Thursday, 8 September 2016

Broad Beans - Autumn Sowing

Autumn Sown Broad Beans - Aquadulce Claudia
Autumn Sown Broad Beans - Aquadulce Claudia


Between now and the end of October is a good time to sow some Broad Bean seeds.

This will get the plants established before Winter sets in - hopefully leading to an early crop next Spring.

You need to use a specific Autumn sowing (not Spring) variety such as Aquadulce Claudia.

These can be sown direct into the ground - but this year I'm starting some of mine in pots.

Last season my seeds were robbed out by mice - see my earlier post:
Broad Bean Robbery

So I'll get these growing on well, safe in a corner of my back garden.

Then I'll take them out to my allotment in October and plant them out in their final position, with some protection from a net cloche.

Its great to be preparing for next Spring already, with the final Summer crops coming in and my allotment starting to look a bit empty.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

St Ives Allotment - July - Photo Gallery

Allotment With A Sea View - July 2016
Allotment With A Sea View - July 2016


A busy July on the allotment with lots of crops growing beautifully - including sweetcorn, french beans, peas, turnips and carrots.

Should be a good harvest this year.

I've posted a gallery of photos for  July on my Facebook page -

Allotment With A Sea View - Gallery - July

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Allotment Growing - Sowing Turnips

Allotment Growing - Sowing Turnips
Allotment Growing - Sowing Turnips


I like to try a few new crops every season on my allotment - and oddly enough I've never grown turnips - so I'm giving them a go.

Allotment Growing - Sowing Turnips
An allotment staple for many growers - I've considered turnips to be a bit boring. But watching a few cookery programmes on TV has convinced me that sweet baby turnips might be quite nice on the plate. If I grow them to full size they can be harvested and chunked up to add to Winter stews.

I've sown two rows to start with - in the brassica bed on my plot. For crop rotation this is the group that turnips fall into (cabbages etc.) - as opposed to root vegetables (carrots etc.).

Allotment Growing - Sowing Turnips
I scraped out a shallow drill with the trowel - about half an inch deep. Then scattered the seed thinly along the length. and gently backfilled.

Finally I marked out the rows with string and added a dated plant label.

I'll sow a couple more rows at the end of the month and harvest them from late Summer through Autumn.



Allotment Growing - Sweetcorn

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- for lots more information, growing tips and photos:
Allotment Growing

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Allotment Growing - Crops - Turnips


Monday, 25 April 2016

Sunday On The Allotment - Sunday 24 April

St Ives Cornwall Allotment - April 2016
St Ives Cornwall Allotment - April 2016


Pleasant and sunny - if a little chilly - in Cornwall this weekend.

I was pleased to get out to my plot and continue my Spring preparations and sowing.

First some seed sowing. Last year my French beans - Borlotti Firetongue - did really badly. We had an unusually cool Summer here in Cornwall. The temperature rarely rose above 20 degrees (C) - and the beans just didn't grow or crop well.

So - without a crop worth eating - I decided to dry and store the beans as seed. In Autumn I dug a bean trench and filled it with compost.
More - Digging A Bean Trench ...... 

I sowed a few seeds in modules in my greenhouse in March. these have germinated - so I know the stored seed is viable.

St Ives Cornwall Allotment - Sowing Borlotti Beans
This year - under my crop rotation plan - beans and peas are going into the bed where I grew potatoes last year. I cleared this bed last Autumn - and added a mulch of compost - so there wasn't too much preparation to do.

I just hoed over the soil to remove weeds and made some small repairs to my bean cane "wigwam".
More - Allotment Calendar - Clearing Beds

St Ives Cornwall Allotment - Sowing Borlotti Beans
Then I watered the ground - and simply sowed a bean at the foot of each cane.

It may be a bit early to sow French beans - seed packet instructions generally advise waiting until May. But Spring here has been fairly mild - and the soil is definitely warming up - as shown by my pea seeds starting to germinate and throw up shoots.



So I've taken a bit of a chance - and as usual maybe my impatience has gotten the better of me. But I've got plenty of seed left - and its free - so I can easily sow more. I'll also sown some more in pots in the garden at home - so I'll have some "backups".

More signs of Spring's advance elsewhere on the plot.

St Ives Cornwall Allotment - Potatoes
My potatoes - planted in early March - are finally beginning to show through.

Every year - around this time - I have an attack of "potato anxiety" - wondering if the shoots will ever emerge.

They always do. The next thing I'll need to worry about is blight - but not much I can do about that - we'll see.

St Ives Cornwall Allotment - April 2016
So - a nice Sunday on my plot.

More soon - on sowing peas, getting my "Three Sisters" bed ready and general progress through a lovely Spring in Cornwall.







Allotment Growing - Sweetcorn

Visit my website - Allotment Growing
- for lots more information, growing tips and photos:
Allotment Growing

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Allotment Growing - Three Sisters


Thursday, 21 April 2016

Making Leaf Mould On The Allotment

Making Leaf Mould On The Allotment
Making Leaf Mould On The Allotment


Last Autumn I spent a fair bit of time collecting fallen leaves - see my earlier blog post -
Autumn Allotment Jobs - Making Leaf Mould

Many bags of these were added to my leaf mould bin on the plot - and by the end of October it was pretty full.

Its spent all Winter composting down - and the volume has reduced by at least three quarters.

This is normal and exactly as expected.

In the Autumn I'll throw it onto the growing beds - to act as a mulch to keep weeds down - and to act as a soil improver.

Then I'll start collecting more fallen leaves to make more of this wonderful stuff.



Allotment Growing - Sweetcorn

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- for lots more information, growing tips and photos:
Allotment Growing

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Allotment Growing - Making Leaf Mould


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Broad Bean Robbery

Broad Bean Robbery by Mice
Broad Bean Robbery by Mice


I arrived at the plot this weekend looking forward to seeing the progress of my Broad  Beans - sown back in March.

Broad Bean Robbery by Mice
To my dismay I found that four entire rows of seeds had been pilfered !

A very neat circular hole at each spot in the rows where seed was sown.

Exactly who - or what - is the culprit I don't know for sure.

I suspect a mouse - a view supported by my neighbouring plot-holder Richard - who has had similar problems.

This is the first time in years that I've not had a good crop of Broad Beans growing in April.

The Autumn sown batch failed - see my earlier blog post:
St Ives Allotment - Spring Is Here

I hope its not to late to sow more - I'll be growing some in pots to plant out later.



Allotment Growing - Sweetcorn

Visit my website - Allotment Growing
- for lots more information, growing tips and photos:
Allotment Growing

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Allotment Growing - Broad Beans


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Allotment Scarecrow - St Ives Style

Allotment Scarecrow - St Ives Style
Allotment Scarecrow - St Ives Style


Allotment Scarecrow - St Ives Style
If you're going to make a scarecrow - you might as well do it in style.

This sculpture has recently appeared on one of the plots on the St Ives allotment site.

Looks amazing - and shows that we like to do things differently here in West Cornwall.




Allotment Growing - Sweetcorn

Visit my website - Allotment Growing
- for lots more information, growing tips and photos:
Allotment Growing

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Allotment Growing - Managing Your Plot