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.

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