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Brassicas, Onions & Giant Pumpkins

After the moon, it’s back down to earth on the plot. The weather is reasonably warm even though it seems July has been a monsoon season so far. The plus side is that things continue to grow well but the flip side is that the weeds also grow and there’s not a lot you can do in the rain.

Anyway, Monday wasn’t too bad so popped down to the plot after work. I took the brassica plants with me that were in my home greenhouse. I immediately planted some of the cabbages into the bed on plot 29 where the other brassicas are safely under netting.

Back over to plot 5 where the garlic needed to come up. The raised bed is pretty wet, not as wet as the paths, so I wanted them up. Not too bad a crop, but would have been better for planting last year rather than spring this year.

I noticed the onions on the drying frames are fairly well dried out but this weather is now just keeping them damp and will cause rot so all went into the car. We’ll have to finish them off at home for storing.

With luck they’ll last us through to next harvest now. The shallots always store well and this year I’ve an excellent crop.

Having cleared this bed, I thought it would be ideal to put the rest of the brassicas in. However it’s the bed I used last year and I think it’s got clubroot. Now these are all the clubroot resistant varieties so an ideal test.

I sprinkled a few pounds of lime onto the bed and then hoed it over. That got rid of the weed seedlings and mixed the lime into the topsoil. However, it was getting a little late to get the brassicas planted so gave them a good watering and put them into the coldframe on the decking.

The ones on the top shelf look awfully pigeon tempting with the lid open so wrapped some netting around to keep the flying rats off.

I’ve got more plants than I need so swapped some with Therese on plot 1 for some broad beans. She’s got an allotment partner, welcome Denise, so they’re sharing the plot now. Hopefully I’ll be able to sell her a book! (Darn, she’s sharing Therese’s)

Growing Giant Pumpkins

Since today is doing a convincing imitation of a power shower in the sky, again, I decided to write an article. I’ve had a few emails about how to grow them. It’s a subject I touch on in Vegetable Growing Month by Month but I’ve expanded it in this article: How to Grow Giant Pumpkins.

I get quite a few emails asking how to do things. I don’t mind some but often people don’t even look on the site first. It’s often worth using the google search box on each page for a quick answer.

Sometimes, usually when I’m busy and I get yet another email, I answer “the answer to this is on page XX of my book” Hey, come on – 10 emails taking 10 minutes or so apiece is an hour and half a day.

Oh well, if this rain goes on I’ll be writing a new book. How to build a boat out of old pallets. If the sun comes out, I’ll cheer up.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
5 comments on “Brassicas, Onions & Giant Pumpkins
  1. louise ruddock says:

    while looking for a marrow( which my dad had grown) recipe i stumbled upon your fantastic site. My dad got an allotment last year at Eden Allotments N. Ireland it is a great hobby for him as he has now retired, when i say hobbie really he has no time for much else he loves nothing better than spending his days on it, your site is like finding a pot of gold to him, i reckon your his new found friend, keep up the good work

    Louise

  2. John says:

    Ahh, thanks very much for that – I’m really touched 🙂

  3. julie says:

    just been lucky enough to get an allotment up here in Newcastle, I say lucky you should see it marestail and nettle taler than me. I have managed to clear half of the plot and planted some brassicas the other half still awaits [nightmare]anyway your site is brill giving me heaps of good advice as im a first timer, wounder if you had any tips on roofing a greenhouse as I have inherited one of those as well as the weeds, I tried plastic but the blasted wind took it straight back off and I am a bit scared of glass its a rather large wood greenhouse and it would be a shame if I could not put it to good use. many thanks

  4. John says:

    You could get heavy duty plastic sheet from camping suppliers (some sell it for groundsheets) and use the large headed roofing nails they use for felt to fix it to the wood.

  5. Margaret says:

    Had to comment on your book. “Easy Jams Chutneys and Preserves”. I love it, have been been jam making all day and it has helped me no end, no wonder my jam has always turned out like sauce. I never had your book to guide me through. Your site has really inspired me as well and I have sent it on to various friends who are all as impressed as me. I only came across the site when I was trying to get some information on making plum jam. Look forward to reading your diary. We have had an allotment for 2 yrs. now, the best thing we ever did. My husband is in his 70s and I am nearly there as well. A new lease of life with some great friends. thanks a lot. margaret

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