The allotment after another week of sunshine and heat.

After another brilliant week of sunshine and heat, the growth in the fruit and veg is amazing! With so much suddenly ready for picking, the team had a very busy time at the allotment.

First job was getting out the hose to give some of the crops a thorough soaking to plump up the fruit, peas and beans, and keep veg like the brassicas growing well. Wells have been made around most of the fruit and veg to make sure the water gets directed down onto the roots where it is needed.Japanese veg putting on growth - July 2013

And the Japanese veg is beginning to put on growth!

The top leaves of the broad beans are attractive to blackflies at this time of year, so the tops were taken out as a preventive measure.

Pinching out the tops of Broad Beans

The beetroot and purple Milan turnips needed thinning and the carrots another thinning, giving baby carrots for the salads. The rest of the early potatoes were dug up as the ground was needed for leeks – later than usual, but the cold Spring held everything back.

Then on with the picking of the strawberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, raspberries, cherries and gooseberries – all of a really good size and quality and plenty for the pleasure of eating fresh and freezing for making jam! The first of the peas are now ready and the broad beans are just at the right size for eating – small and juicy. The dwarf French beans are ready, and the early cabbages and the courgettes too. And finally the garlic is ready for harvesting and the shallots for taking out and drying off.

The courgettes are growing fast and the two small ones from last week are already baby marrow size, so these were left to grow on for showing as marrows in the FEDAGA and Dalkeith shows in September.

Biochar trial: The salads in the pallets have been picked, so a re-sowing has been done. There was a small difference between the two pallets with the crops in the biochar, one looking slightly bigger and better. The main trial bed is continuing to show better growth on the Biochar half.

Date to remember:  Annual Open Day and fruit pruning working taken by George Anderson on Sunday 25 August 2pm – 4pm. Teas, Produce and Plants. If you have plants to spare, then please bring them along for the plant/produce stall.

The team is a little short of volunteers this year, so any offers of help on the day with the teas and picking the produce beforehand would be much appreciated.

Jobs for next week: Watering; Netting the loganberries, Tayberry and bramble; Picking the fruit and veg.

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