life on the Weald - June 2017

The Weald June 2017

On our return from holiday we were pleased that our potatoes at Mile Oak had made good progress and should be ready for lifting next month.

But sadly all of our purple kale and cavolo nero had been totally destroyed by snails or slugs.  And later in the month the same fate came to most of our squashes.

Undaunted we cleared an area to plant out the French beans which we had grown in seed trays and pots at home.

Meanwhile back at The Weald, things were looking good.  The broad beans had delivered a heavy crop and were eaten on an almost daily basis and the freezer was filled to capacity.
As a result, we hadn't picked them all at their best and we were about to go on holiday.

 Coals to Newcastle!

We picked all the remaining broad beans,shelled them and took them with us to Spain! We were not sure how edible they would be as the outer skins were quite tough as you can see

- but we removed the outer skins, to reveal fresh bright green beans within

- and now we have a plentiful supply in the freezer in Spain

Towards the end of the month the garlic was ready for harvesting.

The beetroots are coming along nicely

 The seed strips seem to have paid off as both the carrots and parsnips look healthy...

.....and the potatoes are doing well.  We have had our first lifting of the Charlotte earlies and they were delicious. 

Earlier in the year we had sown some peas which Toby and Jane had saved from their crop in Northumberland last year - unfortunately we don't know what variety they are but they are obviously suited to Hove as they cropped well and were delicious too.

We will certainly look out for a late cropping variety and sow during the summer for an autumn crop.

In view of our friend Maurice's success in growing tromboncino in West London last year we have set up in competition and sown some from seed.  I have erected a frame to grow them over.

And if you haven't seen a tromboncino before, here is Maurice's effort last year....

I have also constructed a frame for our Spanish pepinos, ridge cucumbers, which we are growing from seed brought home from Spain. 

We are also trying to grow pimientos de padron from seed and they will be ready for planting out soon.  

Our cavolo nero, chard and perpetual spinach are looking good and ready for picking - they are great cut and come again vegetables and might last through the autumn. Some years they have gone through the winter.  The purple sprouting broccoli is looking strong and healthy and hopefully will provide a plentiful supply next March if we can protect it from the pigeons.

And we have also managed to save some redcurrants and raspberries from the bindweed at Mile Oak 

I have some autumn leeks in one of the raised beds, some grown from seed and some from plugs and they will soon be ready for planting out.  My next task is to lift a row of potatoes to make room for them.

It looks as though July will be a busy month..

John Austin

Hove June 2017

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