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 a 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 to 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. - From October take every opportunity to collect tree leaves. If enough are available a special heap should be made just for leaves. Decayed leaves are a good source of humus for the soil, can also be used for forcing purposes and to make a seed sowing compost.

2) Attend to Broad Beans and Peas. - Broad beans sown in November should now be a few inches high. Protect by drawing up soil and it is recommended to put a few twigs pushed in alongside the rows. Peas will also be through and will need protection from the birds. Stakes pushed in now will give protection now and support later.

3) Clean Paths. - Keep paths clear of mud and other debris that tends to build up at this time of year. Keep pots and trays tidy. Look out for mice and rats looking for places to hibernate.

4) Cut Perpetual Spinach. - Spinach from summer sowings should now be in use. Harvest the outer leaves from several plants rather than cutting a plant down to the base.

5) Look for Big Bud on Blackcurrants. - Blackcurrants suffering from big bud mite should receive attention. Moderate infections show themselves as a number of swollen buds that should be picked off and burned.

6) Look to Frames. - Ventilate crops growing in frames especially spring cabbage. Sow lettuce in seed trays for planting in the greenhouse after Christmas.

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. - Draw up plans now or during Christmas. Use your old plans as a basis along with your notes. Calculate your seed order and write it out and send it off. Check over your seed potatoes.

2) Keep Digging. - Dig when you can even if only a little at a time. Leave the surface rough but not like a battlefield.

3) Gather Greens. - Greens from the garden should be in steady supply and maintained. There's a wide choice, cabbage, savoys, Brussels sprouts, kales, perpetual spinach and leeks. Lettuce will be available from cloches along with endives. 

4) Preserve Labels. - Save as many garden labels as possible. A job for a wet weekend is to clean them and prepare them for next year.

5) Grow Mint and Chives Indoors. - Put a few roots of mint in a plant pot into a greenhouse or warm room for forcing. Chives can also be grown indoors, pot up a few roots for a succession of green shoots to use a flavouring. 

6) Look to Spring Cabbage. - Cut and use spring cabbage as they begin to heart up to prevent them from spoiling.  

7) Remove Fruit-Tree Suckers. - Suckers that have grown during summer should be severed beneath the soil level as low as possible.

8) Plant Cob-Nuts and Fruit Trees. - Recommends planting cob nuts as a surround to the fruit garden. You can still plant fruit trees when the weather allows.

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. - Maintain a succession of crops to be forced. Lift a crown of rhubarb each fortnight. Work your way down a row and afterwards replant and leave for two years. Where no greenhouse is available a warm shed can be used. 

2) Prepare for Bad Weather. - Get some materials ready for when frosts set it. Hessian sacks to cover frames along with straw was recommended.

3) Clear Cucumber. - Remove the remains of cucumbers. If grown in borders the soil can be used now planted with lettuce. It recommends cleaning greenhouse glass following foggy weather to remove soot and dirt that has deposited itself on the glass.

4) Review Your Gardening Year. - Now is the time to look back on successes and failures this growing year and take heed of any notes that you made along the way regarding sowing, harvesting etc. 

5) Make Use of Frosty Days. - During frosty days, when the ground is hard, wheel manure around trees and bushes to avoid carrying them later.

6) Finish Pruning. - Try to complete all pruning by January, rake up prunings and burn them. 

7) Dig. - Try to get digging done before Christmas. Clean inbetween bushes and give a light forking. Stock up now with spraying materials.

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. - Swede turnips can remain outside a long time but it is worthwhile lifting a few, cutting off the tops and storing them in sacks. All tops along with other leaves should be used to finish off summer compost heaps. Begin a new heap to compost waste from the house and garden.

2) Clear Artichokes. - Lift and use Jerusalem Artichokes. Clear the ground of them but choose a few tubers for replanting purposes. Examine stored crops at regular intervals.

3) Examine Clamps. - It recommends looking at storage clamps after rain and to put down poison at the first sign of rats. 

4) Examine Onions and Shallots.- Well ripened onions should keep for a long time indoors. Onions grown during a rainy season will not have good keeping qualities. Use any showing signs of softening first. Decayed specimens should be burned. Shallots kept for planting should be turned over regularly, always keep double the quantity required to allow for losses.

5) Clear Mushrooms. - Mushroom beds should be cleaned out and replaced with new ones once the mushrooms are finished. The spent manure is ideal for use in soil mixtures or frames. 

