Monday, 20 June 2016

A year on the allotment: June 2016

I never cease to be amazed at the growth spurt our plants put on in June. The end of May and early June were really warm and the plot looked parched. Then the weather changed and we've had buckets of rain over the past ten days or so. It's not great for picnics, trips to the beach or festival goers - but it's great for the allotment.

child holds a rip allotment strawberry

One crop in particular loves the wet British weather - the humble spud. The photo below shows Magoo watering the new bed on the 3rd June. You can just see the potato leaves poking out of the soil.

child helps to water the crops on the allotment

Fast forward to the 18th June, just fifteen days later, and you can hardly see Magoo as she weeds the area around the same potato bed. The rate of growth is amazing. We should be able to start harvesting our first spuds soon.

child helps to weed the allotment plot

We've already started to eat our first strawberries - they are delicious. Sadly the slugs and snails have munched their fair share of them. The wet weather brings the slimy molluscs out in force. We did spot a large frog in the strawberry bed. Apart from making us jump when he jumped, I'm hoping our resident frog is making a dent in the slug population...

strawberries ripening in a raised bed

We've also planted out some sprouts. It's the first time we've grown them, so I'm hoping we will be sitting down to Christmas lunch with homegrown sprouts. It's hard to imagine these fairly small seedlings will grow into sturdy sprout trees. If the slugs don't get them first. We don't use slug pellets, so we aim to plant out more than we need, then we can cope with some losses.

brussel sprout seedlings on the allotment

Magoo has her own raised bed and she gets to choose which crops go in there. This year she wanted to grow peas and broad beans. The peas are doing well and we spotted the first pods at the weekend. The broad beans are getting attacked with black fly as per usual. My Mum has sprayed them with a soap solution, so hopefully they will perk up soon.

peas growing up sticks on the allotment

We have a section of our allotment dedicated to flowers. Many of them are native wildflowers and the bees love them. Apart from brightening up the plot, it's important to attract pollinators. A neighbouring plot holder has two bee hives, so there's always plenty of them making the most of our flowers.

native wildflowers growing on our allotment

I've installed these windspinners made with recycled drinks cans by the raspberries and tayberries. I'm hoping they will deter the birds away from the soft fruit when they start to get ripe. If you'd like to make your own windspinners, head over to my tutorial. I'm planning on making more because they look great spinning away in the wind.

windspinners made with recycled cans on our allotment

Magoo did a sterling job helping to clear our ever expanding weed collection at the weekend. I find that the promise of fig rolls and a few jelly sweets help to coax Magoo into assisting Mum and Dad with the weeding. I think her limit is about twenty to thirty minutes of working away with her trowel, which isn't bad for a six year old. Plus we found these pretty blue flowers amongst the weeds. As Eeyore quite rightly says "Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them."

small blue fower found on our allotment

This week I'm linking up with these lovely blogs...

"Country Kids" over on www.coombemill.com

"How Does Your Garden Grow" over on fableandfolk.com

"Point + Shoot" over on youbabymemummy.com and www.snowingindoors.com

"Making Home" over on www.mrscraftyb.co.uk

"Whatever the Weather" over on monkeyandmouse.co.uk

15 comments:

pixiedusk said...

Awww your plants looks so lush! Everything is so blooming and promising. I have a strawberry on a small pot. Its so strong as its survive the slugs attack and now it is flowering and cant wait for the fruits! #countrykids

Charlotte said...

I would love an allotment, maybe one day. Instead the hubby has built a raised bed to grow some veg and we are getting some dwarf fruit trees once the gardens finished. Nothing like growing your own #pointshoot

the Frenchie Mummy said...

It's so nice to see how she is involved in the project. Well done for giving her the love of gardening #PointShoot

Coombe Mill said...

I love to see how the allotment is coming on. What a wonderful time of year this is. It is really blooming for you now. There is nothing better than the humble spud home grown and wow to strawberries. It will be the PYO again for us this year, although my tomatoes are coming on a treat. I love your wind spinners, tin cans are a great crafting source, these would be fab in my Fairy Gardens too, oh dear, more beer to drink!

Thank you for sharing June's allotment bounty on #CountryKids

Play At Home Teacher said...

I love that she has her own raised bed. I am new to gardening and this post is really inspiring. We have just built some raised beds but not sure where to start with what to plant. What would you recommend for newbies? #CountryKids

A Green and Rosie Life said...

Everything is looking wonderful, you must be so proud. I am on daily potato watch for signs of blight which we get a lot of here and especially in wet weather. It will spell disaster if it hits soon (as it has before) as my spuds went in late and are still very small. #HDYGG

Cat said...

Wow those potato plants really have grown. We don't have an allotment, but we're very much into composting. As part of our garden renovation we've got a big long flower bed and we've attempted (a little late) to plant some sunflowers. I think I've spotted a couple popping up! After reading your blog, a dedicated section for Squidge (age 3) to choose and plant her own veggies would be a fab idea.
I love your wildflowers, a great way to attract nature in. We have a spare mini flower bed that may be reserved for the fairies, I'm thinking wildflowers may be the way to go in there!
#CountryKids

Clare Locker said...

I bet the kids love having an allotment don't they, it looks gorgeous!

Clare x

Me, You and Magoo said...

Thank you for all your lovely comments!

Play at home Teacher: I think the 'rules' about spacing go out the window with raised beds...it's good to get quite a few things growing all at once. So I would suggest a wigwam of canes with beans growing up them. Then underplant with radish (grow really quick), maybe one courgette (they get big), some pak choi, herbs or salad crops & maybe some nasturtiums for colour & they are edible. You may be disheartened by the damage slugs do, but just keep going! Once the Summer crops are gone you could try some Winter greens. We grew parsnips last year, and they were big twisted, but tasted delicious.

Sam - Travelling With Our Kids said...

Your allotment looks great. Looks like everyone enjoys being there and growing what you need. #whatevertheweather

Helena Ashworth said...

Growing your own fruit and veg is really great especially when it ends up on your plate. #PointShoot

Catherine @ Growing Family said...

I'm always gobsmacked at how quickly everything grows in June too - even though it happens every year! I love those windspinners, I'm definitely going to have a go at them for my raspberries! #whatevertheweather

Mrs Crafty B said...

Wow those spuds did grow fast. Amazing. Love seeing your windspinner in place too. #MakingHome

Jenny - Monkey and Mouse said...

Your plot is looking amazing and what a great help Magoo is, our boys are 2 and 4 and aren't interested in weeding unfortunately. They do love to dig and plant seeds though, so that's a bonus! I couldn't believe how much the potatoes and weeds had grown on our plot when we were away for a couple of weeks. Although the birds and slugs appear to have attacked everything else! I need to head back up and see if my beer slug traps are working and the temporary bird scarers. Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather x

Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons said...

This is so lovely - everything is looking great! Our potatoes have gone mad too, I'm hoping for a good crop soon! We only have one strawberry plant, so only get one at a time, but they're tasting good. I really hope my little one ends up being as much help with the weeding - he's two at the moment and I'd describe him as more of a hinderance to any gardening related activities! #PointShoot

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