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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM

Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit

Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Vines And Other Climbing Plants.

Fish Ponds

Books By
Alan J Hartley



Vegetables Developing Nicely.

This year everybody’s Potatoes look good on the Allotments with only one or two showing signs of Potato Blight, which seems a little strange given that we have had such a prolonged wet spell. Blight likes it warm though, as well as being wet, so, perhaps the unseasonably low temperatures have helped prevent it. With the tops of the plants on the two rows of my “Earlies,” standing up well and covered with plenty of flowers, I thought it was safe to assume that they were ready. One of the TV Gardeners had already dug his first Potatoes up on his show, so I tentatively put the fork in at the end of one row of mine and lifted the soil. What came up was a selection of nice sized Potatoes that were all perfectly formed with no slug damage, and indeed they showed no other faults. Just 4 plants yielded enough to fill 3 small buckets, one each for myself and 2 friends. Presumably the rest of those two rows will be as good, so I can only hope that the remaining 4 rows made up of the other two, later varieties, will do as well. 

Another successful crop that has already been harvested is my Broad Beans. I gave lots away and froze 4 big bags of beans. Most people are just starting to pick theirs, but mine were all picked and in the freezer a couple of weeks ago as I planted the Aquadulce type that were sown at the back end of last Autumn. It is always a bit hit and miss putting them in before the bad weather with some Winters taking nearly all of the plants, but this Winter was exceptionally kind with my losing only one plant out of two good rows containing a couple of dozen plants. Of course if the Winter does devastate your plants you can replant in the Spring and not really lose out, because they will just harvest a little later. However, apart from getting an early crop the other big advantage of an early sowing is that your crop is ready for picking before the perennial Bean problem of Black Fly hits the plants. When everyone else is struggling to keep their plants free of this little plague you will be pulling up your plants with Beans nice and fat as did I.

As soon as my Beans were out I weeded the patch and put in my Tomatoes. They should really have gone in last month, (June) but I had potted the plants on into large pots to keep them growing. The leaves were starting to yellow though, as they had been in the pots too long without being fed and were starting to suffer a bit. I am hoping they will not be hit by the Blight as I can’t remember if they are a Blight resistant variety, or not. The plants already have a few green Tomatoes on, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

My First planting of Turnips had a mixed success with some going to seed before they were big enough to pull. I decided to try and save what I could and fetched a lot of the bigger ones up. With so many plants pulled out at once I was unsure what to do with them until another plot-holder suggested I try freezing them, “After all,” he said, “It’s only like freezing Carrots and they don’t go brown like Parsnips.” I have to confess that I have never seen frozen Turnips for sale though! My second planting of Turnips have been ready to go in, for a week or two, in place of the Potatoes. They do crop very quickly, so I can usually get the second planting to a reasonable size in the remainder of the season as a follow on crop.

I have just started pulling a few of the bigger Beetroot that are about ready with another batch ready to go in as another quick crop to follow on from the Potatoes. Sometimes they end up a bit on the small side, but I usually find them worth trying.

I had to replant most of the French and Runner Beans, because they did not germinate successfully after sowing them directly in the ground. The Mice may have been busy, or it may have simply been too early and the ground was to cold when I sowed them. Hopefully, the new plants will catch up with everybody else’s.

Apart from the short dry spell that we had, the wet season has proved ideal for my Globe Artichokes that did well even if they were later than usual, but the Asparagus was a bit of a failure after all the wet and the number of Spears, cut was down on last year. In fact not only did the plants seem to start growing later than usual, but growth seemed slower as well with the Spears taking days to develop. Normally you can see the difference in size of the young Spears as they grow from one day to the next.

What the Weather will throw at us for the rest of the rest of the Season and how it will affect the vegetables is anybody’s guess, but our Summers are often interesting!


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