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.

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