Charting the progress on my allotment in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Tuesday, 2 July 2013
I've tasted the first of this year's broad beans. You may remember that the seeds were sown last autumn and the plants were overwintered in the cold greenhouse. I'd hoped to get them planted out at the allotment much sooner than they were, but due to the cold start to the year, they languished in their pots longer than I wanted them to. The plants rallied round once they got their roots in to the soil, and were flowering quite early in the year. I think overwintering the plants in the greenhouse was a good idea, and had I got the plants in the ground sooner, I believe I'd have had a much earlier harvest. As it is, the harvest was delayed yet again due to the fact that the allotment has been neglected recently. My dad was taken in to hospital and has undergone surgery, he's home now but will have to go back again soon, so we've been back and forth to the hospital, also running errands for my mum, and this on top of all the other family commitments which came up in June left us with little time for the allotment. When we did manage to sneak some time for a plot visit, we came across comedy sized broad bean pods. The broad beans inside were past their best, but we managed to time it right to pick the next batch at prime time, and there's plenty more to come yet so I really need to keep an eye on them now. Last year was the first time that I've grown broad beans, and I liked them enough to grow them again this year. I've now decided that I won't bother growing them next year. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I prefer other types of beans more, so I'd rather dedicate the space to them.
I'm hoping that I manage to grow some decent sweetcorn this year. I used to grow sweetcorn in containers in the garden before I had the allotment, and the plants were always healthy and provided nicely filled cobs. I haven't managed to grow a decent cob since I've had the allotment. I got the plants transplanted a few weeks ago and they look to be doing well so far, but it's a waiting game now. Some years, the plants have been stunted, but they're growing nice and tall this year so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get some decent cobs.
I've planted some squash in the same bed as the sweetcorn. Crown Prince and Sunburst are in this bed and Queensland Blue in another bed. The three sisters planting method is where you grow sweetcorn, squash and beans together in the same bed. I don't have any beans growing in that bed, so I suppose it's a two sister bed, though the sweetcorn and squash aren't growing together exactly, the sweetcorn has been planted in a block formation and the squash has been planted at the other end of the bed. It should give the plants plenty of room to sprawl. I didn't have much luck with my squash last year either, so I hope they do better for me this year too.
I'm a forty eight year old mum of two and I live on the outskirts of Leeds in West Yorkshire. I've been married to Mick for twenty six years and we have a son, Daniel, who's twenty two and a daughter, Eleanor, who's eighteen. I gave up work in 2010 and now have more time to indulge in my hobbies of knitting, crochet and gardening. I hope you enjoy reading and will follow along with my adventures.