Monday, 25 December 2017

January 1st Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 6 tasks this week :

1) Prepare Your Cropping Plan. - Without delay, draw up a cropping plan for your coming season taking into consideration crop rotations. Keeping a record of what you've previously grown along with your trials and tribulations assists in planning without relying on memory alone.

2) Order Seeds and Seed Potatoes. - Once you have drawn up your cropping plan order your seeds. Seed potatoes should be ordered so that you may commence chitting them.

3) Dig When Possible. - The previous two tasks can be done when the weather is bad. If the soil is dry then on good days dig. Dig little and often as the ground is cleared from crops such as celery, parsnips and leeks. Turn the soil over adding manure. Get the land prepared.

4) Force Rhubarb Indoors. - lift the roots and place the roots in soil under the greenhouse bench. Pack well with soil, keep moist and in the dark.

5) Sow Onions and Lettuce in Greenhouse. - Onions & lettuce can be sown now in trays in heat. Recommends using large variety onions such as Ailsa Craig.

6) Finish Pruning Fruit and Spray. - complete pruning fruit and get ready for spraying. Service your sprayer and check that you have enough materials for your requirements. Winter spray fruit trees.

last updated 14/01/2021

Thursday, 14 December 2017

December 5th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 8 tasks this week :
1) Clean Up and Dig. - Due to it being the last week of the year it's described as the good time to complete cleaning paths. Finish digging and trenching so that the rough soil has 3 months to weather after which the rough lumps will fall and a fine tilth can be easily produced. It also says apply quicklime to the soil.
2) Order Seeds. - Advises to draw up plans before the year's out and send for your seeds. Suggests trialling a new variety or two. If it's your first year to buy from trusted seedsmen.
3) Prepare Greenhouse. - for seed-sowing and increase slowly the amount of work. Wash it down if not already done. Tidy up seed trays and pots. Get compost and fertilizers ready. If using soil then sterilize first.
4) Anticipate Frost. - It's likely we'll suffer from prolonged periods of frost. Crops such as parsnip, celery and leeks will be hard to harvest so while possible lift a good quantity and heel them together in the bed of a cold frame. Parsnips can be stored in sand. There's a mention of using outdoor clamps to store root crops in but after seeing the devastation done by rodents overwinter on the allotment I personally won't be using a clamp. Check onions you have in store and use those that begin to produce green shoots first before they become soft.
5) Prune, and Prepare for Spraying Fruit. - complete pruning fruit and get ready for spraying. Service your sprayer and check that you have enough materials for your requirements. Use a coarse nozzle for winter spraying.
6) Plant Cauliflowers; Sow Beans. - Plant out cauliflower in a cold greenhouse between larger lettuce. Sow broad beans in seed trays for planting out later.
7) Make Hot-Bed. - for growing salads, young carrots, etc. Make a compost heap too.
8) Put Strawberries in Greenhouse. - Room permitting, you can now put strawberries in pots in a cold greenhouse.

December 4th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 6 tasks this week :
1) Christmas Jobs. - Rest if you can and only work weather permitting.
2) Lift Celery. - Lift each plant as required. Protect in hard weather with a cover of bracken or straw.
3) Erect Wind Breaks. - Protect spring cabbage against cold winds.
4) Complete Fruit Planting. - If not completed this week hold off until March.
5) Fruit Trees and Whitewash. - The bottom 3 - 4 feet can be whitewashed but this is unnecessary if using sprays and winter washes.
6) Keep Supplies Going. - Mustard, cress, radish. Force seakale & chicory. Protect corn salad. Lift another root of Rhubarb for inside forcing.

December 3rd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 7 tasks this week :
1) Collect Leaves. -
2) Attend to Broad Beans ans Peas. -
3) Clean Paths. -
4) Cut Perpetual Spinach. -
5) Look for Big Bud on Blackcurrants. -
6) Look to Frames. -
7) Order Seeds Now ; Overhaul Spraying Apparatus.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

December 2nd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 9 tasks this week :

1) Draw Up Plans. -
2) Keep Digging. -
3) Gather Greens. -
4) Preserve Labels. -
5) Grow Mint and Chives Indoors. -
6) Look to Spring Cabbage. -
7) Remove Fruit-Tree Suckers. -
8) Plant Cob-Nuts and Fruit Trees. -
9) Sow Tomatoes. - Apparently tomatoes may be sown for spring crop in the greenhouse.  

