Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening

Allotment update – Thursday 19th July

I’ve not updated for a while but in this hot weather we’ve mainly just been watering, watering some more and watering again. Everything seems to be growing nicely and enjoying the sun.

Lottie’s picked her first flowers which she gave to her Aunty for her birthday. There is now loads more flower buds opening up so she hopes to be able to pick more to give to her teacher next week. Then will spend her summer holidays making bouquets for family and friends.

The sunflowers are opening up too.

And Ryan was made up picking his first carrots, there’s loads more left too.

The first melon is now the size of a tennis ball, so Lottie is excited to pick and eat that when it’s ready. Melon is her favourite food for breakfast.

We’ve had loads of produce, mainly beetroot, courgettes, potatoes, and many different kinds of beans.

It’s the annual family BBQ on the allotment on Sunday, and then next week the kids break up for the summer holidays so we may get some more stuff done other than watering.

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Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening

Saturday 30th June – Allotment update

We’re currently having a heatwave so spent this morning giving everything a good soak.

Lottie’s first dahlia bud has started to open. This photo was taken Thursday morning…

And this one was taken this morning…

There are buds all over her dahlia bushes, so hoping for lots more soon and she can start making her own bouquets, she wants one the middle of July for a leaving gift for her teacher.

We had a good little allotment haul today.

Lottie then helped me make some blackcurrant sorbet, which is currently in the freezer and will be eaten tomorrow.

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening

Sunday 24th June – Allotment update

Ryan’s carrot patch seems to be coming on nicely. We’ve so far been unsuccessful growing carrots, as the allotments are full of carrot fly. This year Ryan wanted his own carrot patch so we tried something new. In a raised bed Ryan planted his carrots and he also planted spring onions around the edge, they are supposed to keep the carrot fly away. We also have them covered with fleece all the time, only removing it to either weed (thou there’s hardly been any) or to give them a good water. So far his carrot are looking good, no signs of carrot fly at the moment, fingers crossed. Just a few weeks to go and we should have a good crop of carrots.

Lottie’s flower patch is growing nicely one of her dahlias has at least four flower buds and hoping the others will follow suit soon. We are hoping for enough cut flowers by mid July so she can start making her own bouquets for family and friends.

The kids helped Phil dig up the first of the first early potatoes. So we should have potatoes every week now for several weeks.

Everything in the greenhouse is doing well, loads of sweet and chilli peppers on the way, along with tomatoes and cucumbers. We also have melon plants in there too, but no flowers yet.

We took home our biggest allotment haul so far this year today.

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening

Sunday 17th June allotment update

Here’s a few photos of what we have harvested over this week…

Add to that lots more strawberries and broad beans that the kids ate straight from the plants.

Lottie has her first dahlia flower bud, so she is hoping for some flowers she can cut soon.

We still have a patch that needs digging over and loads of sprouts and cauliflower plants to plant out. We managed to get two more squashes planted out and two more rows of pea plants. It’s coming along slowly…

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Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening

The greenhouse is finally finished

The greenhouse is finally finished… although Phil keeps playing around with the window, but other than that it’s now full of plants.

We have tomatoes, peppers (sweet and chilli), cucumbers and melons growing in there now. It was so hot in there it took most of the day to get them planted, we had to keep going out to cool down.

We have basket of fire chilli plants in hanging baskets in the greenhouse too, one already has four chilli’s growing on it.

Now that the greenhouse is up and running the next few weeks will be weeding and turning over the last bit of the plot (about a quarter is currently unused). We then need to plant out some sprouts, cauliflower, squashes and more beetroot. After that I don’t think we’ll have any room for anything else until we start digging up the spuds.

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening

Sunday 3rd June on the allotment

Phil has nearly finished putting glass in the greenhouse, he is cutting the glass to size now. The tomatoes and peppers will have a new home soon. I planted out some celery.

Our plot neighbour has not been well, so we’ve been helping look after his plot for him until he’s better. He told us we can help ourselves to his gooseberries so the kids had loads of fun picking them and they will make a crumble with them later.

The kids had loads of fun watering as usual…

And we had quite a bit of produce to take home today…

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening

Friday 1st June on the allotment.

