The gardener, at the allotment, with a hose pipe

The hose pipe is the tool of choice at the moment.

After two months without rain we’ve had a little rain recently but it has hardly touched the surface so my main job at the allotment yesterday was to give it all a good watering.

The potatoes growing in the bags are coming along nicely, lots of green tops (if that counts for anything) and I gave them a good hose down. Then just to check I opened the little ‘trap doors’ in the side of the bags and the soil was still bone dry.  The hosing seemed to have no affect beneath the surface. How is that?

We need a good downpour.

Having said all that I am having a good harvest so Mother Nature is doing a good job.

Here is what I have in the allotment at the moment.  The aforementioned potatoes, carrots, kohl rabi, parsley (curly and flat leafed), mint, giant endive, freckled lettuce, curly leafed kale, Cavolo Nero Italian kale, leeks and garlic which should be ready to lift in the next week or so.  And I’m awash with silver beet. Which is good because I never tire of it. I just steam it, nothing fancy, and ‘down the hatch’ as they say.

I planted six zucchini seeds a few weeks ago but only one has germinated. I planted six seeds with the idea of choosing the two strongest as that would be enough for my small allotment.  So I still need one more, as I have now lost a couple of weeks I may just buy a seedling from Bunnings.

The big decision now is what to plant for the summer months. The weather will be hot, many days over 30 degrees celsius, and high humidity so we tend to suffer with mildew. (The plants, doh!)

The good news is that Linda Brennan from Ecobotanica is coming to the farm on Monday morning to hold a workshop on organic veggie growing and I’ll pick her brains as to what to plant to get me through the summer. Linda will be giving advice on organic pest control which I am particularly interested in having sacrificed my red cabbages to the caterpillars recently, and it’s almost impossible to grow a tomato at the farm without it being stung by the fruit fly. She’ll also look at the soil and give us general advice on how to improve our harvest.

I’ve been to Linda’s workshops a number of times, she is a mine of information, and I always learn so much.

So that’s the news today.  I’m getting so much pleasure from my little plot, despite the dry conditions my little plants soldier on – except for the baby beets and I have to say their days are numbered unless they lift their act!

And because I can’t resist getting the camera out when I see a nice healthy veggie plant – here’s a silver beet for you.

Happy gardening.

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sarah @ gladys in the garden
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 21:56:05

    Hopefully Linda can shed some light on why the soil below the surface remains dry.
    There’s a lot growing in your plot. I am also thinking of pulling some baby beets that won’t grow any more. They’ve stayed the same for what seems like weeks and weeks. It’s all fun though.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Oct 06, 2012 @ 06:12:32

      I agree wholeheartedly Sarah, this whole gardening thing is great fun. I love to pickle beetroot and it’s disappointing that mine are really struggling. But I’m leaving them there until Monday because Linda may tell me if I need to adjust the pH.
      I could of course go to the shops and buy a bunch – but there’s not the same satisfaction in that!

      Reply

  2. narf77
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 05:36:47

    I remember the very first veggie garden that I attempted way WAY back when my youngest daughter (now 22) was about 5 and NOTHING grew in it except a magnificent crop of silverbeet. I am talking about 50 plants! I lived on silverbeet for a long time and learned to make some pretty tasty dishes out of it and one of them was very simple but very tasty. I diced an onion, crushed garlic (I like HEAPS so I will let you work out your own ratio), fried them off together in some olive oil and then tossed my cooked spinach through them along with some chili flakes. Then I put the results into a small baking dish (Silverbeet is as deflationary as regular U.K. spinach) and topped it with buttered breadcrumbs and a little grated cheese. It always came out of the oven smelling delicious and it tasted wonderful on its own or as a side dish. I am SO envious of you meeting Linda and would love to attend one of her workshops one day. Your silverbeet is a triumph Jean. I am going to seed the entire garden with them so that hopefully they will grow, seed and spread themselves all over the place. If I use rainbow chard, I should get a pretty stunning automatic garden! 😉

    Reply

  3. narf77
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 05:37:52

    Oops! I forgot to mention the cooked fine diced large potato in that recipe! I stirred it through the mix before topping with the breadcrumbs…

    Reply

  4. MrsYub
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 14:55:42

    You sound like you have an awsome lot! My beetroots are fine now, but they have been growing slo-owly all winter and have just started to pick up now :S
    I have just planted out chilli, cucumber, zuchinni, carn, maze, watermelon and pumpkin, and I have had to get out the actual snail bait in full force, as nothing else could keep out the sheer number of slugs and snail that came out of the undergrowth!! I swaer they have been multiplying all winter! There are mounds, full on MOUNDS of dead bodies around my new seedlings! Its crazy!!

    Reply

  5. notjustgreenfingers
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 17:45:42

    I also love my allotment too. I think you have to love it to do it, as it can sometimes be such hard work.
    It’s funny reading about you using your hosepipe, as it’s been wet over here all summer…it’s a shame we can’t ship some water over to you lol

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Oct 07, 2012 @ 20:31:13

      Yes we could do with some of your rain, but hopefully we’ll have some summer storms to sort that out. We tend to get more rain during the summer months. I had a good afternoon at the allotment yesterday afternoon. After hosing it down I planted seeds of melon, cucumber, dwarf beans and zucchini.

      Reply

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