December 1st Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 7 tasks this week :

1) Maintain Successions of Rhubarb and Chicory. -
2) Prepare for Bad Weather. -
3) Clear Cucumber. -
4) Review Your Gardening Year. -
5) Make Use of Frosty Days. -
6) Finish Pruning. -
7) Dig. -

Sunday, 19 November 2017

November 4th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 9 tasks this week :

1) Lift and Store Swede Turnips. -
2) Clear Artichokes. -
3) Examine Clamps. -
4) Examine Onions and Shallots.-
5) Clear Mushrooms. -
6) Pick Kale. -
7) Examine Grease Bands. -
8) Raise Carrots. -
9) Complete Summer Compost Heap and Begin New One, -

Thursday, 16 November 2017

November 3rd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 7 tasks this week :

1) Treat Sour Soil. -
2) Collect Pea-Stakes. -
3) Lift Horse-Radish. -
4) Clear Herb Beds. -
5) Use Cauliflower and Broccoli. -
6) Prune Fruit Trees. -
7) Clean Up. -

November 2nd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 8 tasks this week :

1) Use and Store Artichokes. -
2) Gather Sprouts. -
3) Keep Forcing Rhubarb. -
4) Protect Broccoli. -
5) Finish Root-Pruning. -
6) Continue Branch-Pruning. -
7) Sow Seeds. -
8) Look to Stores. -

November 1st Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 6 tasks this week :

1) Secure Clamps. - refers to the storage of harvested rootcrops outdoors.
2) Carry On Digging. - advises to dig the ground whilst the weather is "open". On my allotment, with the amount of rain since August, the ground is quite heavy.
3) Care of Soil in Frames. - watch out for algae, break this with a pointed stick.
4) Sow Peas. - sow round podded peas. In 1945 he advised the variety "Blue Bird"
5) Sow Broad Beans and Onions. - 
6) Fruit Tree Branches. - Prune by removing dead branches, crowded branches and if two branches cross, remove one.

October 4th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 7 tasks this week :

1) Retard and Force Rhubarb. -
2) Nurse Parsley. -
3) Plant Fruit Trees. -
4) Manuring. -
5) Sow and Plant. -
6) Prune Fruit. -
7) Ventilate Cauliflowers in Frames; Examine Fruit in Store.

October 3rd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 8 tasks this week :

1) Order of Using Vegetables. -
2) Prepare Potting Composts. -
3) Clean Outside Greenhouse. -
4) Make Fruit Plan. -
5) How to Destroy Red Spider. -
6) Protect Carrots. -
7) Earth-up Celery. -
8) Take Dead Leaves from Rhubarb; Plant Late Coleworts in South; Prune and Tie-in Blackberries. -

October 2nd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 10 tasks this week :

1) Earth-up Leeks. -
2) Cut Down and Weed Asparagus. -
3) Begin Digging. -
4) Attend to Cabbage, Sprouts, Cauliflowers. -
5) Plant Lettuce in Greenhouse. -
6) Transplant Fruit. -
7) Store Apples. -
8) Grease-Banding Tips. -
9) Lift and Store Salsify and Scorzonera; Store Unused Garlic; Sort and Clean Shallots.
10) Encourage Fruit Trees.

October 1st Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 10 tasks this week :

1) Store Pea Sticks. -
2) Get Stocks of Lime and Fertilizer. -
3) Lift Root Crops. -
4) Earth-up Winter Greens and Celery. -
5) Protect Endive. -
6) Good-bye to Tomatoes. -
7) Clean Out Greenhouse. -
8) Look to Raspberries and Strawberries. -
9) Store Fruit. -
10) Cut Parsley for Drying; Do Not Delay Grease-Banding Fruit Trees.