6) Pick Kale. - Kale can now be picked and used. Carefully managed they should provide greens until June.

7) Examine Grease Bands. - Grease bands should be examined regularly removing any leaves or debris that might adhere to them.

8) Raise Carrots. - Young carrots can be grown in a deep frame if hot bed material isn't available.

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. - Apply half a pound per square yard of hydrated lime once every three years. 

2) Collect Pea-Stakes. - Pea stakes were scarce during wartime and it was advised to gather some when pruning trees or bushes 

3) Lift Horse-Radish. -Lift horseradish roots and clean out the bed. Put them in sand or soil handy for use. Cut some of the roots into 3-in pieces for propagating after Christmas. The average family only require a small quantity and it's easier to replant a small bit each year as it soon spreads and becomes hard to clear if left in the ground. 

4) Clear Herb Beds. - Clean up herb beds. Cut mint stalks down to the base and remove the waste whilst weeding. Trim thyme and clean up sage.

5) Use Cauliflower and Broccoli. - Use cauliflower at once to avoid waste. Early broccoli will now come into regular use. 

6) Prune Fruit Trees. -Prune when the opportunity offers. 

7) Clean Up. - Clean beneath hedges etc. with advice to burn the rubbish and clippings.

November 2nd Week

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

1) Use and Store Artichokes. - Start to use Jerusalem Artichokes, dig up as required.

2) Gather Sprouts. - Brussels sprouts can now be harvested. Rather than stripping one plant, remove the largest from the bottom of several plants by either twisting off or removing with a sharp knife. The tops can be used as greens.

3) Keep Forcing Rhubarb. - Take indoors the root lifted two weeks ago and plant in a corner or under the bench. Pack with soil, soak with water and shade with sacks to exclude all light. Keep the temperature around 55 ° F ( 13° C). Lift another clump for forcing later to keep up the supply.

4) Protect Broccoli. - Prepare to protect broccoli if hard weather threatens with straw and bracken although nowadays we'd use fleece for convenience. 

5) Finish Root-Pruning. - Complete root-pruning as soon as possible. Its purpose is to keep vigorous trees in check. 2½ft from the stem, dig a trench a foot wide and cut all the large roots which are exposed. 

6) Continue Branch-Pruning. - Ordinary pruning of branches should continue at every opportunity. Save suitable prunings for stake purposes the rest should be burned. Keep woolly aphis in check, they used to recommend spraying with tar-oil sprays or paraffin emulsion.

7) Sow Seeds. - Sow cress and mustard for succession. Sow French Breakfast radish in cold frames or greenhouse. Force chicory under greenhouse benches and blanch endive as required.

8) Look to Stores. - Control the temperature and ventilate where apples are stored. Inspect stored potatoes and pick out seed tubers.

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. - Lift a root of rhubarb and leave exposed to the elements for a fortnight. The harder the weather the better as frost increases sugar in the root. This is known as retarding. To obtain sticks for Christmas in an open garden, forcing should begin now.

2) Nurse Parsley. - Parsley growing outside may grow well if its a mild winter but far better to grow some in a coldframe.

3) Plant Fruit Trees. - The fruit trees and bushes that were ordered in September may have arrived. As soon as they do, dig a trench, plant and cover with soil before firming. Ensure that plants are labelled.

4) Manuring. - Calculate quantity required. Order hop manure if other manures are unavailable. Dig-in green manure.

5) Sow and Plant. - Sow round seeded spinach in a cold frame. Plant lettuce in a cold frame or greenhouse watering carefully. Outside lettuces should be protected by cloches.

6) Prune Fruit. - Begin pruning fruit as soon as the leaves fall.

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. - There are still ample fresh vegetable supplies growing in the garden before using food in store. Focus on consuming cabbages, cauliflowers and savoys before touching the leeks. 

2) Prepare Potting Composts. - The best is loam created from turves that have been stacked for 12 months before using. Failing that soil should be stacked in layers with manure in between. 

3) Clean Outside Greenhouse. - Wash both the inside and outside of the greenhouse. Scrub off summer shading to allow maximum daylight through the winter.Clean coldframe lights from grime too.

4) Make Fruit Plan. - If planting fruit for the first time, make a plan. Choose varieties that will succeed in your climate and that will help pollinate each other.

5) How to Destroy Red Spider. - Where red spider mite has caused damage. collect the leaves once fallen and burn.

6) Protect Carrots. - Carrots growing in coldframes should now be protected with the cover.

