The allotment is an awesome place in June, the light evenings make for pleasant after tea chicken tending trips, and everything is growing at top speed. (Unfortuantely that includes the weeds!) Most of the planting is done and the jobs mainly consist of weeding, watering and maintenance. It’s also quite an exciting month as several things will be ready to harvest shortly, beginning (hopefully) next week with the first of the strawberries and the redcurrants.
Every time I go, I have a little job list and then get side tracked and spend longer there than planned. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there are several times where I’ve said a few choice words to myself (in my head) as I pull up on the driveway and realise I forgot to do one of the jobs I intended to.
Today is a very good example. I took my son with me to help (he does the watering and will pull up the occasional weed if bribed), and said to Mr C that we’d only be an hour. Three hours later we arrived back home, smelling like arsonists as I decided to have a bonfire whilst we were there. It wasn’t on my list but everyone else had one going, and it seemed a good way to get rid of the weed heap. Whilst there, we also netted the strawberries and tackled the weeds that were trying to take over the potato area. (They were the jobs I had planned on doing!) I did, however, forget to put plant food in the watering can. As I was going around, though, I spotted some promising signs-strawberries beginning to get that first blush of ripeness, a solitary apple growing day by day, bright red flowers on the beans and a redcurrant bush laden with almost-ready-to-eat ruby red jewels.
I took more photos, even of the areas I still need to weed, because life isn’t ‘Instagram perfect’ (as much as I’d like it to be!) The cabbage bed is a real case in point here. I think because it’s netted it is less accessible, but I really do need to get in there and sort it. (There’s only so long I can pretend it is a cunning design feature that makes the allotment rabbits have to play ‘find the cabbage’ before they can have a nibble.) Perhaps I need a weeding rota so that I work around the plot rather than focusing on the same areas each time!
The raspberries are beginning to fruit now, which is a huge improvement on last year. Touch wood, we haven’t been quite as plagued by slugs this year, although the children did look under all of the pots and pieces of wood last week and, with Mr C’s help, collected them and fed them to the chickens! We will see if the slugs have been out to play when we dig the first potatoes. The carrots, parsnips and beetroot are all just pootling along nicely, they won’t be ready for quite a while though. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that the pumpkins flower as my son really wants his own pumpkin to carve at Halloween. (If you have any pumpkin tips please share, so far I’ve been advised to use tomato feed and put the pumpkins on a tile when they first form so that they don’t rot.)
Exciting times ahead; I cannot wait for that first home grown strawberry, and for the first lot of new potatoes. Our next jobs are mainly watering and making sure plants are well supported, particularly in the strong wind we’ve had lately. We are also thinking ahead to the autumn when we will plant some winter greens, and evaluating what has worked well so far and what we might change for next year.
How’s your growing going? Is everything going to plan so far?