September 5th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 13 tasks this week :

1) Lift and Store Chicory and Celeriac. -
2) Prepare Pea-Seed; Harvest Haricots. -
3) Begin the Big Clean Up. -
4) Bring in Tomatoes. -
5) Maintain Salads. -
6) Lift Radish; Feed Broccoli. -
7) Finish Outdoor Peas. -
8) Harvest Swedes. -
9)  Prepare Leeks for Seed. -
10) Harvest Fruit; Hoe. -
11) Order Fruit. -
12) Put in Cuttings. -
13) Prune Fruit. -


September 4th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 10 tasks this week :

1) Harvest Home. -
2) Store Onions. -
3) Lift and Store Potatoes. -
4) Fill Blanks. -
5) Prick Cauliflowers. -
6) Gather Tomato Seed. -
7) War Against Caterpillars. -
8) Grease Bands Around Trees. -
9) Pick Fruit ; Root-Prune Trees. -
10) Put Cloches over Lettuce and Endive growing outside; Blanch Endive to keep up supply; Begin Sowing Mustard and Cress inside at Fortnightly Intervals.

2018 :

September 3rd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 11 tasks this week :

1) Lift Potatoes. -
2) Build-up Compost. -
3) Plant Out Cabbage. -
4) Lift and Store Carrots. -
5) Earth-up and Protect Celery. -
6) If Frost Comes. -
7) Ripen Outdoor Tomatoes. -
8) Work with the Hoe. -
9) Lift Onions. -
10) Prepare for Wall Fruit Planting. -
11) Order Manure. -


September 2nd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 9 tasks this week :

1) Sow Cauliflowers Under Cloches. -
2) Advance Tomatoes. -
3) Harvest Onions. -
4) Lift and Store Carrots. -
5) Plant Out and Sow Lettuce. -
6) Gather Peas and Haricots for Drying. -
7) Thin Out and Blanch Endive. -
8) Prepare for Fruit Planting. -
9) Thin Spinach. -

Friday, 25 August 2017

September 1st Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 14 tasks this week :

1) Plant Spring Cabbage. -
2) Sow Cauliflowers. -
3) Help Onions to Colour up. -
4) Remove Dead Leaves From Tomatoes. -
5) Sow Turnips. -
6) Case Mushrooms. -
7) Put Out Winter Lettuce. -
8) Dig-in Green Manure. -
9) Beware of Caterpillars. -
10) Plant Out Endive. -
11) Attend to Celery. -
12) Protect Parsley. -
13) Easy with Fertilizer on Greens. - 
14) Thin Out Crops. -

2017 :

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

August 4th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 10 tasks this week :

1) Clear Cucumbers. -
2) Feed Seakale and Rhubarb. -
3) Support Asparagus. -
4) Water Peas and Beans. -
5) Make Cauliflowers Last. -
6) Use or Check Onions. --
7) Sow Lettuce. -
8) Last Chance for Onion-Sowing. -
9) Prick Out Cauliflowers. -
10) Pick Apples. -

2017:  Only visited the allotment once this week on the Saturday evening. Harvested; pears, apples, radish, spinach, tomatoes, onions, beetroot and peas.

August 3rd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 11 tasks this week :
1) Watch for Mildew. -
2) Prick Out Cabbage. -
3) Earth-up and Feed Leeks. -
4) Sow and Plant Endive. -
5) Feed Marrows and Asparagus. -
6) Harvest Haricot Beans. -
7) Harvest, Protect and Prune Fruit. -
8) Prepare Storage. -
9) Prune Cherries. -
10) Plant Out Strawberries. -
11) Sow Onions Out of Doors ; Sow Prickly Spinach in Rows 12 in. apart ; Plant Out Lettuce ; Use Cauliflowers Before they Bolt.


Friday, 11 August 2017

August 2nd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 11 tasks this week :
1) Tomatoes. -
2) Sow, Harvest and Protect Onions. -
3) Lift Beetroot. -
4) Stake Peas. - unless you sown drawf varieties last month then the peas must be staked..
5) Earth-up Celery. - 
6) Sow and Thin Radish and Cabbage. -
7) Preserve Beans. -
8) Complete Summer Pruning. -
9) Clean up Strawberry Beds, and Make New Ones. - 
10) Don't Water Peaches. - don't feed peaches and nectarines that are ripening. Pick as they ripen.
11) Late Sown Beet. - Should be thinned until 6 inches apart. If aphis appear on cabbage then spray with nicotine.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

August 1st Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 10 tasks this week :

1) Use Onions. -
2) Sow Cabbage, Spinach and Lettuce. -
3) Earth-up Celery. -
4) Sow Onions. -
5) Help on Tomatoes. -
6) Prune Blackcurrants.-
7) Destroy Wasp Nests. -
8) Dig New Strawberry Bed.-
9) Attack Fruit Pests.-
10) Sow Corn Salad. - Sow corn salad (lamb's lettuce) in rows, 1 foot apart.