Today I planted the rest of the sweetcorn, the kids then helped make the straw path around the sweetcorn and pumpkin patch.

Lottie then planted some of the runners from the strawberry plants to make new plants.

We then just had a nice rest in the sun.

We just spent about three hours on the allotment today, Lottie was getting too hot so we came home after everything had a good water.

Allotment, familytime, garden, Gardening

Half term at the allotment

It’s half term this week so the kids have a week off school. The weather was lovely at the weekend but it’s now turned miserable, cloudy, raining on and off, and a few thunderstorms.

We’ve tried to make the most of the sun or clouds and get outside as much as possible. The kids made their own bird feed (oats, peas and lettuce) And we then went for a walk along the Leeds to Liverpool canal to feed the ducks, geese and moorhens.

On the sunny days the kids have helped water, which has often turned into a sibling water fight.

We’ve been given 7 sweetcorn plants off our allotment neighbour Ray, and 4 sweetcorn plants from Phil’s Dad, we also have 14 sweetcorn plants growing in the windowsill at home. Ray also gave us a pumpkin plant, so we are doing a sweetcorn and pumpkin patch. Here’s the start…

The 14 sweetcorn plants at home are being hardened off, so they should be in at the weekend.

We’ve also been given celery, cabbages, sprouts, cucumbers and tomato plants from neighbours on the allotment, their excess plants so we now have loads of plants waiting to go into the ground. We just need to turn the soil over in the middle of the plot and get the plants in. Hopefully this year will be the first year when all the land on the allotment is being used to grow, it’s only taken 3 years.

Allotment, familytime, garden, Gardening

Update on the allotment

We should have strawberries very soon.

Just waiting for them to turn red, not that I’ll get any, the kids tend to eat them all and no strawberries ever make it home. I weeded the strawberries and some had sent out some runners, three runners had tiny strawberry plants, so I’ve planted them in some compost. Maybe we’ll have some more plants by next year and have enough strawberries to take home.

The frame for the Runner beans went up yesterday and today the seeds where planted. Next to it the peas have been planted out and we also sowed some more pea seeds so we can get in another row.

Last weekend I planted cabbage, cauliflower, rapini, sprouts, sweetcorn and cucumbers, as you can see from the bottom photo nearly all the seeds germinated and are doing well.

The photo on the left was taken 6th May, one on the right 26th May. We have some glass in the greenhouse now (Phil needs to cut some glass to size to finish it off). Phil also planted some leeks next to the onions yesterday. The middle section is becoming full of weeds, but this will be dug over in the next few weeks to make room for the sweetcorn, sprouts, cabbages and cauliflower.

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening, ladybirds, ladybugs

A beautiful day and kids released the ladybird

What a beautiful day today!

Phil has finally managed to get some glass in the greenhouse, just the roof but it’s a start. It’s second hand (maybe even third or fourth hand) And the last owner seems to have cut the glass to size, every single piece of glass is a different size so it’s like a big jigsaw puzzle. There also seems to be too many pieces of glass, so it’s taking longer then expected.

The ladybird had fully grown, And the kids released her on the strawberry patch, we hope she sticks around the allotment.

There was supposed to be quite a few ladybirds but only one seemed to hatch and grow (one is better than none). However when we took the pot home it’s now full of tiny insects, so either lots of tiny insects crawled into the pot when we had the lid off (which was for only one minute while we let the ladybird out) or the heat from today has helped the other ladybirds hatch. We are hoping it’s the second and the lonely ladybird will soon have some friends.

The kids had fun watering and we took a nice walk around the plots. I managed to plant out some sunflowers and more marigolds, And did a bit of weeding.

Phil is off tomorrow and we hope he gets a bit further on the jigsaw puzzle that is the greenhouse glass, wish him luck.

Allotment, garden, Gardening

Midweek update on the allotment

I went to the allotment for a few hours today while the kids where at school. I planted burpees golden beetroot seedlings in Ryan’s raised bed, 66 of them. It’ll be Ryan’s job to water and weed them when he is at the allotment.

I also planted out some courgette plants, we ended up with seven plants but we have only planted four on the allotment, the other three will given away, one already has a new home. In recent years we always end up with a glut of courgettes and have too many to eat, so four plants will be plenty.

