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JUNE - The summer solstice month in our allotments (An article from Pam Brown).

Don’t we all just breathe a sigh of relief when the frosts are finally over (always fingers crossed of course) and we can enjoy the long hours of light. With renewed energy and enthusiasm, we can finally forge ahead with plans that were probably formulated in our heads anytime from the previous year……jotted down on bits of scrap paper or Christmas present Gardening Journals or torn out of gardening magazines. Ideas for improvements inspired by failures of when we forgot to cover the brassicas or the fruit bushes before our feathered friends and butterflies had their fill.

Every year, so many learning curves, disappointments but also joys and successes! I have never met an experienced allotmenteer who hasn’t owned up to at least one yearly disappointment. And no year is ever the same as we encounter our ever-changing weather.

So, we’ve had a dry June to say the least! And true, that means extra watering and hoping our beloved vegetables and flowers don’t panic and go to seed. But on the up side we can seriously start harvesting our produce…. radishes, lettuce, sweet peas, early strawberries, broad beans and continue feeling productive by sowing a variety of vegetable seeds in the knowledge that we have a further three months or more of produce to harvest.

Last autumn my plot buddy Jill and I went for a delightful wander around the site and came across the most enormous tomatoes in someone’s greenhouse, fully rounded not beef tomatoes. The following day we left a note asking politely if the owners would share and swop some seed and we left one of our tasty cherry tomatoes along with our plot number. Within the week, the most enormous tomato arrived magically on our greenhouse bench! Needless to say, we now have a greenhouse full of both varieties and I hope they enjoy our cherry variety as much as I’m sure we will enjoy theirs.

And finally, click on this link and you’ll find a touching article from the BBC web-site about how allotments have helped people through the last eighteen months……………

Happy gardening!

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