2017 - Finally got around to pruning the Jerusalem Artichokes down to the 4 feet in height mark. Harvested more Arran Pilot potatoes. Cleared the onion bed and planted broad beans in their place. Completed a lot of weeding but must keep on top of it. Checked on the compost bins to check on their various stages of decomposition to see which is ready first for using as a mulch.
In the kitchen I have blackcurrants to transform into jam, courgette into spicy fritters whilst making sure none of my harvests go to waste.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

July 4th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 10 tasks this week :

1) Stop Outdoor Tomatoes : - Pinch out the tops of the plants once they have three trusses of flowers - leaving two leaves at the top of each plant.
2) Dress Sprouts, Seakale , Beans, Celery : -
3) Sow Spring Cabbage : -
4) Treat Lanky Artichokes : - If Jerusalem Artichokes become too tall they're in danger of being blown over. Remedy this by cutting down to a height of 4 feet by removing the tops.
5) Onions, Final Stages : -
6) Sow Radishes and Endive ; Thin Salsify : -
7) Fill Vacant Space : - Fill all vacant space, including blanks which have appeared in earlier sowings of winter greens, with late greens or leave for spring cabbage, occupying the space with salads in the meantime.
8) Spray Potatoes : - Spray potatoes with Bordeaux mixture to cover new foliage. Burgundy mixture can also be used.
9) Care for Fruit : -
10) Preserve Fruit : -

2017 Harvesting potatoes as and when needed this week.

July 3rd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 12 tasks this week :

1) Train Cucumbers. -
2) Plant Out Broccoli. - He recommends Methven's Late June as a good hardy variety. Plant our late-heading broccoli without haste. If the weather's dry puddle the roots.
3) Clear Strawberry Beds For Greens. -
4) Attack Onion Mildew. - If onion mildew appears (the white fungus on the collar of young bulbs), pull up the badly infected plants, dusting the remainder of the bed with flowers of sulphur.
5) Feed Beet. - Use globe beet as and when ready. Feed late down crops. Remove flower heads from any that run to seed and use the roots immediately.
6) Sow Spinach ; Feed Marrows. -
7) More Sowing, Planting and Thinning. -
8) Forestall or Destroy Pests. -
9) Examine Tomatoes For Disease. -
10) Sever Strawberries. -
11) Cut Out Diseased Fruit Branches. -
12) Attack Weeds. - Keep weeds under control and don't let them set seed.

2017 With graduation week just over I've been rather busy and shall have to complete this entry next week.

July 2nd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 10 tasks this week :

1) Lift Shallots ; Plant Leeks. - Lift shallots when ready. They should be allowed to mature completely with their foliage dying right down. When thoroughly ripe lift and turn roots up to the sun for a day or so to dry off thoroughly. Continue planting leeks.
2) Thin Rows of Seedlings. - Crops sown in June , such as carrots, turnips, beet or lettuce will need thinning out to the required distances apart.
3) Sow Spring Cabbage in North. - The first spring cabbage should be sown now in northern parts of the country as its too early to sow in the south as yet.
4) Plant Winter Greens. - do successional sowings of lettuce, radish and spinach. Sow as intercrops between late planted greens. Sow Batavian endive in seed trays or a frame to be transplanted outside when ready .
5) Lift Potatoes. - lift earlies as required. He suggests to select suitable ones for seed if the stock was new this year - don't expose to light for some time yet and put in a cool place.
6) Fertilize and Water Peas. - tall peas need a dressing of general fertilizer, or mix one up of superphosphate and sulphate of potash. Water in dry weather. Peas that are podding up need watering to help the pods swell. Keep the rows weeded.
7) Sow Parsley. - Sow now for winter use but make sure
8) Hunt Caterpillars. - caterpillars on cabbage should be destroyed otherwise they will reproduce and more will attack your crop in August and autumn.
9) Pick Broad Beans. - Pick broad beans as ready. Any early sowings which have finished should be pulled up now. He advises to chop the stems and put them on the compost heap but to retain a few to use for trapping earwigs when they attack fruit.
10) Examine and Prune Fruit Trees, and Destroy Pests. - carry on with summer pruning. Protect cherry trees from bird attacks. Spray with a nicotine spray for green fly if there are signs present of them in the tree. (Mr middleton suggests spraying with lead arsenate to control the codlin moth - due to its toxicity lead arsenate in no longer used in Britain.) . Tie sack bands around trunks of trees to trap apple blossom weevil and codlin moth - these pests go in to hibernation now and the bands provide a suitable place - leave in place until November then remove the bands from trees and burn them. Layer strawberry runners as necessary, cut off unwanted runners.