7) Earth-up Celery. - Do the final earthing up of 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. - leeks as well as other winter greens should be given a good earthing up, even those grown in holes. This helps to blanch the stems whilst giving protection.

2) Cut Down and Weed Asparagus. - Cut down asparagus foilage and put for burning. Tidy up any weeds such as grass that have sprung up in the asparagus bed. As manure topped with soil to the bed.

3) Begin Digging. - Once clear of crops begin digging. Even digging a small piece at a time will soon see the task complete. 

4) Attend to Cabbage, Sprouts, Cauliflowers. - Hoe between rows for the last time. Use cabbages to supply greens. Sprouts will be soon ready for harvesting, remove yellowing leaves from the bottom. Cauliflower seedlings sown in September can now be pricked out into a cold frame.

5) Plant Lettuce in Greenhouse. - Once tomatoes are cleared in the greenhouse plant lettuce. Make successional sowings of mustard and cress.

6) Transplant Fruit. - Suckers from raspberries to be dug up and replanted to increase crops. Transplant fruit bushes if necessary. Year old currant and gooseberry cuttings can now be moved.

7) Store Apples. - Pick ripe fruit on dry days. Allow late-keeping apples to remain on the tree as long as possible. 

8) Grease-Banding Tips. - Complete grease-banding soon. Tie 6-9in. strips of greaseproof paper around the trunk and smear all around with special greases.

9) Lift and Store Salsify and Scorzonera; Store Unused Garlic; Sort and Clean Shallots.

10) Encourage Fruit Trees. - Old trees can be helped by replacing two or three inches of soil from around the base. Prune away dead branches.

October 1st Week

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

1) Store Pea Sticks. - Pea sticks are hard to get so clean those that you have and store in a dry corner for use next year. Sticks that are rotting should be burned.

2) Get Stocks of Lime and Fertilizer. - Calculate your lime and fertilizer requirements now. Apply lime at least once every three years at the rate of ½-pound per square yard. National Growmore fertilizer at the rate of 1 pound per 10 square yards. 

3) Lift Root Crops. - Jerusalem artichokes may be cut down to a foot above soil level. They can be lifted and stored or left in the ground until required. All other root crops growing outside should be lifted now and stored.

4) Earth-up Winter Greens and Celery. - Winter greens can now be earthed up. A little soil around each stem offers extra protection. Late cauliflowers should be cut as they mature.

5) Protect Endive. - Endives growing outside should be moved into coldframes now. Set traps to prevent slugs from attacking the endive. 

6) Good-bye to Tomatoes. -  Tomatoes should now all be harvested. Green tomatoes can be made into chutney. Put stems on the compost heap. Where grown in pots or on benches the soil should be layered with manure and left for two years. 

7) Clean Out Greenhouse. - As soon as practicable clean out the greenhouse and wash down the glass before scrubbing all the woodwork.

8) Look to Raspberries and Strawberries. - Newly planted raspberries last year should now have their new growths tied in. Strawberries can still be planted.

9) Store Fruit. - Store good fruit in wrappers. If space is limited store in boxes.

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. - Lift roots of chicory and cut off the tops within an inch of the root. Store in sand outside until wanted for forcing. Lift celeriac and store the same way as turnips.  

2) Prepare Pea-Seed; Harvest Haricots. - Peas grown for seed and hung in a sunny place to finish off should now be shelled. Dry them out on a sunny window sill. Haricot beans sown late should be harvested and hung to dry in an airy place. 

3) Begin the Big Clean Up. - Cleaning up the allotment should now begin. All rottable refuse add to the compost heap. Coarse and diseased material burnt. Hedges clipped, the clippings also being burnt. Don't waste valuable fertiliser, save the ashes for use in potting soils or for use on the onion beds.

4) Bring in Tomatoes. -  Any tomato plants still outside should be cut and brought indoors to finish. The whole plant can be hung upside down only harvesting fruit as they ripen. 

5) Maintain Salads. - Maintain production of salads by supplies from outdoors, cloches and frames. Expect leaves rather than hearted lettuce.

6) Lift Radish; Feed Broccoli. - Large radish such as Black Spanish and China Rose should be ready for lifting. Store in sand like beet and carrot. Feed Broccoli which will mature before Christmas.

7) Finish Outdoor Peas. - Outdoor peas are coming to an end. Cut the tops, remove haulms but leave the roots in the soil for now.

