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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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

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- 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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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

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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

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Allotment Growing

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Allotment Growing - Managing Your Plot


Saturday, 2 April 2016

Sowing Leeks In Pots

Leeks Sown In Pots


One small regret / lesson learned from last season is not growing any leeks.

As time sped on and Spring progressed - I simply didn't get round to it.

So I'm putting that right this year.

Leeks need a long growing season - so its worth getting the seeds sown early.

One benefit of this is that they will provide a Winter crop - they will keep on growing after other crops have long been harvested.

Part of my Allotment Plan to this year is to grow more Winter crops - so this fits in nicely.

Some growers use a "nursery bed" for leeks. They need thinning out before transplanting into their final growing bed.

I prefer to start them off in pots - in my back garden where I can keep an eye on them. I've used fairly deep pots so they can grow down well into the soil.

Once they are about "pencil" thickness I'll carefully separate them out and transplant them into a growing bed on my allotment.

They should be ready to go out around the end of May.

Then they will grow on through Summer and Autumn - and provide me with a nice addition to my Winter soups and stews.

Leeks freeze well - so any surplus can be preserved through to the next harvest.




Allotment Growing - Sweetcorn

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

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Allotment Growing - Autumn Jobs - Planning