July 1st Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 8 tasks this week :
1) Fertilize Onions, Leeks, etc. - this is the last dressing of fertilizer to be given this summer to onions and leeks. Water onions if weather is dry, allow this water to drain a little before applying liquid manure with an emphasis not to apply liquid manure to plants suffering the effects of drought but to soak with water first.
2) Sow Turnips ; Uncover Marrows. - He recommends sowing  Golden Ball  or Chirk Castle varieties of turnips now for storing in the winter. Marrows growing in frames can now be left uncovered.
3) Feed Tomatoes. - Feed outdoor plants. Top-dress indoor and pot grown tomatoes. He suggests good soil from well rotted turf mixed with sand and peat,impregnated with fertilizer as a top dressing for tomatoes and cucumbers.
4) Work on Celery. - apparently celery and celeriac should be sprayed with a weak paraffin emulsion to ward off celery fly. Finish planting main crop celery.
5) French Beans, Mint and Tarragon. - make final sowing of dwarf French beans outside, these will mature in September. Make new beds of mint and tarragon by transplanting young growths from old beds. Keep down weeds by hoeing regularly.
6) On the Potato Patch. -  Spray with Bordeaux Mixture to prevent blight. Lift earlies as required. Fill space cleared with winter greens , or sow mustard to dig in as green manure. Short-horn carrots can be sown after spuds.
7) Sowing and Plant. - sow coleworts for August and September planting, Rosette variety for early harvest and Hardy Green for the winter. Plant out winter greens, white and purple sprouting broccoli, late Savoys, kale and January King cabbage. Plant leeks to follow early peas. Sow perpetual spinach in drills 18 in. apart at 9 in. pinches. Lift shallots if ready, the foliage will brown.
8) Fruit Culture. - Continue summer pruning of trained fruit trees in this order;cherries, plums, pears and then apples. Tip the growths of Red currants and gooseberries. Apple fruits are to be given their final thinning. Plums and gages should be thinned,especially in bumper years. Protect cherries with netting. Give wall fruit a good soaking when required. Damping down discourages red spider mite, spray with Summer Volck if they have a hold.

2017 Currently trying to type up notes from Mr Middleton's books at the rate of a ¼ of a week a day (work, gardening and domestic duties permitting).

Sunday, 11 June 2017

June 5th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 8 tasks this week :
1) Gather Beans. - He recommends picking beans while they're young and tender to encourage the plants to bear more. Pinch off the growing points of runner beans once they reach the top of their stakes. Give water or feed with liquid manure as pods develop.
2) Shallots and Garlic. - February planted shallots will be ripening and to assist ripening the soil should be pulled away from the cloves. Keep weeding between the rows of garlic as they'll be ready for harvesting soon.
3) Sow Corn Salad. - make a small sowing of corn salad or lamb's lettuce now in drills 6 or 8 inches apart thinning later to 6 inches.
4) Liquid Manure. - Seakale growing will benefit from a soaking of liquid manure. As we're not all fortunate to have access to farmyard manure. Mr Middleton then explains you can make liquid manure by filling a sack with manure and suspending it in a tub of water and other forms of liquid manure can be made by dissolving fertilizers in water.
5) Sow Endive and Radish. - sow moss curled endive now to provide an autumn crop. Sow seeds in a tray ,in a frame or seedbed to be transplanted later on 12inches apart each way. Make successional showings of radish to keep up supply - white iciclebcan be down for autumn use.
6) Easy with the New Potatoes ! - Its wasteful to dig them all up whilst they are small only harvest what is required for immediate use.Earth up second earlies and maincrop as needed.It's not necessary to water potatoes. Maincrop carrots should receive a light dressing of fertilizer hoed in.
7) Plant Maincrop Leeks. - plant leeks now to obtain adequate growth before winter. Make another sowing of white turnips and dwarf French beans.
8) Fruit Needs Attention. - Summer pruning can begin. Plums and sweet cherries first. Nectarines, peaches and Morello cherries are NOT summer pruned.

