Wednesday 27 May 2009

Ooh La La

We've had some lovely weather over the last few days which has enabled us to get lots of things done at the allotment. Firstly, the dwarf French beans - Safari have been planted out. I thought that there might only be stalks left if the slugs had taken a liking to them and had a gourmet meal, but I shouldn't have worried as they were all accounted for when I returned the following day.

It's looking a little more like an allotment now as some structures have been built. We have made two wigwams out of canes for the climbing French beans and runner beans to climb up. I have sown seeds of climbing French bean - Blue Lake and runner bean - Scarlet Emperor, so hopefully it won't be long before the wigwams are in use.

My hubby has made a great brassica cage out of canes and some scaffold netting which was given to him by someone at his work. This has saved us some money as we needed quite a bit of netting. Hopefully this will stop the Cabbage White caterpillars from decimating the crop. I will be planting the brassicas out later in the week, weather permitting.

I'm hoping to get some flowers growing on the allotment so that I'm able to cut them and bring them home for the house. This week I have planted some Gladioli - King's Lynn and planted out some Carnation - Triumph Mixed, which I started off from seeds.

The root bed has now been prepared and I have sown some carrot - Autumn King 2 and some beetroot - Boltardy. I have lots of parsnip growing in toilet roll inners at home so these will be planted out shortly.

The sweetcorn is growing really strong and their bed has been weeded. It just needs digging over now and then they will be able to be planted out. I'm going to plant some squash in the same bed as the sweetcorn using part of the three sister's planting plan. The three sisters is where sweetcorn, squash and climbing beans grow together in one bed. The sweetcorn gives support to the beans, the squash gives ground cover which in turn suppresses weeds and the beans fix nitrogen into the soil. I will be using two thirds of this method, but as I haven't tried this before it's a bit of an experiment. I will let you know if I recommend it at the end of the season.


  1. I liked your headline - haven't thought about french beans being ooh la la before!

  2. I was planning to let some summer crookneck squash grow in between my sweet corn but none of the seeds germinated.

    But since I enriched the sweet corn bed with my homemade compost I'm expecting the odd cucurbit plant to pop up (my home compost always grows weed tomato and generally butternut squash plants along with other stuff which are normally weeded out) but this year I plan to leave one or two self sown cucurbit plants (might get lucky and grow a melon as those seeds have also been thrown into the compost bin) to get on with it in the sweet corn bed.

  3. It also sounds fantastic, i think you are having more success than i am managing! My solitary courgette plant just got muched to pieces last night. Boo Hoo...

  4. AnonymousMay 29, 2009

    I like that you seem to be gardening organicaly. We don't attempt many vegetables these days as the bugs and animals tend to get to them first. We are having a wet year so I am hoping there will be enough black berries for us too. Thank you for sharing your allotment with us virtually.

  5. AnonymousMay 31, 2009

    You got some scaffolding netting! I'm jealous - it's brilliant for protecting plants - much better than that horrible netting that's in rolls and does nothing that you want it to.

  6. Hmmm, it was my son who came up with the title, as in 'French' beans.

    I'm hoping that the squash does ok in with the sweetcorn. It will certainly save space if it does.

    I haven't put my courgette in at the allotment yet. I think I'll have to try and get some sort of slug barrier down around it if slugs enjoy them.

    I am trying to garden organically. I haven't used any chemicals on the allotment at all. I can see why some people do put weedkillers down though, I think I'll be weeding for ever more!

    I've used netting with bigger holes for the strawberries to let the pollinators in, but the scaffolding netting is great for the brassicas, and as you say, it's much more pliable.


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