Phew! It’s hot, hot, hot! Even watering the lottie in the evening is exhausting – but mustn’t complain. It was only recently we were asking for the rain to stop. There seems to be no happy medium. The sun and heat has brought on the plants but along with that it has brought aphids in their thousands!
My Six on Saturday this week is not a pat-on-the-back, showing off my successes. The allotment has many things that have not done so well.
1. Cherry blackfly
The whole cherry tree is a sad sight of gnarled, curled and distorted leaves, which in close sight transpires to be an infestation of Cherry Blackfly. According to the RHS website once the leaves have become curled the damage is done and it is too late for effective spraying. It is too tall for me to get to the top branches and as I intend to bring down the height considerably later this year I will deal with it then. A plant oil winter tree wash is recommended in December to destroy overwintering eggs.
Along with a variety of fruit bushes I inherited a Blueberry bush. I topped up the ericaceous soil (it is in a container which looks like an old galvanised water trough) and fed it, just like the books said. It flowered, although not prolifically, but sadly only a few berries have appeared. They are netted so have not been eaten.
3. Lilium ‘Burning Joy’
The eagle eyed among you will see this Lily is not much bigger than its small name tag. I bought this with a label describing it as a red, yellow and orange stunning early blooming variety. It is a dwarf lily although not this small, it’s supposed to grow to about 40cm, but mine is about 12cms. However, small is beautiful.
4. Three sisters planting – corn, squash and beans
I thought this was a brilliant idea. The corn offers the beans support, beans provide nitrogen and the large leaves of the squash shade the soil. I think I’ve gone wrong somewhere. I only planted 2 squash given to me by an allotment neighbour, variety unknown, but clearly ‘giant’. They have taken over the whole bed and are choking out the beans. I’m not sure what to do now, any advice please!
5. Sunflowers 🌻
The sunshine has brought the sunflowers along. They are looking right and left and not to the front. Next year I must remember to plant them in a south facing bed so, when looking at the bed, you can see their wonderful flowers. The allotment shed behind belongs to a lovely Eastern European lady. It is like a little home, with a free standing oven and copious bottles of raspberry vodka which she offers in place of coffee – I have not partaken!
My carefully colour co-ordinated planting for the dahlia bed has gone haywire. As I potted on my dahlia tubers, I was so sure I carefully transferred them with the correct label. However, this large dark maroon dahlia, labelled as ‘ Bahama Apricot’ is NOT apricot! It might be ‘Chat Noir’ which should be somewhere else in the allotment garden bed. Time will tell what colours the others turn out to be. Such is gardening life!
Now you have seen my Six on Saturday take a look at all the other contributors to The Propagator Blog, they make for an excellent read.