My garden plot June through to February

THE BARDStarred Page By THE BARD, 9th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Planting & Growing

Just a few ideas on how you can use and enjoy growing fruit and veg on a small garden plot.

Mid June, The carrots.

It’s well into June already and so far I have been well pleased with most things growing in my little garden plot.
As promised from my last posting I can reveal some of the rewards and failures on my plot from June to December.

My carrots were a complete disaster. Having read somewhere sowing spring onions in between the rows and setting Dwarf French Marigolds around the borders would help to keep the carrot fly off.
Well that didn’t work, I had the worst infestation of carrot fly I have ever experienced, the larvae were well into attacking the whole crop of carrots and I had to pull them all up and destroy them. I put them into steel drum with news paper and burnt them to kill the larvae.

I am not sure if the problem was brought on by my crop coming early due to the good warm weather we had or my new method of protection being a failure. For sure next year I will be reverting back to my old method of putting a clear plastic sheeting screen about 12inches/ 300m/m high posted and pegged around the crop to keep the low flying little blighters out. I use builder’s damp course clear plastic cut into strips.
I have just been reading a gardeners tips forum and it suggests sprinkling instant coffee granules in between the rows of carrots to ward off the carrot fly. Might give it a go next year.

Carrot Flies fly in very low to the ground and seek out the carrots by smell at certain times during the early part of the growing season and lay there eggs in the soil around the neck of the carrots, once that has happened and you don’t notice it and they hatch into the larvae and start attacking the carrots the crop is doomed.

I wasn’t all that upset because although it’s nice to pop up the garden and pull a few of your own there are generally some nice reasonable priced fresh ones available around the markets and shops.

Late June.The Gooseberries.

What a cracking early crop this year from my 5 bushes this year. Having sprayed them against Mildew early on in the season just as the leaf buds were beginning to break I have not suffered this horrible infestation.
We have put about 12 kilos into the deep freezer to keep us going way into the New Year.
Gooseberry Crumble made by “Her indoors” My favourite.

Just for a bit of fun!

Just for a bit of fun for the Grand Kids I fashioned a Gooseberry bush to look like a Goose, well that’s what I thought but they said it looks like a chicken. So I said “We’ll have to call them Chookie Berries then”!!

Early July, Raspberries. Strawberries. Rhubarb. Grapes and Melons.

I am picking Raspberries and Strawberries every day now. Some of the raspberries are going into the freezer for making pies, the strawberries some for us and some for my neighbours. They just love me now.

I also took two large bowls of my Raspberries and Strawberries, 2 pots of cream and some chocolate sauce to my friends at our Table Tennis afternoon session. We normally have a cup of tea and biscuit at half time, but this was some treat for around a dozen of us old timers. One is 83 and used to be a county player and he is still good at the game.
So eat your heart out Wimbledon goers who were complaining this year at the price rises paying up to £2.50 for about 10 strawberries and a dob of cream. My little bunch of Table Tennis friends were in for freebees. The Rhubarb is cropping well and I am getting some nice tender sticks twice a week from 6 Plants.

The grapes are coming on really well having done the thinning out of the small fruits on each bunch a couple of times to ensure I get some nice sized quality fruit it also lets some air into the bunches and helps prevent mildew.

I am not too happy with my Melons. This year I am trying the grafted type on to a vigorous root stock which are supposed to give a good crop but I have an unusual thing happening. I have an abundance of female flowers on the laterals but there are only a few male flowers which form on the axis of the laterals so pollination of the female flowers has been poor.
When growing in a greenhouse you normally have to hand pollinate with camel hair brush but I entice the bees into the greenhouse by putting Lavender growing in pots just inside the door and around the Melon plants. They are the boys for the job leaving me to get on to other things.

Mid July. Broad and Runner Beans.

The Broad Beans have done really well and I have not been plagued with the Black Fly, partly due to me pinching the tops out of plants at around 2ft 6inches high (0.75mtr) I have just picked my first lot.

I have also just picked my first runner beans with a few potatoes in the pot this weekend. Beautitful!!
I always keep pinching out the shoots on 50% of my plants at around 18inches early on to stop them from running up the canes, that way I get an early crop. It’s like growing them on the ground but after they have sent out the shoots with flowers on and the beans are forming I let any new shoots climb up the canes. I always pinch out at the top of the canes that promotes plenty of growth at the top.
When growing runner beans up canes it is vital that the canes are pushed well into the ground and also add extra strengthening supports to the frame structure. Remember there is a lot of weight in the foliage etc.and any high winds could flatten the lot.

My Blueberries.

