Finally the weather has been great, more like May should be. So this afternoon I switched off the computer and headed for the plot. Since the weather has changed and the risk of frost passed, Val’s re-organising the garden and it was time to take a lot of plants round to the plot. I also had to do another compost run, four bags of Taylors Choice, which is I believe is actually Humax, 300 litres. I think we might be better off having pallet loads delivered!
Anyway, when I got back (it”s only ten minutes away to the shop), it took quite a while to load all the plants into the car, especially as we moved two large hebes into the biggest pots we have, the ones the eight-foot conifers were in until last year. Since they were pretty pot-bound a lot of aggravation getting them out without damage to pot or plant. Anyway, I digress.
On the Allotment
At the site it was really busy, almost a traffic jam! Had a quick chat with Larry and a few other plotholders before starting to work.
The germination on the plot has been pretty poor so I sowed more beans into pots back at home to fill some of the gaps. When I went for them today they had been nibbled, some seriously, and there were loads of slugs around them. I think this may explain the ‘who ate my broad beans? thread on the forums. The weather is warm and very wet, perfect for slugs. It?s also perfect for the weeds and boy have they grown, so I hoed the bulk of the weeds away first and that meant I could see the gaps clearly. Planted most of the pot-sown broad beans but four went into the coldframe to recuperate from being a slug dinner. The root growth is very good, so I think they should recover.
My sweetcorn looks very yellow and something has shredded some of the plants, I suspect the pigeons. Larry thinks the yellowing is due to cold nights and certainly everyone else?s on the site looks pretty yellow as well. Sweetcorn are hungry plants and benefit from high nitrogen. Yellowing is also often a symptom of lack of nitrogen so I gave them a liquid feed of urea. I prefer to stick with organic fertilisers but that?s what I had in the shed.
To cover the cold temperature base and prevent more pigeon damage, I put cloches over the sweetcorn.
Laid down a strip of weed-suppressant fabric, as much for slug control as weeds and planted one Black Beauty and one courgette Golden Dawn through the mat. Either I?m getting clumsy or the plants are very brittle this year as I managed to break a leaf on both.
The rest of the strip may well get Plum Roma tomatoes, but they all got put into the wooden coldframe for now.
Pumpkin and Squash
Planted two pumpkins and one squash, Sunburst and that was it for plot 29. Bit of luck and I?ll have enough pumpkins to keep the kiddies happy and maybe some over for us to eat. Sunburst are small yellow squashes and one plant should be enough. I?ve still got the butternut squashes to plant, but they are still quite small and will benefit from another week in the coldframe.
Back on plot 5 now and the rest of the cauliflowers are crying to be planted out. Got out some netting to make some protection for them and dug a couple of holes, which immediately filled with water. So it was pretty obviously not the best day to plant them out. Pauline came over to return the seed tray that held the onions I gave her, I?m sure she?s washed it! So I gave her a couple of spare cauliflowers.
I was delighted to see one or two have started form heads already but Pauline raised the question of it being a good thing or bad this early. I think I?ll contact one of my NVS pals on that one.
The climbing French beans and runner beans are more than ready to go out but I think I?ll let the water table sink a little first.
A bit of joshing about yuppy plotholders with their posh compost bins and copper ring slug deterrents with a fellow plotholder. They?re making a really nice job of their plot actually.
They?re predicting more rain tonight and showers for the weekend as the news goes on about drought orders. I must say it?s a bit strange as they now think this is the wettest May for a long time.