8) Harvest Swedes. - Swedes can now be harvested. Get them into store and clear land for digging.

9)  Prepare Leeks for Seed. - Where leeks have been grown for seed the flowerheads may still be green. If so cut them with a long stalk and stand in water in the greenhouse like a cut flower. Once ripened hang upside in a dry place over paper to catch the seeds.

10) Harvest Fruit; Hoe. - Harvest fruits as ready and put in storeroom or attic. Hoe between rows of strawberries.

11) Order Fruit. - When fruit is to be planted, calculate the requirements and specify a November delivery.

12) Put in Cuttings. - Put in hardwood cuttings of currant and gooseberries. Cut them at lengths of 10-in. from this year's growth. All the buds are left on blackcurrants but only the top three or four are left on redcurrants and gooseberries. The lower ones that would be planted underground should be removed.

13) Prune Fruit. - Prune Morello cherries. Prune Loganberries and blackberries by cutting out the growths which have fruited this year. Tie in young shoots.


September 4th Week

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

1) Harvest Home. - Crops which are ready should be harvested. 

2) Store Onions. - Onions lifted to ripen should be brought inside and tied in bunches of six or seven before hanging up.

3) Lift and Store Potatoes. - Continue to lift and store potatoes.

4) Fill Blanks. - Fill vacant pieces of land with spring cabbage. Do not cover until the weather turns bad.

5) Prick Cauliflowers. - Prick out cauliflower seedlings into coldframes when ready. 

6) Gather Tomato Seed. - Wash the flesh from the seed. Label the seed variety and allow to dry before packing the seed away.

7) War Against Caterpillars. - Watch out for caterpillars moving along the ground at this time of year attacking your brassicas. Deal with appropriately.

8) Grease Bands Around Trees. - Put grease bands around fruit tree trunks now.

9) Pick Fruit ; Root-Prune Trees. - Pick fruit as ready. Windfalls should be picked up and used immediately. Root pruning of vigorous fruit trees can begin.

10) Put Cloches over Lettuce and Endive growing outside; Blanch Endive to keep up supply; Begin Sowing Mustard and Cress inside at Fortnightly Intervals.

September 3rd Week

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

1) Lift Potatoes. - Lift potatoes as soon as they're ready. Leave for a couple of hours on the surface to dry before storing. 

2) Build-up Compost. - As crops finish remove any remains and add them to the compost heap. Hard cabbage stems should be chopped up. Diseased potato tops and brassica stumps affected by clubroot should be burned.

3) Plant Out Cabbage. - Plant out spring cabbage. Draw triangular drills 6-in. deep and put the cabbage at the bottom 18-in. apart. After Christmas begin harvesting alternate plants to use as early greens. 

4) Lift and Store Carrots. - Lift carrots and store in dry sand.

5) Earth-up and Protect Celery. - Earth up celery a little more. Sprinkle salt between the rows to protect from slugs.

6) If Frost Comes. - Cut all marrows if frost arrives and put them in a cool airy room to store. Small immature small ones can be used up in the kitchen whilst the ripe ones will keep for some time.

7) Ripen Outdoor Tomatoes. - Now is the time to harvest all the fruit to ripen indoors in trays exposed to daylight. 

8) Work with the Hoe. - Use the hoe to keep down the weeds between winter crops.

9) Lift Onions. - Lift the onions previously bent over and leave them on the surface of the soil so that the roots are exposed to the sun. Ease out with a fork to avoid damaging the base. If there is a risk of pilfering or the weather is wet take the onions inside an airy shed to dry off. 

10) Prepare for Wall Fruit Planting. - If you plan to plant any fruit trees against walls then make up the borders now. Put grease bands around the trunks of fruit trees. 

11) Order Manure. - Now is the time to buy manure ready for a new round of digging.

September 2nd Week

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

1) Sow Cauliflowers Under Cloches. - Cauliflowers can be sown very thinly in a straight drill and covered with cloches. Thin out to 9 in. apart when they come through. Leave under the cloches all winter.

2) Advance Tomatoes. - Tomatoes grown in pots outdoors should now be moved into a greenhouse to finish off. All tomato plants should have their ripe fruit picked as this hastens the colouring of others.

3) Harvest Onions. - Without delay onions should now be harvested. If wet weather sets in then lift fairly soon otherwise the bulbs might soften.

4) Lift and Store Carrots. - Lift maincrop carrots as and when ready (when the foliage turns yellow). Do this when the weather is dry. Small quantities can be kept in the shed in boxes of sand. 