I’ve said this before, what a brilliant fruit bearing bush to have in your garden or in large pots.
They must have acid soil or (ericaceous potting compost} in pots.
I dug large holes and lined them with plastic sheeting, punched a few holes in the bottom with a fork and then covered the bottom with some of that material you put on the top of your flower beds to stop the weeds growing through. Hoping that would stop the bushes roots getting through into my soil which is slightly chalky. Then I filled the holes up with the ericaceous potting compost and planted the bushes. So far 3rd year they are doing fine.

In April a beautiful display of white flowers. July/August the Blue Berries, They do not ripen altogether, so I was picking 200/300 grams every two/three days throughout mid July early August.
Then after all that in the Autumn I get a beautiful display of coloured foliage.
See the photos

Mid August

The crops are coming on nicely now. I have pulled a few nice Beetroot which her in doors will pickle
them into jars for the winter. Also I have pulled my first Parsnips for a taster this weekend but I will leave the rest until the winter, much tastier when they’ve had a frost on them.

I am still digging potatoes, also picking a few climbing French beans (Cobra) grown up canes.
The Rhubarb is producing some nice sticks (watering regularly gets results)

Runner Beans are in abundance from my 36 canes. My neighbours are right happy as there is plenty for them.

And by the way it’s not out in the back garden where the action is I do go out and do a bit to the front garden where my Hydrangea is in full bloom.

Late August.

My Tomatoes are late ripening again this year despite all the nice sunny days we have been having.
I don’t understand what is happening these last few years I don’t seem to get the results I use to get and
they are always late ripening.
I have grown Sun Gold F1, Costoluto Fiorentino and Gardeners delight this year.
Sun Gold is a small orange tomato is very sweet and tasty. There are only 12 seeds in the packet for£2.99.
Costoluto Fiorntino are big ugly looking tomatoes but they are also very tasty.
The gardeners Delight are small but sweet and tasty.
You just cannot beat growing your own for taste and flavour. The super markets demand above everything else uniform size and colour to attract the customer to buy them because they look good but my experience is they are generally flavourless. Can you imagine seeing some of my old ugly Cosolotto on the Supermarket shelves?

Early to Mid October.

My grapes are beginning to ripen now and I have already savoured a couple of bunches. Tasty!!
As mentioned not a good year for my melons but at least I got 8 reasonably sized ones but it’s the flavour that counts. Hope to do better next year going back to my old favourite Sweetheart F1 which are more tolerant to cooler temperatures.

I am till getting bundles of Runner beans, some 2nd early potatoes, Beetroot, Parsnips, lettuces, radishes and raspberries.

Mid October,the end is nigh!

I harvested all my runner beans, the cooler nights have stopped them growing now so I have stripped all the vines roots ready to turn chew them into fine bits like grass cuttings ready to put into my compost box. It will be ready to dig into my runner bean plot next year. Good stuff full of nitrogen etc.
What I do is put the whole lot into a pile at the end of my lawn and keep running over it on a high cut with my mower and collect it and put into my compost box. If you do this you need a fairly powerful rotor blade mower for the job otherwise you may clog up and spoil your mower.


Not much going on now. Just enjoying the last of the grapes 59 Bunches.
And would you believe it’s November 27th we have not had a frost and I am still picking a few Raspberries.

I only have the Parsnips left growing on my plot now. Its the 24th so I have pulled a few for xmas dinner.


My little Plot all dug and ready for the new Season.
If you have read my gardening pages I hope I have helped and encouraged you into this wonderful and rewarding pastime of mine.

The Luton Bard.


Garden Ideas, Gardening, Gardening In Small Areas, Grow Soft Fruit, Grow Vegetables, Grow Your Own

Meet the author

author avatar THE BARD
78 years old
I play table tennis and golf.
I'm a keen gardener.
I write amusing stories about
everyday things I see around me.

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author avatar Denise O
9th Apr 2012 (#)

I just love your garden pages Mr. Bard and this one is no exception. Well written and just lovely photographs. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar THE BARD
9th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks for the comment Denise. Pity you are not a neighbour so that I could pass a few treats over the fence for you!

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author avatar Denise O
9th Apr 2012 (#)

This is the first page to see Steve's face as moderator, congrats Steve.:)

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author avatar Denise O
9th Apr 2012 (#)

that I have seen*

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author avatar Val Mills
9th Apr 2012 (#)

Wow, that is a pretty successful garden! Our carrots were a bit like yours, our grapes no where near as good. Love the chooky berry bush :-)

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author avatar THE BARD
9th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks for the comments Val.
Grapes take a bit of knowhow and looking after for good results. My Dad was a head gardener for the gentry so it's in the blood as they say.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
10th Apr 2012 (#)

If you ask me to choose between your article and fruits - it would be difficult to choose from....
Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar THE BARD
2nd Nov 2014 (#)

Well it's Nov 2nd 2014 and I've had a good year with my crops. We have had good weather this back end and no frost and would you believe I am still picking Raspberries.

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