Six on Saturday – 4 August 2018

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

53FDD0D5-C284-4534-9FF4-B6E9E46E5F11The 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.


250g Blackberries

70cl Gin

100g Sugar


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.


9 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 4 August 2018

  1. GREAT post! I am interested to see how the sweet corn does with the ears in the bottles. Do you leave them on the ears even in the day tim​e?


    1. I removed the bottles after 48 hours because despite putting air holes in the top they were still sweating so took my chances.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In pots definitely, that’s what my grandmother used to do!


  3. I have blackberries. I shall go and buy some gin. I am impressed with your allotment work. I have decided that growing veg is far too hard for me, although I will sow some spinach and winter leaves in September. I am enjoying being nosy and seeing how other gardeners are getting on. Only trouble is that my list of plants on the desired list is getting longer!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My list is getting longer too. When it’s cooler and wetter (!!) I can work on the other beds and prepare them for flowers next year. My plan is more flowers than veg. We had a sample of the gin yesterday, as a test of course, and it is really really good! When I strain it into the bottle, I’ve only made a small amount as a beginner, I will then use the blackberries to make a boozy trifle for my son in law’s birthday.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. janesmudgeegarden August 4, 2018 — 10:34 pm

    I agree about putting the strawberries in pots. I wonder about the corn in the bottles. If you’re having really hot weather, won’t the bottles make the corn overheat? The net curtain is a resourceful idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have out lots of holes in the top of the bottles, but yes I’m going down to check today. Two of them are ready to pick so it might be sweetcorn for supper 🌽🌽

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would put the strawberry plants in small pots in a more shaded area if you are still having hot, hot days with no rain. That way they can be closer to where you get water.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My thoughts too – I’m going to gather some small pots and bring the babies home to nurture until they look like healthy plants.


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