The first pepper has made an appearance on our pepper plants. I am unsure if its a chilli or sweet pepper, we had a problem with the labels, but time will tell.

The first of the potato plants are also popping up out of the soil.

So I potted around the plot, got a few jobs done and then the rain came and gave everything a water so I didn’t have too.

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening

Bank holiday weekend at the allotment

We got a bit done this weekend, the footings for the greenhouse are finished and the frame is now secured. Phil has started putting the seals in, so we should have the glass in very soon.

I’ve planted over 100 onions, this photo shows the rows of potatoes and behind them are the onions which are underneath the fleece to protect them from the birds.

The weather has been lovely and the kids have enjoyed doing all the watering.

Monday we took a break from the allotment and went to the beach with friends, we just popped in to water the plants.

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening, organic gardening

Six on Saturday

1. Potatoes

We finally have all the potatoes planted, we have 8 rows all together. Here’s a photo of Ryan watering them.

2. Strawberry flowers

The strawberry plants are full of flowers, Lottie counted 23 flowers today so hoping for a good crop this summer.

3. Raised beds

The raised beds are full, we have beetroot, fennel, parsley, coriander, lettuce, spring onions and carrots growing in them.

4. Bean Teepee

The teepee now has plenty of climbing beans around it, to make a den for the kids in the summer.

5. Blackcurrant

The blackcurrant bush is full of flowers, we usually make jam with the blackcurrants but think we may try something different this year, any suggestions?

6. Rainbows

It’s been a lovely sunny today, Ryan enjoyed making rainbows when he was watering the allotment.

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening, organic gardening

Sunday morning on the plot

Ryan has croup again, he’s had it regularly since he was one. The doctors have told us it’s always best to
wrap him up warm and let him get plenty of fresh air (plenty of lolly Ices help too). So he came to the allotment with us, all wrapped up, we put up the beach shelter for him to sit in and he had his tablet to play on while Phil and I got some jobs done.

He only seems to have mild croup, and after a few hours of being outside he sounds loads better so here’s hoping he’s fine tonight.

Phil got two more rows of potatoes in, so we now have five rows in total. It’s coming on slowly.

I planted some more of the climbing beans around the kids teepee, more beetroot got planted out and I planted some peas. I also gave the beans and strawberry plants a feed. The strawberries have lots of flowers now, so hoping for strawberries soon.

Allotment, garden, Gardening, organic gardening

Broad beans planted and update on Lottie’s cut flowers

I got a few hours in at the allotment today. I planted some more beetroot seeds, we can never have too much beetroot in this house. I’m trying to plant seeds every few weeks so we have a longer harvest.

I planted out the broad beans too, which are coming on nicely.

Lottie is wanting to grow cut flowers this year. So we have got her gladioli and dahlia. The gladioli have been planted out and are doing really well.

That photo was taken last week and they have grown much more since then.

The dahlias are a different story. We’ve been waiting for sprouts to show for 4 weeks and had nothing until today.

Two have now started to sprout 🙂 So Lottie will hopefully have some flowers she can cut, she wants to make a bouquet for her teacher for a leaving present in July, and some bouquets for Nanny. Fingers crossed they will have flowers by then. She also has four different types of sunflowers growing, these will be back up if the gladioli and dahlias fail.

Phil picked up some top soil tonight too. So hopefully we will be seeing less of this soon…

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening, organic gardening

Allotment photos from yesterday and today

Here’s a few photos from the work we did yesterday on the allotment.

First row of potatoes went in.

Lottie’s beetroot seedlings.

Ryan’s carrot and spring onion raised bed (all covered to protect from carrot fly) And on the right the climbing beans that went in around the teepee.

We had rain all morning today, but went to the allotment when the showers went off. Phil managed to get a second row of potatoes planted and me and Lottie planted some sunflower seeds.

We also spotted our first strawberry flower in the strawberry patch.

The blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes are also full of flowers too.

Then the rain came down, the kids sheltered from the rain in the shed.

But after trying to sit it out for half an hour we gave up and went home.