5) Plant Out and Sow Lettuce. - Plant out winter lettuce in a protected border. Sow lettuce for greenhouse culture.

6) Gather Peas and Haricots for Drying. - Peas growing for seed or drying should be pulled up, the haulms tied in bundles and hung in an open shed until the pods can be dealt with. Harvest haricot beans as the pods turn brown and the leaves wither. Treat the same way as the peas. 

7) Thin Out and Blanch Endive. - Thin out the endive seedlings that were sown earlier. Those that are fully grown in the open can be blanched, this is done by covering the plant with a box or large pot. Do not begin to blanch until the plant is fully grown.

8) Prepare for Fruit Planting. - Prepare for autumn planting of fruit trees and bushes as soon as possible. The digging of the soil should take priority so that it is in a good condition for planting.

9) Thin Spinach. - Thin spinach to 8-in. apart.

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. - When land is available plant first of the spring cabbage. Don't dig over the soil as the roots prefer firm ground. 

2) Sow Cauliflowers. - Sow cauliflower for spring planting or inside culture. Sow seeds of several varieties at once to avoid too many bolting at once.

3) Help Onions to Colour up. - The book mentions rubbing off the rough outer skin to allow the smooth skin to colour up. This operation should only be done a few days before lifting. 

4) Remove Dead Leaves From Tomatoes. - Remove lower leaves that have withered or turned brown. 

5) Sow Turnips. - Sow turnips for winter or spring greens. Varieties such as Chirk Castle are suitable.

6) Case Mushrooms. - Mushroom beds made and spawned earlier will now be ready for casing. Put 2in of soil on top in an even layer. A layer of straw over the top helps maintain the temperature and protect the buttons as they appear.

7) Put Out Winter Lettuce. - Lettuce sown earlier can be pricked out into coldframes or if suitable planted outside for a winter crop.

8) Dig-in Green Manure. - Land sown in summer with mustard as green manure can now be turned over. Roll or tread down the mustard prior to digging in. Once done the ground can be filled with spring cabbage.

9) Beware of Caterpillars. - Do not allow them to thrive it warns and spray with derris. In the U.K. derris has been unavailable since 2009. 

10) Plant Out Endive. - Plant out endive where a cloche is to be erected or in a coldframe. Another sowing can be made in seed trays for pricking out into coldframes. They should give a supply for Christmas.
11) Attend to Celery. - Remove side growths from late celery and water well if required. Earlier batches will be completely earthed up leaving just the top of the leaves showing and will soon be ready for use.

12) Protect Parsley. - Plant some parsley in a coldframe in areas where it is hard to maintain outdoors over winter.

13) Easy with Fertilizer on Greens. -  Don't feed winter greens. Give a dressing of fertilizer to those which mature before Christmas such as early broccoli. Feed celeriac.

14) Thin Out Crops. - Thin out perpetual spinach to 8-in apart. Thin out any other crops requiring it, such as turnips. Earth up leeks. Build a compost heap and hoe out any weeds.

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. - Water ridge cucumbers as required. Earlier crops of cucumbers will now be finished and should be cleared out. 

2) Feed Seakale and Rhubarb. - Feed seakale and rhubarb occasionally to build up their crowns. Rhubarb should not be allowed to produce flower stems as they steal energy from the plant especially after a frosty winter. 

3) Support Asparagus. - Erect two strings around the perimeter of the asparagus bed so that they are adequately supported. If any asparagus growths get knocked over and snap it spoils root development.

4) Water Peas and Beans. - It's better to give a thorough soaking once a week rather than a little every other day. The weather controls the need for watering. If there are water restrictions in place an alternative is to mulch around the plants with a mixture of leaves and grass mowings.

5) Make Cauliflowers Last. - As cauliflowers form heads bend a leaf over them to keep out dirt. It's common for far too many for immediate use to head up together. If you don't want to give away your surplus, either lift the plants and either heel into some soil in a shed or hang up with the heads facing downwards undercover. They will keep for a few days using those methods.  

6) Use or Check Onions. -- Check onions by exposing the roots and breaking the earth with a garden fork, which encourages ripening. Use onions as required.

7) Sow Lettuce. - Sow lettuce in seed trays to grow on either outdoors or in a coldframe. Varieties All The Year Round, Artic King and Cos are recommended. 

