The Great Allotment Plant-Out

I had some hired-in labour yesterday. My folks turned up in the affectionately-named Popemobile (e.g. Mum’s Berlingo) with a boot full of plants…dahlias, cosmos, nigella, wild-flowers, you name it. Plus, joy-of-joys, the strimmer! The Great Allotment Plant-Out had begun.

It turns out that all the things I’ve grown for the far end of the plot hail from the Americas. Courgette, gourds, beans and corn are native to Mexico, plus the sunflowers hail from North America. Each was placed out before planting to measure the space. There are 17 sunflowers and if they all survive should make a fantastic display through the summer. Plus the bees love them. Win!

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Planning out the Americas patch

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Fingers crossed for a field of sunflowers

On the other side, my Mum put in dahlias (another American plant), which can now stay in place for a few years, plus a strip of wild flowers, the seeds given to us as a wedding favour a few years back. She’s been doing some alchemy in her greenhouse so that all the seedlings looked extraordinarily healthy (unlike my wonky efforts).

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Watering in the strip of wild flowers

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Taking the long view

The grass and weeds got a good zap with the strimmer, which is endlessly satisfying. In so doing I noticed that we have one single red strawberry, which is probably now eaten by the pigeon. I made a mental note to cover the crop this week.

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And relax

In the greenhouse, my Dad made a tomato-support system involving grow bags and canes.

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Tomato support system in place

There are still chillies to pot on, plus leeks, purple sprouting, cavalo nero, more sweet peas and more corn to put out in a few weeks. Plus those last two hideous weed patches to deal with.

It’s all starting to look a bit more…proper. The challenge is to work out how to extend the proper-ness so that we’re picking good things right into the new year.

Planted out: Beans, courgette, gourd, wild flowers, dahlias, cosmos, nigella, marigolds, corns, sunflower

Potted on: Tomatoes

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