This week on the allotment -12th July

No rain and the soft fruit is colouring up. The dwarf French beans and courgettes really need the sunshine but most things are doing reasonably well considering. We saw a lot of bees today enjoying the catmint and foxgloves.

As ever today was time for the basics, cutting the grass and weeding. The new growth on the soft fruit was tied in, loganberries netted against the birds, and the shed was given a quick tidy-up.   Weed suppressing matting was put underneath the pumpkin and marrow plants to keep the fruits dry and clean – if they ever develop that is.  The slugs have found the new strawberry bed so organic pellets were put down there as well as among the other strawberries. The second batch of Japanese onions was dug up and the ground will be used for another planting of leeks.

Tom is growing peas and onions for exhibiting at the Dalkeith show later this year. They have been netted and are doing well.

Another generation of gooseberry sawfly has arrived so the gooseberries and redcurrants were sprayed again with Bug Clear which is pyrethrum-based and approved by RHS for organic use. The caterpillars can strip a bush of all its leaves within a couple of weeks giving a poor crop and retarding the growth needed for next year.

The rabbits are enjoying a varied diet: the new growth on a branch of the stepover apple has been stripped right back and one of the low growing apples is half-eaten – probably still too sour for them!

Jobs for next week: Weeding; Check for sawfly;Netting raspberries and redcurrants; Enjoying the fruits of our labours!

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