8) Last Chance for Onion-Sowing. - This is the last week to sow onions outside. Ground well manured for early potatoes is suitable.

9) Prick Out Cauliflowers. - Prick out cauliflower plants into coldframes to overwinter. If you haven't sown any already then do so now in a seed tray, plants raised now are suitable for growing in pots or a cold greenhouse. They can be overwintered in a frame and planted out in March.

10) Pick Apples. - Pick apples when ready. Early varieties should be consumed as they are unsuitable for storing.

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. - look out for mildew on peas which comes as the plant ends cropping. It recommends pilling the plant when mildew arrives. If mildew appeared earlier they suggested to dust the plant with flowers of sulphur.

2) Prick Out Cabbage. - prick out the spring cabbage now ready but protect them from birds with netting.

3) Earth-up and Feed Leeks. - Earth up early leeks and feed with liquid manure.

4) Sow and Plant Endive. - Make the last sowing of Batavian endive outdoors and later prick out into coldframes. Plant out moss-curled endive a foot apart.

5) Feed Marrows and Asparagus. - Feed marrows and asparagus with liquid manure. Use up the marrow fruits when they are young and soft.

6) Harvest Haricot Beans. - The earliest haricot beans will now be ready for harvesting. Pull the plants up when the pods have turned brown, tie in bunches and hang head downwards in an open shed.

7) Harvest, Protect and Prune Fruit. - Peaches and nectarines when harvested prune out old fruiting wood. Cut back to where young growth is emerging from.Pick early pears and store for a few days before use. Pear trees carrying large fruits could benefit from fish nets supported underneath to catch fruits they could be damaged should the winds blow.

8) Prepare Storage. - Get the loft/room/shed where you will store your fruit ready. Ventilate it, sweep it out and clean down the walls and surfaces. Nets no longer in use should be cleaned and stored away. During winter make any necessary repairs.

9) Prune Cherries. - Morello cherries growing on walls should now be pruned as soon as the fruit is harvested. The fruited wood is also cut out with these.

10) Plant Out Strawberries. - Plant out strawberry runners on a new bed, 30in between rows wit plants being 15in apart. Firm the ground around the plant but don't bury the crowns.

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) Feed Tomatoes. - Feed as necessary, those indoors with lots of fruit should be fed weekly. Vary the feed between general fertiliser and liquid manure. Give a top dressing of compost when roots become visible on the surface. Never fill pots or borders to the surface with compost as the water will run off. 

2) Sow, Harvest and Protect Onions. - Sow onions such as White Lisbon. Harvest pickling onions when they're ready. 

3) Lift Beetroot. - Lift globe beetroots that are ready as they will become course if left in the ground.

4) Stake Peas. - unless you sown dwarf varieties last month then the peas must be staked..

5) Earth-up Celery. -  Use up the crops sown either side of the celery trench and begin to earth-up the celery.

6) Sow and Thin Radish and Cabbage. - thin winter radish and make another sowing. Make another sowing of spring cabbage, prick out those sown in July.

7) Preserve Beans. - It recommends preserving surplus harvest by pickling in salt using a ration of 1lb of salt to 8lbs of beans.

8) Complete Summer Pruning. - Prune blackcurrants as the fruit is cleared. Complete summer pruning of the fruit trees as soon as possible to aid fruit ripening. 

9) Clean up Strawberry Beds, and Make New Ones. - Remove dead leaves and straw. Prepare a new strawberry bed when the opportunity arises. Look after young plants and pot on runners in 3½-in pots and keep shaded for several days.

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 aphids 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. - Don't leave them in the soil to split. Use autumn-sown onions when ready.

2) Sow Cabbage, Spinach and Lettuce. - Sow spring cabbage now to plant out in September or October. Sow winter spinach. Sow lettuce in a cold frame for late use.

3) Earth-up Celery. - Earth up celery gradually 3inches at a time in fortnightly intervals. Spray with Bordeaux mixture at the first sign of celery blight. Discourage slugs.

4) Sow Onions. - Sow onions now for an early crop next year. Choose a sheltered spot to offer winter protection. 

5) Help on Tomatoes. - Spray with Bordeaux mixture to protect from blight.

6) Prune Blackcurrants.- Once clear of fruit they should be pruned.
7) Destroy Wasp Nests. - This assumes that wasps are attacking your fruit and that you can find their nest.

8) Dig New Strawberry Bed.- Prepare new strawberry bed incorporating manure and bone meal. Cut off unwanted runners.