2017 : I'd been on holiday this week returning on the 30th. First observations were that the pigeons had been causing havoc in my absence - sweetcorn,beans and peas all severely attacked. Strawberries scattered everywhere as if the birds had been having a food fight.

June 4th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 9 tasks this week :
1) Routine Work. - Regularly hoe and weed. Control insect pests. Watch out for mildew on tomatoes and onions. Mulch around crops such as runner beans with leaves or grass mowing to protect during dry weather.
2) Leeks and Celery -Feed leeks with a liquid manure, Water ion dry weather. At the end of this section, a brief about slug control is mentioned using Meta & bran, or Meta & dried blood. The Meta turns out to be Metaldehyde (the blue slug pellets that are due to be banned for outdoor use soon in the U.K.).
3) Attack Celery Pests. - Spray with Bordeaux mixture once a fortnight. 
4) Broad Beans and Runners.- When in flower syringe with water occasionally. Kill black fly with a soapy spray. 
5) Wage War on Caterpillars. -
6) Sow for Salad Successions. - make regular sowings of lettuce and radish.
7) Look to Potatoes, Onions, Leeks. -Earth up potatoes. Feed onions weekly now. Blanch leeks by drawing up soil around them.
8) Protect Cucumbers. - shade greenhouse plants from the sun
9) Take Care of Fruit. - Spray for aphis when necessary and thin fruit if and when required.

June 3rd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 9 tasks this week :

1) Careful With The Watering Can!- He reminds us that plants become dependent on artificial water supplies so only water when necessary. In fact, he states do not water until you must, and then give it a thorough soaking.

2) Finish Asparagus - give the asparagus bed a top dressing of fertiliser or water with liquid manure.

3) Wage War On Pests - keep an eye out for pests on crops and deal with them as soon as they're seen.

4) Celery, Beans and Cauliflower - cover the heads of cauliflower by bending the leaves over. Pinch out the tops of broad beans to combat blackfly. Celery should be fed with liquid manure and it's recommended to dust old soot over the foliage to distract celery fly.

5) Celeriac and Tomatoes - Feed with liquid manure.

6) Sow Final Carrots : Plant Leeks and Broccoli

7) Top Dress Cucumbers - Apply an inch or two top dressing around indoor plants using a mixture of loam, leaf mould, sand and fertiliser.

8) Nurse Raspberries and Other Berries. - weed in between. Mulch and feed with liquid manure.

9) Thin Out Fruit Trees. - June drop is when apple & pear trees shed a proportion of their fruits naturally. To prevent an overabundance of small fruit further thinning may be necessary, removing any diseased or malformed fruits first.

2017 - harvested 3lb 3oz of Spinach.

June 2nd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 7 tasks this week :
1) Look to Tomatoes. - Prevent overgrowths of side shoots. Don't overwater. Provide good ventilation to prevent mildew.
2) Fill Frames. - As these get cleared of seedling it's advised to fill with celery of broccoli that will mature next spring.
3) "Puddle Brassicas". - "Puddle" the roots mean to mix water and clay to make mud in which to dip the roots before planting brassica seedlings. If your ground has suffered from club root it's suggested to add lime to the mud mixture prior to dipping the roots into the mixture.
4) Runner Beans as Bushes. - Clearly, this article was written in a time of great shortages as he talks of pinching off the tops when the plants reach 2ft tall to create bushes if stakes are not available.
5) Feed and Plant Out Cucumbers. - Once a week give cucumbers a feed with liquid manure.
6) Look to Next Year's Strawberries. - Choose good strawberry plants to save runners from. He suggests one-year-old plants provide the best runners and to avoid any plants with signs of disease.
7) General Work. - Look out for woolly aphids. Earth-up potatoes after applying fertilizer. Pickling onions may still be sown.

