May 2012



May 1st

 Well,April was a rubbish month weatherwise.

Highest daytime temperature just 12C,loads of rain,gales and very little sunshine,so here's to a better May.

Anyway I've been starting to harvest a bit of the forced rhubarb.


Unfortunately the crowns I dug up and replanted into a big pot have both started to go to seed already,so I'll force these too and get myself a new crown later in the year.


The Hurst Greenshaft peas that I wasn't sure were going to germinate due to all the cold are all now up and growing well,enough so that I can now take off the mouse protection mesh as there won't be any traces of pea seed left.


In the polytunnel the early potatoes in the pots are flying along but I have needed to fleece them on several nights to protect from the frost,it's not a problem and you can leave the fleece on all day as it lets all the light through.

I also bought a few bare rooted strawberry plants and I'm gobsmacked at how they've grown in just a few days from being just a few roots with no leaves on to small strwaberry plants with leaves.

The overwintered garlic is getting huge for this time of year so hopefully I can get some nice sized bulbs come July time.


Sowed a few tender plants,namely the giant Pumpkins and Marrows plus some cucumbers,french beans,courgettes and corriander.

Hopefully these will all be planted out by mid May once the weather warms up......yeah right !


My peppers and chillies are ticking away very slowly due to the lack of warmth and sunshine but the tomatoes are doing pretty well this year under my small lights.


Just the addition of the 2 small low energy cfl daylight bulbs above them has stopped them from becoming leggy this year which has always been a problem for me having to raise all my toms on the windowsill.

Anyway here are a few of the latest videos,click to play cheers.

May 5th.

Well,another week of mixed weather but still the really cold strong North Easterlies keeping the temperatures pegged back.

So,to be honest things aren't moving very fast.


Managed to plant out my Brocolli "Aquilles" this week but the wind has been giving it a bit of a bashing.

Most of my potatoes are now poking through,these are Red Duke of York and have some funky coloured leaves.

The only trouble is that on Friday the temperature got down to -4C and tonight it's set to be even colder so I've just had to cover all the emerged leaves over with a few inches of compost to protect from the frost.


So it's just the polytunnel that things are growing properly in at the moment.

Still had to fleece up the early spuds as they're now getting on for 18" tall now and should hopefully have a few new potatoes in a few weeks.

The Leeks are ticking over nicely and should be about big enough to be planted out towards the end of May once they're about 8-9" tall.


The trial run of spring onions in pots in the tunnel seems to be working and hopefully should have a few ready soon.

I repotted my tomatoes into 4" pots and they've raced on in just a week and they are about ready to go into the greenhouse.

But with the night frosts persisting I'm going to have to hold back a while and wait 'til it warms up a bit.


The tender veg like french beans,cucs and courgettes were all up in a few days in the propagator but like the toms I'll need to wait until all risk of frost has gone before they are planted into the tunnel.


This years daft veg attempt,the giant Pumpkin,is off and running with 5 germinated with seed from pumpkins weighing from 950 to 1580 pounds !!! I kid you not.

So I've built some smaller polytunnels to grow them under and hopefully keep them a little warmer.

These are about 8ft x 3ft6 and should give them some protection.


And over on the exhibition onion front things are still flying along with the plants now about 2ft6 tall with 10+ leaves on and a good 6 weeks ahead of last year.

But there's still plenty of time for things to go horribly wrong.

Anyway I planted out my Banana Shallot plants I grew from seed as a trial this week.

Vid below,not very to play,cheers.

May 12th.

Still the cold weather and still nothing seems to be growing,not even the weeds.

So today,In warm !!!..... I decided to have a crack at clearing a long forgotten patch of ground behind my long forgotten greenhouse.


It's completely overgrown with brambles,nettles grass and outher lovely stuff.

Anyway an hour or so with the mattock and all the brambles were grubbed out along with the nettles.


It always used to grow cracking veg until I abandoned it and judging by the size of some of the worms in the soil it's still pretty good stuff.

Another hour later of forking,digging and weed root pulling it didn't look too bad,so that's another 8x8ft bed to grow something in.


Planted out the climbing french beans in the tunnel but I'm still having to fleece them from the frost as we've had 3 sub zero nights this week.

And the downpour the other day seems to have made my onions,garlic and shallots start to grow a bit.


Planted all the giant pumpkins out under the mini 8ft tunnels and for extra protection I've been putting a propagator top over the plant at night as extra protection.

Even with 3 frosts they seem to be survivng well.

So that's about it,still nothing really growing quickly as yet.

Did a vid of the state of play in the plot below,click to play.Cheers.

May 19th.

I know I keep banging on about the cold weather but yet another week of crap with a couple of frosts thrown in for good measure.


I'm so glad I sowed some cut and come again salad in pots in the porch as this is the only thing that seems to be growing.

The brocolli and Kale I planted out weeks ago is just sat there suffering in the cold and not growing whatsoever.


Similar thing with the beetroot and lettuce,It germinated and then went on strike !


Realising that warmth was needed I decided to get my old neglected greenhouse back in order which lurks behind a load of fruit trees and bushes.

A bit of a spruce up and a bit more growing space obtained.

I've put a right old mixture of stuff in it,cucumbers,squashes,tomatoes and tobacco along with another of last years big onions set for seeding.


The potatoes in pots are finally starting to grow a little despite having been fleeced up on numerous nights when it was frosty and the shallots are all splitting into the separate bulbs now.


The peas have grown about 2 inches in the last week so they might get to picking height by October at that rate.

Over in the polytunnel though the spuds are flying and I actually managed to harvest the 1st ones of the year last night.


Still in the polytunnel the bare rooted strawberry plants I planted a couple of weeks ago have actually started to flower,so hopefully a small crop of strawbs soon.

The courgettes and cucs are still in pots but should be planted out next week inside.


Over on the tomato front I planted 5 plants out in the greenhouse and another 5 at home under a dimly lit lean too.

The ones at home always end up about 10 ft tall due to the lack of light but always produce a great crop due to a constant temperature.


Anyway to finish on a more positive note I managed to harvest about 2 pounds of swift potatoes from one of the pots in the polytunnel after just 70 days.

Job's a good 'un.

May 26th.

Well,what a week,proper heatwave and temperatures into the 80s....about bloody time too !

Anyway I'm having trouble uploading any photos for some reason so I'll put a quick video tour of the plot at the end.

The warm weather has finally started to make things grow though,the peas have doubled in size in a week,the lettuce are now growing and have been thinned out,as too the beetroot.

Onions and garlic are growing away and the spuds are really putting on some growth.

I harvested a couple of pots of spuds after 77 days as a comparison to see the difference between two of that too.

Anyway that's enough waffle,videos below,click to play.




I've got a YouTube channel full of various vids here : AllotmentDiaryYoutube

And I've got myself a Facebook Page click the link if you're interested,Cheers.


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