Allotment, Grow Your Own

GYO – Late Sowing

After my great success with Broccoli I decided to set some seeds towards the end of the summer holidays, usually I focus on there planting as tiny seeds tend to be lost more than sown in young hands. The long-term crops, the ones that really add to your table are the ones that are most susceptible to damage from caterpillars and slugs.

I decided on setting some more Broccoli, Early purple sprouting and a few types of cabbage which included Greyhound, January king and Golden Acre as usual I watered and labelled them and placed them in the small greenhouse.

By the time the seedling emerged, the labels were blank so now in the second of my raised beds, by the looks of the seedlings I have some Early purple and possibly some January king cabbage as there are at least to crop types with a purple tinge to their leaves. Despite this I am grateful for another healthy crop, I have said I will grow some more cauliflowers however, It is something I can plant in the early months and set out with a little fleece for protection.

The focus is that I should be able to harvest them while my next years crop is establishing, as I hope to sow to ensure my ground is full and generating for the majority of the year. The reality is the ground retains its structure while planted, as I already have planned a yearly rotation to ensure at least one bed is manured annually, I hope to restore depletion through crop rotation and additionally by using nettle feed when I water.

My potatoes pretty much failed this year but with seed potatoes still set I would not be surprised if I did not get a surprise crop for Christmas as the cooler temperatures and increased rainfall set off un-germinated seed potatoes. If not as they re-grow I will relocate them to the appropriate location, as that bed is set to be trench manured for the sweetcorn and cucurbits next year.

With twelve weeks to our new addition, digging over will be completed as the crops are harvested or left until spring. I plan to invest on another damp proof membrane for my main beds, I find these at around £17 each from Screwfix cover the main bed and completely kills off any grass or weeds. I have one at the moment which I will use to cover the mixed bed once the beans and flowers die back, but another will ensure that whenever I can return to working (post delivery!) my large expanses will be covered and relatively weed free.

Today I hope to visit to check on the plants still maturing, to see whether my pumpkins are ready and fleece the plants that have been slow to set. After moving my courgettes I hope to see a few larger fruit but as always I will enjoy the small amount of time I get to forage and focus.

Happy Horticulture!

Cheryl

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