Pesky blighters on the Allotment
We have had some warmth and some rain and now the allotment is looking very green and productive. The fruit and veg are doing well and we have a splendid show of beautifully scented sweet peas. There are always some flies in the ointment, or rather slugs, with the disappearance of all the carrot seedlings, two courgettes eaten down to a few stalks (by rabbits?) and an attack by pigeons/pheasants on the peas which are now protected from the top as well as the sides.
For the next carrot sowing, we are going to try a garlic spray to see if that stops the slugs eating the seedlings.
The strawberries are still cropping impressively, the spring cabbages are ready, as are the first of the peas and the courgettes are of a good size for picking. It is time to dig up the autumn-sown onions, so they were eased up to break the roots and left on their sides to dry.
The apples usually produce too many fruits and naturally drop some in the ‘June drop’ (or in our case the July drop) but with our fruit being on dwarfing rootstock, we need to reduce the crop to ensure the fruit has room to ripen and grows to a decent size. We reduce the crop to one fruit per fruiting spur now and may reduce even further as the season goes on. In a good year the same is done with the plums but, for us, not this year.
Another job we caught up with was removing the growing tips of the broad beans which are prone to being infested with blackfly. They are almost ready for picking and then it will be time to sow a late variety to provide beans into the autumn and maybe even at Christmas.
Jobs for next week
- Carrot sowing using garlic spray
- Finish thinning the apples
- Remove autumn-sown onions to a dry sunny place
- Plant out leeks
- Net the plum and soft fruit
- Weeding of course!!