9) Attack Fruit Pests.- If present, spray apple trees for woolly aphis with nicotine. Use inverted plant pots with either pieces of broad bean stem or straw in them to trap earwigs attacking wall fruit. 

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 : - Give Brussels Sprouts a dressing of sulphate of ammonia or general fertilisers to aid leaf development. Feed seakale with liquid manure. Runner beans appreciate liquid manure. Celery in frames should be watered and fed.

3) Sow Spring Cabbage : - Make two sowings with ten to fourteen days in between.

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 : - Autumn sown onions should be ready for lifting soon. 

6) Sow Radishes and Endive ; Thin Salsify : - Sow the radish varieties Black Spanish & China Rose. These are large rooted radish that can be stored to use over winter. Sow endive. Thin salsify and scorzonera to between 6 & 9 inches apart.

7) Fill Vacant Space: - Fill all vacant space, including blanks that 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: - Thin out the new growths on gooseberries. When the earliest apples are ready pick and use them when they are ready, don't use them for storing. It's worthwhile to consider replacing very old fruit bushes with younger ones. Water autumn fruiting raspberries.

10) Preserve Fruit : - Preserve surplus fruit by jamming or bottling in syrup.

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. -  Train cucumbers as required. Pinch out the growing point after every second leaf. From the first leaf joint allow only one cucumber to develop. From the second joint allow one fruit and the growth bud to develop. Let this bud grow on and stop at the second leaf. In the greenhouse tie to wires. In frames let them grow over the soil.

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. -   Beds over three years old, once harvested, should be cleared and planted up with winter 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 sown crops. Remove flower heads from any that run to seed and use the roots immediately.

6) Sow Spinach; Feed Marrows. - Sow perpetual spinach to supply leaves in the winter. Feed marrows to encourage the fruit to swell. It recommends using whilst only a foot long.
7) More Sowing, Planting and Thinning. - Coleworts sown in late May can now be planted out. Thin out chicory to 9in apart. Plant late celery. Make a late sowing of dwarf peas to crop in September.

8) Forestall or Destroy Pests. - Keep carrots and celery dusted with old soot, apparently it discourages fly and aids leaf and plant growth. Watch and destroy slugs and snails. 

9) Examine Tomatoes For Disease. - Watch out for stripe disease on indoor tomatoes, it attacks the top of the plant first. This virus disease presents itself as black marks down the main stem. Cut the plants back to below where the stripes show. 

10) Sever Strawberries. - Runners that have been layered and now rooted can now be severed from the parent. Don't allow those in pots to dry out.

11) Cut Out Diseased Fruit Branches. - Branches of plums attacked by silver leaf should be cut out. Any dead branches in other fruits such as gooseberries should be cut and burned. Complete fruit thinning quickly.

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. - I finally got around to typing up this week on the 18th July 2021

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 icicle can be sown for autumn use.

6) Easy with the New Potatoes! - It's 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 now 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 blackfly with a soapy spray. 

5) Wage War on Caterpillars. - hand-pick them off cabbages if possible. Water sweetcorn with liquid manure.

6) Sow for Salad Successions. - make regular sowings of lettuce and radish. Mustard and cress too.

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. Tomatoes grown in the greenhouse now will give fruit into winter.  

6) Sow Final Carrots : Plant Leeks and Broccoli - Make what will probably be the last sowing of short-horn carrots.

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 or 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 clubroot 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.- Plant 6-in. deep, 9-in. apart in rows set 12-in. apart. Plant a few leeks out now to be used in December. Don't plant too many as leeks are most useful from January to May. 

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.- According to family requirements, radish, carrots, 6-week turnips, lettuce etc. should be sown in successions. Sowings of Batavian Endive can be sown now in seed trays in a greenhouse/cold frame for transplanting later. 

4) Outdoor Tomatoes, Marrows and Cucumbers.- Outdoor tomatoes can be planted out, avoiding windswept areas. it recommends planting in a trench 10-in. deep and 10-in. wide. Cucumbers can be planted in a greenhouse or cold frame. Marrows can now be planted outside, seeds may be sown outside.

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.- Plant out seedlings from the seedbed and frames as they're necessary.  If the frosts have finished then tender crops can be set out too. Thin/prick out seedlings from April's sowings before their roots become tangled. 

2) How is Your Plan Working?- When working without a plan it's very easy to end up with no space for the essential crops. Planning and successional sowing extend the harvests.

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 dry. 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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