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Been there, done that........except for a slight guilty feeling that I shouldn't be giving up and letting the bugs win.
I've been thinking the same! But I really will miss sprouting broc, so maybe just a little patch may be kept!
Werewolf of Hampshire
One word of warning: as you know allotments are a magnet for every conceivable pest and disease so beware of tomato blight. After 3 years of blight wiping out all my tomatoes, both outside and in a polytunnel, just as they were ripening, despite regular spraying, I will not be growing them on my allotment this year but instead will concentrate on peppers and chillies.
I completely agree. There comes a time when you have to call it a day. I have problems with aubergines though, I get them to the flowering stage, they then whither and fall off! I've tried them in growbags and large pots in the greenhouse but have the same result. I tried pollinating them with a fine brush. Perhaps I could be over watering them? Not tried growing them on the allotment. from Everoptimistic

about 8,weeks ago sowed tomato seeds all came through great .been away over easter weekend wet too check plants few seemed too be dying and brown-white marks on leaves can anyone advise what problem is thanks.


That's a shame you're not going to grow brassicas this year. Our allotment was plagued with both pigeons and white fly last year. The guy on the next door allotment rigged up a 'mock' hawk which fortunately for us kept the pigeons away from ours. The white fly was a different matter but we put up small yellow plastic squares covered in grease, then walk up and down the rows of brassicas. When the flies were disturbed, they were attracted to the yellow plastic and by the end of the growing season, the cards had trapped zillions of the little devils. And as a bit of a downer, I have to tell you that our peppers were decimated last year by an unknown 'thing' that burrowed a little hole in the pepper and if left, the pepper blackened and fell off. Whatever the bug was, it was impervious to insecticide. But happy gardening!
I had a problem with whitefly last year on my cabbages but got some yellow card and laminated it, coated it with grease (from my local garage) and put them up in the cabbage patch. As the flies are attracted to yellow, it did help to keep the numbers down, specially if you walked down the rows to disturb them. We also had a problem with pigeons but the guy on the next door allotment fitted up a dead stuff black chicken and that kept down pigeon damage.
 Reluctant Gardener
Same here Kate, though not because of pests, just because we got so sick of eating cabbages of all sorts last winter. It was the same story with turnips the year before... note to self, must stop growing things in such vast quantities. But I could eat any amount of broad beans!
If you take this to its logical conclusion you won't grow very much, Potato blight, Alium Leaf miner, black fly, greenfly, drought, cold, too much rain, not enough sun, too much sun etc. There never have been and never will be guarantees of good crops, that's nature.
rosie plum

i sow a little bit of everything inbetween shrubs and flowers, i sow potatoes in bad ground and it loosens the soil for next year...if my lettuces bolt i let them go to seed and collect that and dig it in as a green manure so not all is lost, if something really doesent do well or fails altogether then i try something else or a different place...i think by keeping such a mix of things it works and the predators have hiding places to attack the bugs, and im starting to see articles about my inadvertant type of gardening and its called permaculture, instead of digging over a new bed i tend to lay cardboard, use a cheap wooden framework or none at all and fill the area with compost etc, i use grass clippings for the paths around it and despite having horrendous heavy stony clay, by the next year i am able to easily sink down to a whole spit depth (before this on  my untreated ground i broke pickaxes and didnt reach an inch down), and the earthworms are bloody massive!!!i know straight rows look great but for me this works as i have a bad back and this no dig or gentle digging suits me perfectly...

yes, I'm giving up with brassicas as well. they take up so much space, get blown over, and anything that the scaterpillars leave gets eaten by the pigeons. 

its hard when you want to grow what you like, as the cabbages etc, but wont because of the hassle..
Oh no, I'm just about to try cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli, wish me luck

rosie plum, I like your idea, my soil is heavy clay so I might give that a go. Last year I grew cabbages in pots, the copper tape stopped any slugs and they grew well, pity I forgot about the caterpillars, totally decimated! The first time I grew cabbages they did well. One night I went into the garden with my torch. In the quiet I could hear a crunching noise, I checked and found slugs having a great time. So, every evening I patrolled the cabbage patch and had some great tasting cabbage, so as long as you try to remember every pest that might attack it's well worth it

stu j wrote (see)

about 8,weeks ago sowed tomato seeds all came through great .been away over easter weekend wet too check plants few seemed too be dying and brown-white marks on leaves can anyone advise what problem is thanks.

What size are the seedlings now and where are they in terms of protection from the elements and a source of decent light? The brown and white marks could either be a fungal infection or an excess of moisture in the soil. It's hard to know without more information.


i put netting well actually its the green stuff builders wrap round scaffolding to stop stuff dropping off it works and i put pellets down for slugs plenty of washing up water is retained for putting on my plants and does the job for me .... i dont think i could get by without my sprouting broccoli and as for broads and runner beans they are a super must have..yes you are going to have ups n downs but the alternative is the tasteless rubish sold at supermarkets i lost all my toms last year with blackrot its soul destroying but move on remember the next time you walk up the path with some sweet 100s in your hand throwing em  in your mouth  all gone before you step indoors ..peas popping the pods trying your hardest not to pop them in your mouth mmmmm yummy

Jacqui  Brocklehurst
Aw don't give up! What can be more satisfying than popping down the allotment in the middle of winter to pick your own sprouts for Christmas day. And purple sprouting goes on forever and I love, rather smugly, seeing how much it costs to buy in the grocers. Without these winter crops how would we keep in touch with our plots during the long dark days of winter?
Excitable Boy

I just don't see the point of growing veg if you can't have purple sprouting broccoli

 ours are rubbish



Every year I say I won't grow brassicas any more and every year I change my mind. Sometimes we get some, sometimes we don't. But was anyone able to grow peppers and aubergines outside this year? or even in a greenhouse?