My Six on Saturday is an allotment update. The ground is like concrete, I am going daily for about an hour to water and ‘stock take’. There is little else to do, so I am appeasing myself that I am building up a tan and tightening my biceps carrying heavy watering cans from the trough to the plot.
First an apology I have broken rule 7 of Six on Saturday:
Not too much verbiage. ….it’s easily done, but since there are Six things, and a growing number of Six posts to read in a typical week, consider being a little frugal with the wordcount.
1. Protecting sweetcorn husks
The sweetcorn (Northern Extra Sweet) is coming along a treat, despite the strong winds last Sunday. I have staked them and built up the soil around the base of each plant – there are only 8. I read that night visiting animals have a panchant for ripe sweetcorn and it’s recommended to protect the husks with large plastic bottles until ready to pick. Now, I’m not sure if this was a wise thing to do. I have carefully punched holes in the top so they don’t sweat. Any thoughts on this?
2. Pumpkin update
I planted 3 pumpkin plants and have 3 pumpkins, there is an abundance of female flowers but no more male ones, I wonder if that is the norm, I don’t needs lots anyway. The one with the yellow bottom I can’t stand up because the stem is too short, the one at the bottom right of the photo is now on its end so with a bit of luck it will become round in shape. I’m seeing a lot of posts on FB allotment group pages of pumpkins splitting so fingers crossed mine will be ok.
3. Cauliflower protection
This is allotment life on a shoestring. I had a freebie packet of cauliflower seeds so for a bit of fun I sowed them in pots. Only 2 came good and because the ground was so hard when they were ready to plant out I put them in a doubled up growbag. Someone told me an elderly gentlemen on her allotment said they thrive on solid ground, he compacts the soil with a roller and drills thin holes for his plants. She said his cauliflowers and cabbages are the envy of their plots! Anyway – my homemade cage. Despite putting collars around my two precious plants they are still swarming with whitefly. Rather than buy a cage, or netting, I found an old net curtain I was about to throw away and made my own cage. It’s a bit rickety but I am hoping it will do the job.
4. Blackberry heaven
When I took the plot over a number of folks told me that the blackberries were always fabulous and they were not wrong. Last week I picked a punnet full and decided to make blackberry gin. There are so many recipes on the Internet but all are roughly the same, however, they vary in the time that the gin is ready from 2 weeks to 3 months and I’m not sure why or if it matters. I’m going for 2 weeks in time for my daughter’s birthday.
1. Put the blackberries in to a 1 litre sterilised bottle or jar
2. Add the sugar
3. Top up with the gin
4. Shake well
5. Store in a dark cupboard and leave for a maximum of three months, shaking the bottle every week or so.
This recipe is courtesy of NicholasJon.
5. Apples galore
The little apple tree on my plot would appear to be some type of Pippin. They are still very small and it could be due to the lack of water. I understand they are usually ready in September so we shall have to wait for a taster session then. I’ve seen recipes for spiced apple gin 😄😄, so much better than eating every apple from the tree.
6. Baby strawberry plants
I am wondering if I would do better to put these little strawberry runners into individual pots rather than a new bed. Any advice please?
If you’ve been a great reader (thank you) and got to the bottom of this post, please now pop over to The Propagator Blog who hosts this weekly meme and has lots of contributors it’s always great to peer over the fence at other peoples gardens.