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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

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By Mrs FM

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On With More Crops.

My Leeks and Kohl Rabi went in after the Broad Beans came out and at first they didn’t do very well with my losing quite a few as it was just too dry for the tiny plants that I transplanted. I did water them, somewhat erratically at first, and it wasn’t good enough, but then we had that wet spell from late July onwards and those that survived are now doing well. My Second planting of Turnips and Beetroot that went in as the Onions and Potatoes came out, should be ready for harvesting with the Kohl Rabi, as the Autumn comes to a close. The Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Jerusalem Artichokes and to some extent my Chard, will go on into well the Winter for harvesting and more, or less, throughout the cold spell until they get eaten.

Both my Runner and French Beans caught the cold when I planted them way back, but both have done well, although the French seem to be coming to an end now. For some weeks I was picking literally buckets full every few days. As the Onions, which I had grown between the two rows of Bean canes, turned their tops down, I had a good weed and dug the Onions out to dry off. Some had gone to seed, but not all – and the over all result was not too bad. Fortunately, they were all Red ones that I tend to use in Salads, so being a little on the smaller side wasn’t a problem. For cooking purposes though, they probably wouldn’t have been much use.

Other things that went in late, apart from second plantings, were of course my Tomatilloes and Cape Gooseberries, which went in at the beginning of June. The Tomatoes also went in about then and all are looking good. However, I am not too hopeful for my Tomatoes as they were not a Blight resistant variety and were only the good old traditional “Gardeners Delight.” I forgot to order any special seed and just used an old part packet that I found in my seed tin. Up until now though, we have not had the usual trouble with Blight, but as of the end of August it is starting to show so it will hit the Tomatoes before much longer.
Talking of Blight, my Potatoes were supposed to be resistant varieties, but putting them in early meant that the tops had all flowered and they were ready to dig before the Blight even showed itself. When I did start to dig them I found that I had the same problem with them as previous years and that was, I think, Wire Worm. A lot of otherwise good Potatoes had small, clean, holes in them with no sign of Slugs. I have decided it is probably due to all the partly rotted compost that I normally use to earth them up with in the Spring. There is always a lot of dry woody material in the compost that attracts Wire Worm.

As the Strawberries finally finished I set to weeding and digging out the main bed. The soil level was very low in the bed so, I dug in most of my own Compost Bin, that I was in the process of emptying, along with the bark chips that had been on the surface, and a few bags of Manure. While rejuvenating the Strawberry bed I tidied up the two Sea Kale beds next to them. As always Sea Kale plants were coming up everywhere so, I put a dozen offsets that I fetched out of paths, in an empty patch to root over the coming winter. With excellent timing a fresh load of Wood Chips was delivered to the site so, after weeding the paths I refreshed them with new Chippings.

To end on a light note - While proudly showing another Plot Holder my Brassica bed that was doing very well, she noticed a rustling of leaves in the bed next to it where some Beetroot were. “Ooh look,” she exclaimed, you’ve got Mice.” I thought nothing of it until a few days later when I went to pick some Beetroot and found that nearly every one was half eaten. It wasn’t Slug damage as some were still bleeding from where they had been freshly gnawed! The Mice obviously realised that Beetroot are the same family as Sugar Beet and I guess they have some of the same sugary sweetness!


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