2017 - Replaced the netting on the bean frames at the allotment. Sown the following types of beans : Runner,Borlotti,French and Purple Podded French direct.
Made - Rhubarb crumble with the rhubarb harvested last week. Persillade with 8oz of Parsley harvested from the garden. Pesto with 8 oz of Pesto from the garden.
Harvested -  2lb of spinach which was blanched and frozen. 4 Lettuce, 6oz Radish, 12oz Turnip and the first Strawberry and Gooseberry.

Monday, 29 May 2017

June 1st Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 6 tasks this week :
1) Train Cucumbers. -  Train your cucumbers whilst keeping check on red spider mite.
2) Get Tomatoes Out. - Tomatoes, for those choosing to grow theirs outside then now Is the time to move them outside.
3) Watch Onions For Seeding. - Onions, watch out for those that run to seed and snap off each flower head as you see them appear.
4) Beware of These Pests. - Look out for pests namely aphis on broad beans and the turnip-flea beetle.
5) Sweetcorn and Strawberries. - Sweet corn can now be planted out in the open whilst Strawberries should be protected by birds and slugs.
6) Sow, Plant and Hoe. - Finally he suggests to sow, plant & hoe. Hoe to keep down the weeds. Plant out marrows. Sow French beans and runners. Feed crops especially onions. He suggests that when picking gooseberries to leave some to ripen for dessert use.

2017 - I'm really behind this year, on the 1st I chaired the local allotment association's meeting.  Planted out Brussels sprouts, Brokali F1 and Tomato Tumbling Tom on the 3rd.
Harvested Rhubarb, lettuce (black seeded Simpson) and Radish on the 4th.
Harvested 1lb 8oz Swiss Chard ,1lb Rhubarb, 2oz Radish, 12oz lettuce.

Monday, 22 May 2017

May 4th Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 6 tasks this week :

1) Plant Mid-Season Leeks.-

2) Kohl Rabi Instead of Turnips.- Sow kohl rabi now. Use when tennis ball size to prevent them from becoming coarse.

3) Sow for Various Successions.-

4) Outdoor Tomatoes, Marrows and Cucumbers.- 

5) Look to Your Grapes.- Thin out bunches of grapes before they become crowded using scissors Give the roots a good soaking with water. 

6) General Work.- Mulch peas and other crops growing in light soil. Clean seakale beds. Support autumn fruiting raspberries.

Friday, 19 May 2017

May 3rd Week

According to My Middleton in Dig On For Victory we have 8 tasks this week :

1) Thinning and Planting.-

2) How is Your Plan Working?-

3) Plant Out Lettuce.- Cos lettuce raised under glass may be planted out now 12 in. apart. A few seeds can be sown outside to provide a succession. Never allow lettuce seedlings to become crowded as it weakens the plants instead thin and use the thinnings in salads.

4) Sow Maincrop Carrots and Beet.- Maincrop carrots and beetroot can now be sown.

5) More Sowing of Spinach.- Further sowings of spinach and New Zealand can be made now.

6) Fertilize and Hoe.- Well established crops may now be given a light sprinkling of general fertilizer. Hoe frequently between rows of crops to work in the fertilizer whilst keeping weeds at bay. Do not allow weeds to flower and set seed.

7) Sow Peas.- The final sowing of varieties of tall peas should be made now.

