Weeding & Watering

The last week has been mainly watering and weeding. With the greenhouses in hot weather it’s critical to keep watering but with the plants being in the borders rather than containers, every other day has been sufficient.

The spring planted onion sets, garlic and shallots are doing well but their beds were certainly drying out so they got a good soaking. As I said the other day, a good soaking is of far more value than a light sprinkle each day. The onions are swelling now so they’ll really benefit from the water.

The autumn planted onion sets are a bit of a mixed bag. The white Sturon are doing quite well but the red variety whose name escapes me for now are not good. Many just haven’t done much. More spring onions than bulb onions.

The potatoes got a good downpour from the sprinkler. I’ve got a pulse sprinkler on a tripod that I picked up from Wilkinsons in an end of season sale a few years ago but its lurked in the back of the shed for the last couple of years. Little use for a sprinkler when it seemed to rain every day.

It’s been that long since I used it last that I’d forgotten how to set up the spray arc. So I managed to take an impromptu shower before I got it right! Anyway, eventually I had it right and I dried off fairly quickly.

My father-in-law’s how came in useful for the onion beds. It’s blade is only two inches wide and it has shoulders that help avoid damage to plants. I still managed to nick a garlic stalk, hopefully it will recover.

I roughly weeded the potatoes as well earlier in the week but not with the hoe. I ran the Mantis between the rows. Not only does it weed the beds but it loosens the soil making earthing up easier. Yes, I’m in love with my Mantis!

On Thursday, when I watered the potatoes, I wanted to use the Mantis to loosen up a raised bed. Now I’ve got it locked up securely as it is pretty portable but the key had vanished from its hiding place. So whilst the potatoes got watered I spent an hour searching around. Never mind, I’ve a spare at home and it will turn up one day when I’m not looking.

My beans are all ready to plant out but the patch where they’re going was pretty weedy so that got rotovated with the Merry Tiller. With annual weeds the rotovator is fine, it uproots and chops them up, burying them whilst it is at it. Perennial weeds, (docks, nettles, dandelions etc) are a different story but luckily I’ve not got many of those left on plot 5. Just the marestail on plot 29, but that’s another story.

Friday was planned to be bean planting day but I was forced to go shopping in the afternoon instead. The excitement of getting some shorts to go on holiday with is overwhelming but I survived the experience.

As I write this on Saturday, it’s been pouring with rain and we’ve even got a severe weather warning with two inches of rain forecast. The garden will certainly benefit but it doesn’t help my catching up with things.

One thing I can’t work out is what happened to my brassica plants. They’ve nearly all died now. I’ve got some seeds sowed in the same compost that seem to be doing well so it’s not that and they’ve not been over or under watered. One of life’s mysteries.


Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
4 comments on “Weeding & Watering
  1. margaret says:

    Hi John – Do you have any tips on getting rid of marestail. Our allotment beds are covered in it and we are struggling to get rid. The paths that have a membrane and are then covered in wood chippings are also full of it. It’s a nightmares tail! By the way, we grow our produce organically so no chemicals.

  2. Robert Muir says:

    Hi I need advice. First time growing onions. Now that they are swelling they are starting to push up from their beds and the top of the onion is exposed. Anything I should be doing. Cheers

    • John says:

      Not a lot, keep them weed free and water when it’s dry so they can continue swelling. Once they’ve got a brown skin loosen them from the soil with a fork and then lift after a few days. Dry in an airy place – not the greenhouse, that results in cooked onions!

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