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening, organic gardening

Mini heatwave on the allotment

We’ve had a mini heatwave in the UK the last few days. Today it was so hot that we couldn’t stay out of the shade for long, so when we got there in the midday heat we didn’t get much done.

We had a BBQ on the allotment for tea.

Then the sun started going down and there was a nice breeze so we manged to get a few jobs done.

Lottie and I planted some climbing beans around the teepee (just 3 for now, the others are still a bit too small). We also planted some flowers, marigolds mainly, around the fence and teepee.

Lottie planted parsley and coriander in her raised bed and she’s got four rows of beetroot.

Ryan did his raised bed, he wanted carrots but the allotment suffer from carrot fly. So we’ve been advised to plant spring onions with the carrots to put the carrot fly off the smell. So Ryan’s planted spring onion inside the edge of his raised bed then done carrots in rows in the middle. We’ll let you know if it works, we’ve also covered it over so that should help too.

Phil managed to get the first row of potatoes in too, before we had to head home.

Thunder storms are due tonight and tomorrow, but tomorrow afternoon is forecast to be sunny so hoping to get down and do a few more jobs, if its not too wet.

I also forgot to take photos of what we got done today, so will try and take some tomorrow.

Allotment, garden, Gardening, organic gardening

A day on the Allotment

Phil and I have taken today off work for a long weekend, the weather has been lovely the last few days so thought we might get a day at the allotment while the kids are at school so we can get some jobs done.

I have done the frame for the bean teepee. It’s now ready for the climbing beans, we only have 3 plants ready to be planted out, but hoping some more will germinate soon (I’ve done a second lot of seeds). The kids will help me plant them out at the weekend.

We have blackcurrant and redcurrant bushes still in pots (they will be planted out this autumn but we keep changing our minds where they are going). Last summer the strawberry plants went wild and sent runners to all the currant bush pots. So today I removed all the strawberry plants from the pots added some compost and mulched the pots. I then made a strawberry patch (in the kids area of the allotment).

Hopefully they will survive me moving them. We have at least 3 different types, hoping that they don’t go as wild as last year and the kids can help water and pick them themselves (we never grow enough strawberries to take home, they always get eaten by the kids on the allotment).

Phil has turned over nearly all of the allotment and we have an area ready for potatoes, which will get planted this weekend, weather permitting.

I also got some of Lottie’s flowers planted out (gladioli) which have been planted near the fence.

We got some rhubarb from the allotment and when we picked the kids up from school Lottie has made a rhubarb crumble for dessert tonight.

Plans for the weekend include;

Planting the potatoes (at last)

Kids planting the climbing beans

Ryan planting carrots in his raised bed

Planting the broad beans and planting more broad bean seeds

Lottie planting some more flowers and her herb garden.

Attach the gate (it’s just for show at the moment, but we finally have the hinges to get it up)

Sort out the mushroom log.

Allotment, familytime, garden, Gardening

A busy weekend on the allotment

Yesterday we got two tons of soil delivered, unfortunately they delivered it to the main allotment gate, which is about 100 metres away from our plot. I helped Phil move the first ton, he then moved the second. It’s been spread across the allotment to raise the ground levels and hope it stops the flooding.

Today we didn’t think we would get much done, we were due some rain showers this morning and both me and Phil had sore muscles from moving the soil in the wheelbarrows, so we thought a rest was needed, how wrong could we be.

The rain didn’t last long and we noticed the guy on the allotment behind us was leaving, he was taking down his shed. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to be leaving this season as the allotment have put the rates up. Once he took his shed down the back fence started wobbling and was very unstable. We have the glass from the green house against that fence and if the fence fell we would lose all the glass, and we are so close to getting the greenhouse finished. So Phil had to fix the fence, he putted extra stakes in, which we are hoping should secure it. There was also a gap in the fence, so we decided to move the shed, which also meant the shed needed emptying before we moved it. And while we were doing that we decided to paint the shed green. The shed should also help support the fence.

The kids put their raised beds in and had fun making a straw path inbetween them.

So we had decided to take it easy today, but we ended up getting a lot more done than we imagined.

Here’s a little photo comparing the top of the allotment, when we first got the allotment, 3 and a bit years ago and the allotment now.

