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An Organic Yorkshire Allotment - End of June 2011

Jun 28, 2011

The weather in England has been pretty good this year. After a very cold winter we have had a very dry spring. Over the last month or so it has been warm and fairly wet, which has produced perfect growing condtions.

I've made a little video of progress to date. My camera work is not the best. I use one of those little flip cameras and it seems to zoom in too close. I still have problems talking to a camera. I don't think my mouth is connected to my brain properly. 

I think June may be one of the best months in the year for produce. At the moment I'm getting strawberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, calabrese, turnips, peas and onions. I've just made half a gallon of allotment soup, which i will freeze tomorrow.

Well i hope you are having a good growing year in your part of the world. I am now more certain than ever that the secret to success when growing vegetables is to incorporate as much compost as you can get hold of, into the soil in late winter and early spring.

Happy Gardening.



Hi Glen, What a wonderful start to my day to wake up, go to u tube and have a wander around your summer garden in York. Wow you have so much fantastic food growing. It is mid winter here in Adelaide, we do not get frost here on the plains so we still have capsicums, all sorts of chillies, beautiful lemons, and heaps of Asian greens which are great to stirfry or add to soups. Great idea to film you garden we should all do that. Enjoy your day Maggie Ps I have great plans for World Kitchen Garden Day this year, I have booked a hall at a local community garden. I am going to have an international theme and lots of great folks talking about herbs, growing unusual veggies and lots of folks talking about how they preserve their harvest.
Entry is FREE - lovely cafe area and of course lots of great stands selling crystals, gifts, candles. Reiki Healers, Tarot and much more.Conservatory air conditioning
Hi Maggie Its good to hear from you. Although our climate of late has been good for gardening i still envy you and your climate. Last week we had a weeks holiday in Cornwall which is in the south of England. I visited the Heligan garden which has a very mild protected climate with very little frost. This has a beautiful walled garden full of vegetables, and is about twenty times the size of my allotment. There is also jungle valley which i imagine is similar to some regions of New Zealand with Wolemi pines and tree ferns. Do Wolemi pines grow naturally near you? A lot of gardens in Yorkshire seem to grow them now. Your Kitchen Garden day plans sound great. I wish i could come along. I still don,t have any Borage yet, and its so good for attracting bees. Just not very organised i suppose. Regards Glenn
Glenn. I took a stroll through your garden, and was both impressed with the abundance and variety of food you achieve in the available area, and envious of the healthy green vegetables due to your June weather. June at my home was nearly all above 100 f. with little rain. Please continue posting your allotment strolls as they are interesting and show your method of gardening. Stay natural, David
Thanks for the update Glenn, it seems that a month is a lifetime in a garden.
Hi Glenn, Thank you for the garden tour. I especially liked your flowers for the bees. I need to do more for my bees and those were some good ideas. Thanks again. -Johanna
And sounding good too! I just wanted to let you know that I was able to embed your video so that others can watch it on this page. Nice job! I'm planning on featuring it in this month's newsletter and look forward to any future videos you might do.
Your Allotment is fantastic so bountiful, everyone there must be envious you have done a great job.
Hi Everyone Thankyou for your positive comments. Thankyou Roger for for adding the video to the site, this has doubled the number of people who have watched it. I suppose my garden may be slightly different from yours in that my soil is quite moist and the rainfall is reasonably consistent. I tend to plant things closer together than they should be. Not because of any intentional design plan, but just because i want to grow as much as i can in the space that i have. I have 300 square metres [a standard British allotment]. This is not a large space but then again it is not a small space. What it does prove is that if you have good light, sufficient depth of soil and sufficient water you can plant most vegetables closer together than would normally be acceptable, or what would would be normally advised in gardening books, and still achieve healthy crops. This goes to prove that the square foot technique has definate merit, although i do not use it per say. I know i am going on at length, but garden compost is the key to good vegetable production. If you are new to kitchen gardening and you are intent on growing vegetables, then the first thing you should make is a compost container. The larger the better. Volume is the key with compost production. The more compost you can dig into your soil then the healthier your vegetables will be, and the least problems you will have with disease and infestations. I am amazed at the reduction in problems that you get year on year just by digging in garden compost. Happy Gardening Glenn
Glen I really enjoyed that tour of your allotment. What a bountiful harvest you have - chockablock full, and such a variety! thanks for doing that so that we can see firsthand - just like strolling around your allotment.
Thanks Gillian I,ve only copied what you were doing in your garden. I presume the weather is a bit cooler where you are, now that it is your winter. I guess it does not get cold in Winter. I,m just setting off to the Yorkshire Show now. Good to hear from you. Glenn
Hi Glen and Gillian and all who read this. I have not been blogging or commenting for awhile. We are busy helping our, 3, 90 year olds wth all their health problems. My Mum looks after my dad who has dementure at home so I spend a lot of time with them, and lack energy and motivation when I come home. We also try to see our 3 darling little grandchildren each week. Today I mind 2 of then for 1/2 a day. We had a weird summer garden wise, hot days and cool nights, mites, powdery mildew took ots toll on the garden. Our tropical plants, the banana trees, cardamon, and curry leaf trees are thriving but this is supposed to be a mediteranean climate!!! We have some wonderful excel figs at the moment and some lovely mulberries before christmas. We have planted lots of seed for winter but we have not had any rain for awhile and our frinds dams in the Adelaide Hills are low. We have our Adelaide Fringe Festival on at the moment so there are visiters from all around the world here in town ( Adelaide) at the moment. And our Womadelaide world music festival in Botanic park soon. Last night we sat in The Garden of Unearthly delights and ate burgers cooked by 5 young folk from Edinburgh, they had not enjoyed the hot weekend and said they had not experienced anything like the heat we had. Last weekend the temperature was 40 degrees celcius, hot, windy and dry. Parts of the Eastern states of Australia are flooded!!!! We are lucky we have a few organic growers who sell at local markets so I enjoy there produce. I am wondering if anyone knows if I could access the bee keeping group from the old KGI website, I remember there was lots of good information there. I remember someone saying always have water in your garden for your bees. It has to be shallow so they don't drown or deep with something for them to sit on and drink. So we make sure we do this and we always have lots of bees coming for a drink. Stay cool or hot where ever you are and I hope your gardens are doing well. Cheers Maggie
Hi Maggie. It,s good to hear from you and to get news from down under. I,m glad you are busy, it means you are fit and well. My parents passed away a number of years ago, so i don,t have the worry of looking after them. I,m sure it would be time consuming if they were still here. You must find time to sit in your garden though, there is no better way of re-charging your batteries. The beginning of March is starting time for me in the garden. This weekend i will be sowing sesds in the greenhouse. I have a small sand hot bed which is warmed by an elecrtic cable to keep the seeds at a constant temperature. The trick is to stop them getting drawn in our dull and dreary weather, once they have germinated. The constant battle with the horsetails on the allotment has continued through the winter months. This winter i am trying to dig though the topsoil into the subsoil to extract the roots. It,s a very slow job but one i hope i will win in the end. I don,t think the old site is accessible, which is a shame. It was so busy and vibrant as well as being a mine of information. I,ve just sent for a book on winter gardening. I don,t seem to get full use of the garden in the winter months. I,m just not organised enough at the back end of the summer. I read your seed savers blog from time to time. It,s now time for me to sort out all the seeds that i have saved. I think i will sow an early row of parsnips as they are pretty tough, using my saved seed. Broad beans will go in this weekend as well. Keep well and happy gardening. Glenn

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