Wednesday 13 May 2009


I have a huge patch of chives at the allotment which are all around the old bath. As you can see, they have now come into flower. I'm hoping that these will attract lots of bees which in turn will help with the pollination of my veg crops.

We've spent lots of time at the allotment this week. It's still very hard going though. It seems to be taking longer and longer to get a bed ready for planting as the weeds are now growing so fast that we can hardly keep up. I'm managing to keep on top of weeding the beds which have already been prepared as there are very few weeds growing in these at the moment.

My son's carrot seed has germinated. He's keeping them covered with fleece to try and prevent an attack from the dreaded Carrot Root Fly. My daughter planted some beetroot seeds and they are just starting to germinate.

I have sown some seeds of Sunflower - Velvet Queen and Calendula - Art Shades Mixed directly into the flower bed. I'm hoping that they manage to germinate as they will attract lots of beneficial insects onto the plot before I cut them for bringing home.

The brassica bed is now prepared. I have incorporated some chicken manure pellets into the soil to encourage leafy growth. I have lots waiting to go in, but I'm waiting for hubby to build some sort of protective cage as I don't want the Cabbage White Butterflies to lay their eggs on them. I'm undecided whether to go with a wooden framed sort of cage or just use some plumbing pipe and drape the netting over that. What do you think?

My French beans are now ready to go to the allotment. I think I'm going to make wigwams with canes for them to grow up rather than planting them in a straight row.

My sweetcorn was planted on Saturday and they are starting to germinate already. They are on a sunny window ledge at the moment but they grow quite quickly so they will be ready for planting out at the beginning of June. Better get that bed prepared!


  1. Sounds like you guys have been busy, I'm yet to sow my sweetcorn, hope to get it done before the end of the week.

    I see you have added chicken manure to your brassicus bed, I was of the impression that it increases the risk of clubroot and as such stay away from it, what have you heard on the subject.

  2. I've gone for plumbing pipe rather than a cage. I see too may cages fall down.

    I like your bamboo and you are right planning to have it in a container. I have chopped a huge lump down at home which I inherited when I moved here. I dont' have a clue how to get the roots out. I bent my fork trying!!

    Good luck. You are doing well already. I'm finding it too hot to clear any more overgrown areas and so busy with the stuff that is growing.


  3. sweetcorn is fantastic it germinates so quickly, my second sowing were poking through the compost in less than a week. Your chives look lovely, mine have pretty pink flowers too.
    Good luck fighting the weeds I seem to have lost the battle as the ground has become so hard.

  4. AnonymousMay 13, 2009

    I've just bought a pot of chives for my plot. How could I have not had any til now?

    You have been amazingly busy, so impressive. In a way I guess this is a hard time of year to start with everything growing so much.

    Re cabbages, I just have some chicken wire bent over in an arch and pushed into the ground either side. Nice and simple and seems to work.

    Deb @carrotsandkids

  5. Reading about your allotment gives me fond memories. You also live in a beautiful corner of the world. I lived in Oxfordshire back in the 80's. We had a lovely garden and an allotment. Thank you for your kind words. I will come back to keep an eye on your allotment's progress.

  6. Cabbage white caterpillars fly - it's a good game for the children!

    As for carrots - mine aren't germinating grrrr.

  7. I've never heard that chicken manure increases the risk of Clubroot. I know not to lime and manure at the same time, but chicken manure is rich in nirtogen which will encourage leafy growth. Where did you hear this, Kella?

    I thought a wooden cage might be better than plumbing pipe to cover my brassicas as it would have straight sides. Plumbing pipe would have to be positioned quite a way from the sides of the brassicas in order for them not to touch the curved bits as the pipe bends at the top. Does this not create a problem for you, Tash?

    We're having alot of rain at the moment Rhiannon so I'm hoping that the soil will be a little easier to dig when we manage to get back to the allotment.

    Does chicken wire stop the Cabbage White butterflies laying their eggs on the brassicas, Mrs Glory? I would have thought that the holes would be too large to keep them out. It does seem like an easy answer if it works.

    Thanks for your comments Kat. You've got a great blog and I will be popping over regularly for a catch-up.

    Perhaps I will give those Rainbow carrots a miss then Simon. Try some Early Nantes.

  8. I think I read it somewhere but not sure where and my neighbour also said to me that he stopped growing brassicus a number of years ago because he had a lot of clubroot and he thought it was due to the previous owners keeping chickens as he had also heard that it increases the risk.

    I just googled it and guess what? not a thing found so just ignore me, maybe it was an old theory that's been disproved, sorry :(

    On another note I only grew the rainbow carrots last year three batches, with no complaints but they were grown with 18" barrier (only the odd carrot or two had carrot fly damage), except my older daughter's lot which were grown with spring onions (and she had no carrot fly damage what so ever).

  9. Just popping in for a catch up, haven't been for awhile. Lots going on here and I am so behind on all my seed planting, not been well enough, anyway they have 2 chances hey!!
    I to have a number of bamboos in my garden and the rustling they make and the swaying in the wind is very soothing!

  10. I've heard that planting carrots with onions deters the Carrot Root Fly. I think I will have to give this a go.

    Hope you're feeling better Libby. You're not too behind on your seed planting, lots of things can still be sown now.

  11. I've gone with water pipe for my brassicas and I double net them,that's if the bed isn't too large. If its large then the cost of the netting can be high, but it can be used over and over again, so it is an investment.

  12. Thanks Maureen. It's good to find out what methods other people use.


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