Herb sowings at Easter

16 April 2017

Sowed basil: mixed Mediterranean and sweet.

Sowed broccoli: autumn calabrese.

Sowed cucumber: Marketmore.


Autumn roundup

16 October 2011

Blog Action Day 2001 – #BAD11

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My allotment

It’s been a mixed growing year on the allotment, in the garden and the greenhouse.

As I’m sure every gardener complains, the weather has not been co-operative this year. Spring was a mixed bag. It arrived early and promised a bumper year of fruit and veg. But, warm March turned to soggy, cool May. Summer in these parts never kicked off.

Tomatoes and cucumbers got a jump start, but as summer went dull, cold and windy my plants were reluctant to fruit. I can count the number of cukes on one hand: that from two wind swept specimens. (Just a quick word to the neighbours’ cats: can I grow my veg in your litter trays please?)

That early springs was a good news for the onions and garlic though garlic Sprint suffered from a mysterious mould that wiped out a third of the crop. Sandwiches are still getting a good kick from strong and sweet Red Baron.

Slugs and worms once again got to the potatoes before I could lift them – rain in June and July. Yet, there’s still two bags of salvaged tubers sitting in the shed.

As seems to have happened every year since moving to Devon, the summer brought the odd game that blew for a week or so. That did for the peas and September winds clobbered the runners just they were heavy with beans. But, overall I picked about 20 lbs of runner beans and 8 meals of broad beans. Not so successful with the peas which got hit by the full house – slugs, heavy rain, wind, weeds and rot.

So, to the winter.

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Strawberries (and weeds)

I’ve moved strawberries – which went beserk in my home raised bed – up to the allotment. After a few weeks of bedding in, they’ve produced a couple of fruits. Not bad for some cast-offs and runner.

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The strawbs are not the only cast-off. I’ve been donated some raspberry runners. About 2/3 have taken. I have no idea of the variety and raspberries are new to me, so it’s going to be yet another experiment.

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Netted sprouts

Yet another experiment: a dozen brussel sprout plants. I’ve tried out netting them which seems to have had the effect of stunting their growth. There’s a lot of leaf damage, yet I’ve got a reasonable number of sprouts on each stem. The stuntedness might not be a disaster as it probably reduces the chance of the plants getting blown over. F1 Doric if you’re keeping score at home.

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Further adventures in brassicas with my cabbage selection. I’m growing Myatts which should be ready about June or July. There’s a bit of slug damage, but all 10 plants look like they’ll form heads.

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Four rows of garlic

At the back of the allotment I’ve got four rows of garlic. I’ve gone for Thermidrome which has been a success the past few years. Instead of Sprint, I’ve got Vallelado on the go. Another experiment.

Finally, at ground control I’ve just sown 16 broad bean seeds – Bunyards Exhibition. They’ve got a temporary home in the greenhouse hopefully away from mice and other critters.

Busy days.

Greenhouse, this evening

4 August 2010

Tomatoes, cucumbers and chillis. Yum.

Another whiff of Jeyes Fluid

3 May 2010

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Surprisingly, this is one of the most visited posts on this blog. Maybe there’s something about Jeyes Fluid that I don’t know about.

Anyway. Bank Holiday weekend. Wet Bank Holiday weekend. What are going to do?

Stink out the place and disinfect the greenhouse. Obvious.

Spits and spots

25 June 2009

I would have taken my camera for a walk to share the latest growth spurts. But, we got the extreme edge of a big storm that – if the MetOffice radar is to be believed – thumped Exmoor.

It was – literally – a couple of spots.

So, the limit of tonight’s work was another 80 pints of water wheelied up to the allotment butt; a few minutes of weeding to get the worst of the rest in the Desiree bed; and, watering tomatoes, fledging peas and whatever else that is growing in the crowded greenhouse…

Oh yes, cucumbers…

Jim update

15 March 2009

Last Wednesday night, the parish council granted Jim retrospective permission for his plastic greenhouse.

Jim is obviously delighted and is celebrating in a perhaps triumphal manner. A Union Jack now flies over his allotment.

I make no comment apart from to say well done to the council and I hope everyone concerned can draw a line under this. There are more important issues in life.

Chilli willy

10 July 2008


Residents of southern England may have noticed a few spots of rain over the last few days. Exmoor, just up the road, had 58 mm yesterday. So, you can assume that we had about the same – 2 inches for those hard of metrication. The Met Office would have you believe that June was drier than normal. What’s more, the temperature was apparently near normal.

Hogwash! It’s cold outside.

But, it’s hotting up in the greenhouse as one of the chilli flowers has finally condescended to fruit. Just how do you spell it? Chili? Chilli? Voodoo Chile?


Rain, wind and cold aside, I emptied a couple of potato pots this afternoon as I waited for a heating engineer. (We thought we’d wait until the summer to replace the boiler. Summer 2007 that is – we’re still waiting for that one.)


The chillis have to compete with the tomatoes in the greenhouse. Like just about everything else here, the tomatoes are lagging behind. So far, so good though. We’ve got good strong flowering trusses on all the plants. I clipped off some of the lower branches today, giving the top growth more of chance to develop.


Probably not a surprise that I’m eating a lot of potato salads for lunch. I pack in mixed green leaves, baby spinach and rocket with the pots, a bit of cheese and shop bought tomatoes (boo!). I’m now having baby lettuce leaves from the raised bed too.

To complete my day off, I sowed yet more basil and marjoram.