Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday 2006 - Weather: wet start, brightening up by lunch time

Today my darling offered to spend some quality time with the children so I could get to the allotment for a couple of hours. I had lots to plant, and also as I haven't been for a few weeks I really wanted to check out what was going on up there.

I assumed, being Good Friday it would be quite busy on the site, and sure enough, Jack, Geoff and another couple were busy working away. Traditionally, today is spud planting day, but as I had already done that, for me, today was cauliflower planting day! I cleared the last of the celeriac and celery - the celeriac went into the trug to come home, the celery went onto the compost heap, raked the patch and then got all of my caulis and purple sprouting brocolli planted. Now, I like to make the most of my little patch of mother earth, so planted in between the brassicas I planted two rows of lakeland lettuce which I had started at home in modules. They will have been picked long before the caulis and brocs do their thing. The nine star perrenial brocolli is putting on some serious growth now. I guess it will start cropping this summer/autumn and continue for a couple of years. As I busilly planted I could hear the gentle cooo cooo of the pigeons, all gathering for front row seats at the Brassica Brasserie, so a very Heath Robinson netting structure was rapidly put into place. Just hope it is secure enough! I forgot my camera so have no pics, but will pop down again over the weekend just to see how they are going, and will take some snaps then.

I planted a couple of rows of Red Bull beetroot which I started in the greenhouse in the little peat jiffy pots, just as an experiment really. I didn't have time to get the spring onions in, but I did sow another row of mixed lettuce leaves to try and keep a nice frsh continuous crop over the summer and into the autumn.

I check the peas which I planted a few weeks back and covered with corregated plastic and extra fine netting, and they are all up with is great! Fingers and toes crossed I have out witted the Vole family for now. I lifted the corregated plastic, but left it at an angle, keeping the young sprouts cosy, and protected from the dissapointed pigeons! We also have a friendly pheasant on the site, and of course he will graze away quite happily on all the young plants! And now, to join the zoo, there appears to be a pair of mallards nesting in an old tree stump behind my shed!

As I left I noticed a nicely spaced row of radish are up - I will have to either fleece them to keep the flea beetle off, or use a dusting of derris powder. The garlics are looking lovely and strong and I have some potash to sprinkle around them next visit. Also next visit I need to remember to take a battery drill, mini step ladder and some screws as my tomato/bean structure has bowed in the winter winds and needs shoring up. It will be fine - I am a dab hand at inventing protective growing structures that all the old fellas laugh at!

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