So now I've declared summer, I planted out some of my French beans: Borlotti to climb up the newly assembled netting and Major, a dwarf, yellow bean. I started both of these in toilet rolls a few weeks ago so they've established good roots now and with my new found confidence in the arrival of summer, they were good to go out. To grow up the other side of the net I planted a row of tall peas (Alderman).
Since it's so dry and my water supplies are running low (I'm going to be forced to walk to the tap at this rate!) so my thoughts turned to mulch for the beans, following on from the fruit. So I put a good layer of leaves around the newly planted Borlotti beans. Some time later after I'd returned home I couldn't help but think I'd just created the perfect environment for slugs to get to the bean plants. Hmmm, didn't really think that one through when I put the mulch out did I? So today I popped to the local garden centre to get some slug pellets, hoping it wasn't too late. Unfortunately I asked Mrs D if she'd like to come along, so it turned into the most expensive trip to get slug pellets I've ever been on!
Fortunately only one plant seems to have been attacked and the whole row has now handful of organic slug pellets to keep to little ******** away from my plants. It also has a couple of 'windmills' I nicked from the kids to help keep the birds away too.
Since I've got plenty of leaves, I mulched round a couple of rows of broad beans as well, lord knows they could do with all the help they can get to start growing.
The strawberries have far more flowers on than ever before. This weekend I'll be 'putting them to bed' with a good covering of straw around them before the fruit starts to set, and I need to put the chicken wire over the top as well.
The loganberry is doing its best to take over the allotment. Whilst you can't see it so well in the picture, what started as just a 50cm plant 3 years ago has now spread about 5m along the wall, and possibly over the wall too!
And this year it looks like it's going to be covered in fruit.