Yesterday’s trip to the plot

Went down to the plot on way back from shopping when I had 10 minutes to spare. Things didn’t look as bad – the chocolate spot didn’t look as severe. There are a few spots on a couple of the pods.

The purple sprouting broccoli is now in flower, I really should chop it down/pull it up as it is still infected with white blister – some of the flowers are affected. Apart from that and some cabbage aphids, the plant still looks healthy.

Speaking of those cabbage aphids, they are still on the cabbage or brussels or other brassica seedlings. The leaves look distorted. Found some eggs on the underside of the leaves, so they are now squashed.

Peas, well, there are some pods formed but no sign yet of bulging out. Must sow more peas for succession. Have 2 lots of heritage seeds, one planted in garden now getting the attention of molluscs.

Carrots, well germination has been very erratic, then I suppose so has the watering/rain. There are a couple of plants looking good. As for other roots – I have one parsnip. Turnips are coming up, but the plants look ugly/messy. Beetroots are appearing nicely.

The early sowings of the lettuces are doing nicely still, though they are starting to heart up. I think though we will have a bit of a gap from when these lettuce finish and the transplanted ones get to harvesting size.

Alliums in general look good. The onions are starting to bulb up. Unfortunately, the slugs/snails have got all but one of my leek seedlings, so I sowed some more on Sunday (a bit late but smaller crop is better than nothing). I still have to find room for the spring sown trays of onions.

I saw a wren on one of the fence posts surrounding the allotment site. Its tail was pointing upwards. It had something in its beak, food I think. There are a variety of birds that come through the plot – greenfinch, blue tits, robin, blackbird, thrush, pigeons, dunnocks, sparrows, chaffinch, and now the wren that I have seen. If it is nice tomorrow, might take a book down, and sit out watching the birds (as well as reading about Climate Change).

Oh, and today, the voting for April photo competition on A4A has started. Don’t forget to vote:  http://www.allotments4all.co.uk/smf/index.php?topic=31912.0

Weekend (and last week) update

The lettuce leaves continued to be harvested through last week. Very tasty.
lettuceleaves
The first earlies, Duke of York, are cropping nicely (just over 2lb below).
2lbspuds
Back in the garden, spotted a slowworm on Friday.
slow worm
Saturday while slug hunting, I looked up into the sky and was wow-ed by the Moon and Venus – ok, in the picture below, it looks like a white spot/star but it was extremely bright. Digital cameras aren’t the best thing to use to take the picture.
moonvenus

Ups and downs

Last week, had an assignment to do and what with the weather not being brilliant, didn’t get up to much gardening. Thursday was stressful – the assignment had one question on the topic of medicinal plants – the plant in question here was coca which I have no interest in at all. Assignment was submitted not fully answered with 2 minutes to spare.

With that out the way until next month (2 assignments due on the 21st June), I could concentrate on gardening. Yesterday, I went down to the allotment. I nearly cried. The joys of fresh lettuce leaves (Belize, Aruba and Rubens Red Cos) and potatoes for salad at the beginning of the month (picture below) soon faded.
lettuce and potatoes

First thing I checked was the overwintered broad beans. My last check of them saw a few bean pods setting, plus a bit of chocolate spot on the lower leaves. Now, the leaves looked like:
chocciespot

I grabbed Hessayon’s book – looks like the brown spots are surrounded by a yellow circle. I thought Halo blight for a moment. I was still quite sure it was chocolate spot (a Botrytis fungus).
chocciedust

One book I have says that overwintered broad beans are more susceptible to chocolate spot. Another book says that chocolate spot is rarer than blackfly on broad beans. As for Halo Blight, I couldn’t find any mention directly under broad beans. I find little comfort in that though. I hope I get a crop of some sort.

Some of the spring sown broad beans are also affected, especially the late March sown ones in the bed adjacent to the overwintering. They aren’t looking great even though they have outgrown the weevil notching. No flowers yet so a while to go to any sign of crop.

Then, I checked out the brassicas that I had planted last month. I was not a happy bunny.
aphids

Cabbage whitefly aphid things have found most of the brassicas I have planted out. They look yucky and the leaves they are on become deformed, possibly discoloured with a virus.
root fly larvae

Some of the brassica seedlings were wilted, even though we’ve had quite a bit of rain recently. Cabbage root fly larvae despite the puny 3″(?) collars designed to stop the rootfly (pictured above as background).
white blister affecting the flower

Then, there are seedlings already infected with white blister (not surprising as the purple sprouting broccoli which is being harvested, has it – picture above is of one of the flower heads which is distorted badly due to the disease).

To top things off brassica-wise, cabbage whites have already started laying eggs – I squashed the eggs I could find. With all those problems, I pulled up and binned the worst affected.
shaldivide
On the UP-side, one lot of peas is in flower, the lettuces are doing nicely, and the shallots are starting to divide. Most of the alliums in general look good, though have a touch of rust on. The potatoes look good.
tay

Most of last month’s soft fruit purchases are doing well. The Tayberry has already set fruit.

Neglected plot and gardening

Just a short post to say I am still here. I’ve been busy this week with an Open University assignment, TMA, left it perilously close to the deadline as usual. I started “doing” it 14 hours before the deadline. The TMA involved programming in Java. I spent 8 hours wondering why one of my methods didn’t work – I had used a small c instead of a big C in a method name. That then gave me 4 hours to do the last 60% of the TMA. There were 3 questions and question 2 relied on the answers from question one to be right. In the middle of that hunt the error, I did get question 3 done so it wasn’t too bad in the end. Anyway, I managed to get it more or less done, but I had to submit it with a few errors in the code. My head hurts and can’t take anymore. TMA submitted with 7 minutes to spare.

OH has been watering the allotment. He picked salad leaves on Wednesday as well as pulling up one of the spuds. I have taken a picture but due to being occupied by the above, I haven’t yet uploaded to flickr.

I have another TMA due next Thursday. I haven’t looked at the questions but I imagine some to be on the topic of medicinal plants.