It feels like its starting to get there now. However, usually we have far more growing by now, but we’ve not got much growing yet, hoping that will all change in a few weeks.

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening, ladybirds

Seedlings are starting to show

Our climbing beans, beetroot and tomato seeds we planted last week are now starting to show.

We also ordered some pepper plants (they were free, we just had to pay for delivery) and the 8 pepper plants came yesterday. They are 4 sweet pepper and 4 chilli pepper. They arrived while I was in work, so Phil opened them and read the instructions. He placed them in water like it stated, and put them in the water the order they where in the box (the pepper plants labels where on the box not the plants). However Nanny saw an empty box and put it straight on the fire so now we have 8 pepper plants, 4 different kinds and no idea which is which. We should be able to tell which ones are the chilli peppers and which ones the sweet before we give one to the kids.

The ladybirds seem to be changing too, and we can see at least one crawling around now.

We have a busy weekend planned, we have 2 tonnes of top soil being delivered on Saturday, so we need to move it on to the plot. Our plot is a good few inches lower than our neighbours and unfortunately floods quite often. So we are hoping if we raise the ground level to match the neighbours it should hopefully lessen the flooding and we can then get the potatoes and a few other plants planted.

Allotment, familytime, garden, Gardening, organic gardening

The allotment is like a swamp.

We were hoping to get some potatoes in today, but the allotment is like a swamp. After snow only a few weeks ago and plenty of rain the whole allotment is just mud. It’s still too wet to put anything in the ground yet, we need at least a few days of sunny weather. The way the weather is we will be lucky if we even get them in next week. All our plans are now weeks behind, but there’s still hope we can catch up and get the spuds in soon.

At the moment we can’t put anything in the soil. We’ve had our broad beans outside now for a few days and really wanted to plant them. Instead they’ve just had to go in bigger pots for now, which will do for a few weeks and then the soil should hopefully be in a better condition for them.

The mud has done one thing though, kept the kids amused. They played in the mud for hours today, they just ended up completely filthy. Lottie even managed to get mud in her wellies. Both their wellies also came off and they got stuck in the mud, so they had muddy wellies, socks and feet.

Allotment, garden, Gardening

Six on Saturday

I thought I would do a quick round up of our week with six on Saturday this week.

1. Rain

We’ve had plenty of rain this week (and today) so we’ve yet to do as many jobs on the allotment as we would have liked. It’s not stopped us thou and the kids have had a lot of fun.

2. Mud

After the rain comes the mud, again the kids have had fun with it this week, but it’s stopped us from getting the potatoes in. Maybe next week?

3. Digging

Phil and Ryan have done a lot of digging this week, so the soil is ready for the spuds, it’s just too muddy.

4. Painting

When the sun has shined this week we’ve been out painting. We’ve painted the fence, gate and raised beds. Getting ready for the growing ahead.

5. Ladybird larvae

The kids have ladybird larvae now, and will watch them grow into ladybirds. They will make them a habitat on the allotment and hopefully the ladybirds will eat all the aphids so we can have some nice veggies.

6. Community

One of the best things of having an allotment is the community. We share, swap and help. This week we got some extra plant pots. In the past we’ve swapped veg, plants, been given paving flags, the list goes on.

Allotment, family, familytime, garden, Gardening, ladybirds, ladybugs, organic gardening, Uncategorized

Ladybirds/Ladybugs project.

Ladybirds/ladybugs are cute bright and colourful. They are also very useful to any garden as they are capable of consuming up to 50 to 60 aphids per day. They also eat a variety of other insects and larvae including scales, mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, mites, and various types of soft-bodied insects. So what gardener wouldn’t want more in their garden?

We usually see the occasional ladybird on our allotment but this year the kids have their own ladybird project, they are going to be breeding their own ladybirds.

So we now have ladybird larvae, and hope to soon have ladybirds. The larvae came with all the food they need until they reach the ladybird stage, so not much care is needed. The kids should be able to see each stage, and see the larvae change into ladybirds.

This is what the ladybird larvae currently look like. We will update as they hopefully change.

We hope to have some ladybirds to release into the allotment, and the kids will help make a home for them, making sure they have shelter, food and water.