An allotment update

It's only been a couple of months since we got our allotment and already so much has changed. And today I thought I'd share some pictures from there which I took earlier this afternoon. 

As we cleared some of the beds we discovered a sign which is now back upright. 

The artichoke that self-seeded is continuing to grow undisturbed and now has one larger and two small artichokes on it.  The plug plants I bought have had mixed success. One has died completely, one is growing well and the other is recovering. I thought I'd lost it but it's a plucky thing and is now growing new leaves, so hopefully it will survive.

The cabbages and purple sprouting broccoli that I planted towards the end of June have flourished (see how small they were here). So much so that I removed the netting this afternoon, I'd spotted a cabbage white butterfly inside the net so if they were getting in there really didn't seem much point. I just hope that the foxes behave with my brassicas.

The red kuri squash is also doing well, there's two fruits doing well and it looks like more could be on the way too. The plant is rampant, it's gone through the broad beans and tomatoes in one direction and is heading for the beans in the opposite direction.  I think it's happy!

I've two lots of beans on the go, these on the wigwam were planted direct in May and they're doing well. I've got red and white runner bean flowers and the sweet peas growing alongside them bring some extra colour.

The lavender which I'd taken cuttings from a straggly plant in my garden has come on leaps and bounds since it's been in the allotment.  It's not quite lavender bush size yet, but maybe next year.  A lot of the plots have lavender and shrubs growing around the edge of their plot which looks good. I suspect it also stops the foxes running through the crops, so it's something I'm keen to emulate. 

The apple tree, which we inherited is doing well - and the number of apples on it is giving it a stay of execution. I wanted to move it - and still do - but clearly now isn't the right time. I want to move it as I think it's in the wrong place and if it were to continue to grow where it is then it will cast shade over quite a bit of the plot, which I'm not so keen on.

Although I've got a lot growing, there's still so much to do - but I'm making progress. I was chatting with one of the other plot holders today and discovered she'd got her plot in January - it seems there's quite a few new plot holders, which is nice. When she learnt we got our plot in May she was impressed. And I am too. It's quite nice to pop over there for a couple of hours and dig another row and get it ready to grow some crops.

I've still six more tomatoes and five more squash to plant out, so I need to clear some space for them. I've got some courgettes to plant out too and some rosemary cuttings for my border. The black plastic is down to stop the grass growing and once I've cleared some space on the other side of the beans I'll be starting there,  

We still don't have a shed yet, but we do have some storage now in the form of a plastic bench. It's lockable and means that I don't have to carry everything I need on each visit.

We've made a new compost bin and today I started to fill the sides of the pallet with rolled up newspapers. I've quite a few more at home so hope to be able to fill the bottom layer over the weekend. The theory is that the newspaper will stop the soil (and weeds!) escaping and provide insulation. I read it somewhere and it sounded like a good idea - I'll let you know if it works!

The old bench that we inherited has also been repurposed; we used the back of it to extend the height of the pallet and used the slats from the seat as retainers on the inside of the new compost bin. It didn't take much to break up the bench, so it was the right decision!

The existing compost bins are still there, at some point we'll need to tackle these. There doesn't seem much evidence of the foxes in the second more earthy compost bin which is good news, but it's hard to turn over and remove the soil as there's plastic in the soil. Sorting these out remains on the list, but for now it's more important to get some crops growing.

And my last picture is of our crab apples - looks like I might be making some jelly later in the year! 

So six weeks in, it's going well. It's hard work, but good fun. And still a bit more to do!