8) Attend to Fruit.- Apples and pears may be given their last spray of Bordeaux mixture to control scab disease as soon as the petals have fallen. Water well if the weather is dey. Feed raspberries with fertilizer or liquid manure.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sunday, 16 April 2017

sowing some of my seed hoard

Since my last post I've been sowing some of my seed stash including 12 varieties of peppers, 12 varieties of salad leaves and lettuce. The watermelon sugar baby seedlings have been potted on. I'm pleased to report that my tomato seeds have germinated and I hope to be potting those on next week. I've tried chitting parsnip seeds. I've also began creating cut flower displays utilising flowers grown in the garden.
 Gardeners Question Time celebrated its 70th anniversary on the radio this month and it has been a pleasure listening to gardeners' queries from the 1940's ranging from dealing with flooding to the uses of soot and whether or not to cut the tops off sprouts as the plant is growing.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

6th April 2017

In the past week I've updated the 1940's leaflets page but spent most of the week researching about rationing especially food rationing. I was already aware of the fluctuating allowances of fats, sugar,tea and meat during the war but the part of food rationing that appears to overlooked a lot seems to be the points system. I have really struggled to find much information on the points side of the food rationing system.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

30th March 2017

Today I've uploaded 2 leaflets #4 and #12 those can be found here :Leaflets Page

I've also been on Facebook and created a page ( DigForVictory Facebook Page) and group ( DigForVictory Facebook Group).

The Gardening Calender page took longer than anticipated as some of the html was missing but after some head scratching it seems to be working. I've not included additional notes from Cecil Henry Middleton's advice  yet as at present I only have one of his three books that were published during wartime. Another reason is that Mr Middleton's books are still being published which is how I managed to get a 2012 reprint of his 1942 work.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

29th March 2017 Brexit and Dig For Victory

I've been inspired by the Dig For Victory campaign, a keen gardener, historian and allotmenteer for a number of years now. I've chosen the day that the British government submitted the letter that triggered Article 51 to begin the Brexit process to reinvent my old allotment blog and dedicate it to the Dig For Victory campaign and it's many leaflets. So with a domain name change I am hoping that by mid April 2017 this website should be wholly dedicated to campaign. Thank you for reading, Paul

Thursday, 5 January 2017

First visits to the plot for 2017

New Year's Day was a Sunday and although mild, compared to the weather of late, I didn't visit the allotment . I did however manage to fill 3 small plant pots with compost at home and on January 1st sown some Showmaster onion seeds.
 It was Tuesday before I returned to the allotment and I continued to tidy up the fruit cage concentrating on the left hand side. Weeding and removing the Fushia berry bushes in to the polytunnel. Emptying the vegetable peelings in to a black compost bin I left after 90 minutes work - darkness ending the afternoon.

Left-Hand Front of The Fruit Cage After Weeding 

The same area as above but with manure added.
On Wednesday I returned to the allotment just before midday. Manure was added to the area cleared yesterday in the fruit cage. The fruit cane prunings along with the remaining Jerusalem Artichoke stumps I removed today were burnt as previous attempts to compost these items have proven to take a very long time.
Fruit canes and jerusalem artichoke stumps burning on the front bed by the gate.
Whilst the waste was burning I collected up the Jerusalem Artichokes that had been exposed during the removal of the stumps for the fire, These will be stored in the shed for today as I haven't the time today to clean them of excess soil before bringing them home.
Freshly harvested Jerusalem Artichokes
 I also had time to trail an experiment I had in my head. My beds all have a 10 cm wooden edge topped with a 25cm high plastic coated wire fence. Over the years I have plucked many a pair of jeans on this wire fence due to sharp bits on the top edge. For quite sometime now I have been thinking of a solution and wondered whether it would be possible to top this fence with a hose pipe split down the middle. As luck would have it one of my neighbours was throwing out some old hosepipe and so I gave my idea a go on the bed in front of the polytunnel. I think I shall be continuing this process all round before spring arrives.  
Add caption

Sunday, 1 January 2017

New Years Eve 2016

We've had a lot of ground frost and ice this week and along with other commitments it hasn't given me much of an opportunity to do much at the allotment . Saturday 31st December however gave me the chance to spend a couple of hours tidying up by pruning and weeding in the fruit cage , replanting some rhubarb at the same time .

 I attempted to clear the paths as wet leaves from neighbouring trees can cause the paths to become hazardous. Close to the shed I cut up the remains of  Jerusalem Artichoke stalks that had been pruned last month - these were put in to the rotating composter as the two black plastic compost bins are currently full and being used to process kitchen peelings,shredded paper and brown cardboard from home.
Hopefully 2017 will be a productive year and maybe all my maintenance projects will be completed leaving me with a tidy plot. We can all hope I guess. Thank You for reading and I wish you a Happy New Year too.

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