Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Lifted the garlic that was planted in November. The plants seem to have responded well to the cold winter we had combined with the sunny days over recent weeks. A few of the bulbs were affected by rot but most were sound. We roasted a couple of bulbs along with some aubergine, tomatoes, courgettes and crumbly cheese. Delicious.

The sunny weather meant that plot was buzzing with beneficial insects. The bees were attracted by all the poppies, comfrey and brambles that are in flower. The ladybirds were doing sterling work on the aphid population and a self-sown coriander plant which has come into flower was attracting lots of hover fly attention.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Allotment Shopping

After a week away from the plot I squeezed in a quick trip to see how things are growing. The grass is long and the weeds are back to business but between all that the crops are flourishing. I picked my first Romanesco broccoli which had miraculously hearted up since my last visit to the plot. I planted the broccoli last autumn and the local slug population ate most of the plants then but a couple managed to make it into summer. I picked my first handful of peas which are doing really well (give or take a few nibbles from mice). I also couldn’t resist pulling up a bunch of shallots. I should really have left them longer but temptation got to me. There is a lot of work to be done but coming home with a bag full of allotment shopping is a really good incentive.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Rogue plants

I have got to dispute that old adage that a weed is just a plant in the wrong place. This is far too neutral a statement about a group of plants that are resourceful, persistent, survivors. They are not really just like other plants, certainly not like plants that one usually tries to grow. Vegetables need some care and attention, watering and feeding, earthing up and thinning out. They don’t always grow and, if they do, they don’t always survive as slugs, snails and dry spells sometimes get the better of them. Weeds aren’t like that. Weeds multiply unbidden, self seed abundantly, regenerate from tiny root fragments. They are opportunists. I guess what I am saying is that I have a certain admiration for them. When you garden organically you get familiar with them. Having said all that this evening was spent strimming, digging and generally hacking the things back in the hope of reclaiming a bit of land for those delicate vegetables.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pleasant surprise

Went down to the plot this evening for a quick half hour of tidying up. Wandered past the peas which I planted last month and have kinda ignored since. I had heard that peas are difficult to grow organically and had mentally given up on them. As a result they were half-heartedly growing up the couple of short supports that were available but were generally lolling around on the ground. Any road up turns out they had actually made a go of it and I was delighted to find that there were several pods ripening. Ticked myself off for neglecting the poor buggers and they now have a hastily erected cane wigwam to climb up. I shall report back…

Saturday, June 10, 2006

slugs and snails and lots of mare's tail

Last year when I took over the entirely overgrown and weed infested plot I decided that, when the whole thing was under some sort of control, I would have a ‘wild’ section of long grass to encourage frogs to hang out. This was rather foolhardy as in essence the whole plot is still very much on the wild side with the exception of a few beds that have stuff growing in them. Anyway the local frogs have appreciated the idea and have colonised an upturned waterbutt lid. There were a couple of tiny frogs in there tonight along with a few adults. Let’s hope they’re hungry because there sure are a lot of slugs and snails around for them to eat.