Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hello ladies!

There are lots of ladybird lavae going walkabout on the lottie. This is good news as the lavae are voracious feeders and will munch their way though lots of aphids. I am reliably informed by wiki that they pupate after about three months depending on how much food there is about.

Spotted lots of lavae at the pupal stage as I was weeding. As I was peering at one of the pupae it began flicking up and down. I thought this might mean that a ladybird beatle was just about to hatch but have since learned that this was actually a demonstration of annoyance. I like the fact that it doesn't let a little thing like undergoing morphological change get in the way of telling me to keep my distance.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Running away

It's the first time I have grown strawberries. The six plants potted up in grow bags are doing well and each are showing a promising branch of green fruits. Apparently plants are more productive in their second year so I'm not sure how much fruit I will have this summer. They have each sent out a set of runners which I could try to root by pinning the plantlets into a pot of soil. Geoff Hamilton's Organic Gardening book suggests this as a good method if you want to force strawberries in the greenhouse. However he warns against restocking beds with plants grown this way in case they spread virus disease. Not sure if the same applies when using grow bags but I think I'll try rooting a few of them.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Bolt thrower

Everything is growing well at the moment but most of the veg is not yet ready for picking. The first set of broad bean plants have produced pencil thin pods which are slowly fattening up. The second set of beans, planted out a month later, are in flower. The peas are also in flower and are setting their first pods. Thankfully the salad leaves are ready. I picked a bag full of rainbow chard and handfuls of salad rocket. Rocket doesn’t like hot weather but I managed to catch it just as it was starting to produce flowers but before it had well and truly made a blot for it.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Plot summary

The recent rain and long hot days have resulted in everything growing like fury. Sunday was the first visit to the lottie for a couple of weeks so the change was rather dramatic. The shallots and onions look like a real success story which is good news as last year the heavy rain practically drowned them. The chard and beets are coming along too, adding colour to the planting.

Our feathered friends have been feasting on the cabbages I planted out recently but neglected to net. Still, there are a couple of survivors which are doing well and I have planted out some red kale to keep them company. The broad beans have not yet been attacked by black fly so I must remember to pinch out their growing tips when I visit next. The Observer allotment blog is worth checking out for a useful list of jobs to do this month. There are certainly lots of tasks to do in June but it is rewarding when you see everything growing so well.