Unexpected crop at the Allotment

6 Aug - Oats & Barley

Oats and barley on the dung heap.

Rain stopped play a couple of times today but we did get quite a lot done regardless.

The grass was cut and the edges tidied up – an ongoing job. Weeding was done amongst the veg and green manure sowed in the cleared ground.

The blueberries are ripening now so we had a first picking of fruit from these new plants, the brambles are ripening up fast and the summer rasps are over. The new variety ‘Glen Dee’ is producing shoots all over the bed and is a very strong grower compared to ‘Glen Ample’ which is taking time to settle in.

The beetroot has done well this year and the French climbing beans are shooting up, quite unlike the runner beans which are struggling a little – not something we have had a problem with in the past.

6 Aug - French Climbing Beans

French climbing beans

We have had an unexpected crop. The dung heap is growing cereal crops – the oats and barley included in the horse feed are appearing!

Jobs for next week

Weeding still
Dig up the next row of potatoes
Cut back the shaws of the early maincrop potatoes
Net the plums – somehow!

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April showers ….in July

July 28 - apples

It was like an April day today, though the downpours fortunately held off until we were leaving.

We have been watering since early on this year, but it seems the plants prefer the rain and are showing impressive growth over the past couple of weeks. The few hot days we have had helped too of course.

The new shoots on the soft fruit finally were tied in today. The new plants have all settled in very well with good growth and fruiting.

The second early potatoes Maris Peer are beginning to die back so the shaws were cut back to a couple of inches and the potatoes will be left in the ground for two weeks to allow the skins to harden. We are also on the lookout for blight from now on.

July 28 - potato shaws

Some of the apples were needing thinned. Better to have fewer larger apples than a lot of small ones and most of our apples are on a dwarfing rootstock so we don’t want to overstretch the energy of the plant. The crop overall is smaller than last year, probably due to the weather being too cold for the pollinators to get to work at blossom time.

The succession sowing of carrots has not done well so had a final try today hoping to get some main crop ones for autumn pulling.

We started again on replacing the edging on the raised beds where the wood has rotted. And the rest of the time was spent on weeding.

Jobs for next week
Sow green manures on empty ground

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Colouring a town centre

Before and after photos of Tranent Civic Square


now much brighter due to adding some seasonal colour in planters. Remember  that  all this needs frequent watering and feeding.

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Living Garden 2017

Living Garden

The Caley is a member of the Garden for Life forum.  The attached “Living Garden” report is a great representation of how this years Gardening Scotland was for the forum. For those of you who could not make it to Gardening Scotland this year, the lovely photos will give you a taste of what it was like. The full report can be found here. 

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Abundance at the allotment.

The rain and heat of the last few days has made a big difference to the plot with good growth on the sweetcorn, and the runner beans and French climbing beans finally getting going.

The courgettes and the brassicas were mulched with compost and leaf mould to give them a feed and keep the moisture in. Each year there is a problem with the courgettes getting mildew early on, generally not helped by them only being watered once a week so we shall see if the mulching makes a difference. The brassicas are growing in the new raised beds. The soil in these will improve as we work it but the compost mulch will give a boost to the growth this year.



The strawberries had a good haircut today, all the old leaves were cut off to allow the new leaves room to grow and will be given a feed.

The rest of the soft fruit was given a feed of fish, blood and bone and watered.

The gooseberries are ready – all were picked, so there will be gooseberry jam at the Open Day!

The grass had another cut and work was started on trimming back the edges – a long job but means the mower can cut them and it is then a quick job with the shears.

And, of course, the weeding: the beds are weed free so now we are working on the edges of the plot and the paths.

First picking of the carrots

A picking today of carrots, sugarsnap peas, broad beans, lettuce, brokali, gooseberries, rasps, loganberries, tayberries, brambles, and plenty of onions and potatoes too.

Jobs for next week

Still to tie in the new growth on the soft fruit
Weeding along the edges
Sow a green manure on the empty ground

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Allotment chores on a pleasant day.

A pleasant day to get on with the allotment chores. The strawberries are over so the netting was taken off and put over the area that had grown the shallots and has now been sown with buckwheat as a green manure. This should give the seed a chance to germinate without being eaten by the pigeons and pheasants.

The onions are a good size and they were eased out of the soil just a little to break the roots. This will encourage them to die down and begin the drying out process.

Last week the comfrey bed was very thoroughly weeded and cleared and the compost area tidied up. And weeding everywhere is a regular job.

We dug up the first of the potatoes today variety Sharpe’s Express and picked the first heads of the brokali – the cross between Chinese broccoli and calabrese. There are still plenty of broad beans and peas. The current row of peas for picking are sugarsnap.

There is plenty of fruit to pick. It is now a pleasure to pick the gooseberries now they are growing as cordons.

Picking the cordon gooseberries

There are also raspberries, brambles, loganberries and tayberries.

Saskatoon berries

The saskatoon has done very well since its move earlier in the year and for the first time has an excellent crop of berries. They look like blueberries but have a sharper taste.

Plenty of Discovery apples to come

Jobs for next week

  • Tie in the new shoots of the soft fruit
  • Cut off the old leaves on the strawberries and feed
  • Feed all the fruit and veg
  • Thin the apples

Allotment Open Day Sunday 20 August 2pm-4pm  With a summer fruit pruning workshop taken by George Anderson

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wildflower meadows

These come in great  variety depending on the soil, situation and whether things  have been sown or planted  or just allowed to develop naturally. All have a base of permanent grass and need at least one cut and lift in late summer or autumn to stop bushes and eventually tree seedlings taking over. This one has had some sowing

as the greater knapweed now so prominent  is not common  on the East Lothian coast. It is part of the Scottish Ornithologists  Club garden  at Aberlady. A Caley outing  visited  there   a few years back but it is open free of charge seven days a week.

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