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Allotment Waiting Lists

How are you all getting on out there with all this rain? Depending on where you live l suppose it makes for some excellent growing conditions. After all, the season started really well and there was no reason not to have the ground prepared for sowing. Or was there?

I have just been to my local Council Offices and registered my interest in renting an allotment. ‘Which one would you like?’ asked the Receptionist. My heart leapt at the thought l was going to be offered one there and then. ‘I don’t mind’ l said ‘Anything you have got. I’m not after a full plot. Just half or even a quarter plot would do’. ‘No’ came the reply ‘Which allotment site are you interested in?’ ‘Oh, er whichever has the shortest waiting list’ l said hopefully. ‘They are all the same. Four years on average. But l will put your name down with them all’. In an act of mental desperation l mentioned my blog that l write and how it is one of the gardening blogs listed with The Guardian on their gardening blog website. But she was having none of it. And l only had 65p in my pocket so l couldn’t even offer a bribe!

And so l am on the waiting list. The four year waiting list! But l have a cunning plan. Me thinks that if l pay a visit to these allotment sites and take a look around at the scruffy ones, then maybe, just maybe they might be happy to go halves with me because it is all too much for them and one of them would be happy to share some of their plot? It’s worth a try. Nothing ventured and all that. I will keep you posted.

One Day!

 This extract l have taken from Mr Middleton’s book ‘Mr Middleton Talks About Gardening’ was actually first published in 1935 so makes no reference to the war ahead.The month is May.

The vegetable marrow bed should be prepared now, and seed may be sown in the south. In the north the end of the month will be soon enough.If you want a few really nice marrows for the show, a good idea is to train them over a sloping framework of some kind. An old gate, sloping from the ground near the plants, to a wall or fence or some other support, four or five feet high, does quite well. Tie the shoots here and there, and then let the young marrows hang under the gate. By this method you get them perfectly straight and evenly marked, and free from slugs or soil blemishes, and they will grow to quite a good size without breaking the stems.

Of course we don’t all happen to have a spare gate, but l’ve no doubt you can fix up a contrivance of some kind which will answer just as well. But whatever you do, especially if you try this on an allotment, let it be something neat and inconspicuous. I should be very sorry to suggest anything which might encourage the use of old bedsteads and other worn out domestic appliances on the allotments. I should like to take this opportunity of appealing to allotment holders generally to be a little more considerate of the public point of view and try to keep the allotments a little tidier than they usually are. I have seen allotment fields recently which, from a distance, look like vast rubbish dumps rather than productive gardens. Surely this is hardly necessary? A little ingenuity and a coat of green paint can often cover up a multitude of eyesores.

Well, Mr Middleton, if l am lucky in my quest, l promise to keep it spick and span and certainly no rusting old bedsteads!

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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Allotments, May

 

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May-4th Week

Mr Middleton says: Never allow a weed to flower in the garden.

I could do with this lot helping out in my garden!

May-4th WEEK

1. Plant Mid-Season Leeks.- Leeks for use up to Christmas may now be planted. Do not plant many as there is so much other produce available at the time.Their greatest value is from Christmas to May. For ordinary purposes the best method of planting is to make holes with a pole or blunt dibber some 6-in. deep. The distance apart should be 12 in. between the rows and 9 in. between the holes. Use only good plants, the roots trimmed a little and the leaves cut back, and drop them in the holes.A little soil can be pushed in to cover the roots, and this should be followed by watering to settle them into position. The holes should not be filled with soil, but left to give room for the leek stems to swell.

2. Kohl Rabi Instead of Turnips.- Kohl Rabi should now be sown. A fairly rich soil suits it best, and it should not be allowed to grow too large and coarse. Use when of tennis-ball size.

3. Sow for Various Successions.- Successional sowings of radish, short-horn carrots, six-week turnips, lettuce etc., should be made according to family requirements, and the capacity of the garden.

4. Outdoor Tomatoes, Marrows and Cucumbers.- In sheltered gardens of the south outdoor tomatoes can be planted. Elsewhere it is better to wait a week. There are many places where they will thrive in the open garden, but the position should not be windswept. In more difficult areas they should be grown against a wall or fence facing south. Vegetable marrows, too, can be planted out of doors when frost is passed. Cucumbers can be planted in a cold frame or in a cold house.

5. Look to Grapes.- Bunches of grapes, which will be developing rapidly, should be thinned out before the fruits become crowded. Use long, thin scissors and hold up the fruits with a stick. Do not use the fingers.

6. General Work.- Autumn-fruiting raspberries cut down earlier will have produced growths long enough to need tying to the wire supports. Clean sea-kale beds, and dress with agricultural salt. Mulch peas and other crops on light soil. Earth-up potatoes.

I planted my early leeks a couple of weeks ago. The method Mr Middleton describes for planting leeks is the same today. Some people say it is not necessary to trim the roots and the tops of each plant but l find, by doing so, they are easier to put in the holes and they are not top heavy helping them to stay snug in the soil. They never seem worse off for it.

Although l don’t have many raspberry canes in my garden those l do are laden with fruits. Along with most other cane fruit it really pays to have a few plants in the garden especially out here where soft fruit is incredibly expensive.

I have been hardening off the tomatoes over the past few weeks and have transplanted them into large pots situated by the side of the greenhouse where it is reasonably sheltered. Just as well as we have had really strong winds blowing in overnight accompanied by a few showers.

There is still so much to do out there and the weeds still keep appearing. Don’t turn your back for a second!

Sorry, my original post was published before it was completed. I can’t get the staff!

 

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