Friday 19th May 2006 - Weather: camping weather! Rain, sun and gale force gusts!
Number one son performed in his last assembly of his reception year this morning...don't know where that year went...so I was later to the allotment today. Amazing how in just one week the weeds have grown, but then they have had perfect weather, rain and warm sunshine. Unlike today. The wind was so gusty at times I feared for the roof on my tomato house, so I did criss cross some more string over the corregated plastic just to make sure it wasn't going anywhere.
I cut a lovely spring cabbage to take to mums, and in the gap that I weeded and forked gently over, I planted 3 redbull brussel sprouts. Seems like a lot, and I know they should be at least 18 inches apart, but mine were fine last year at just under a foot apart. Also cut my first ever successful cauliflower! Very pleased indeed with that.
The earliest peas that were started in paper pots in the greenhouse and then planted out under cloches are now in full flower and there are plenty of pods already. I imagine by next Friday I should be able to make my first picking. The broad beans are also smothered in flowers, and finally the lower ones now have pods showing. I have them double netted, and I stood them all up and tied them to the cage before zigzagging some string over the top of the cage to hopefully keep the birds and squirrels out. The raspberry canes are covered in flower buds also.
I was able to pick a nice lot of salad crop, some red spring onions, radish and lettuce thinnings. Also, some of the italian mixed leaves are starting to bolt, so I pulled out the ones with buds coming, and thinned what was left. Hopefully these will carry on for a few more weeks until the rest of the salads are big enough to really start harvesting properly.
I planted another dozen tomato plants under the tomato house - what a difference in temperature the roof makes! It was very sheltered and warm under there and the patch of bronze fennel is already huge and lush...if only I knew what to do with it! I had another 8 squashes to plant, things like mini white cucumber, swan guord and black futsu, so I had to clear some volunteer potatos that I had left behind from last year. Managed to collect a bowl full of nice new spuds - marble size to golf ball size - perfect with our fresh salad at tea time!
The runner beans have flower buds on them, so I am really really keeping my fingers and toes crossed that we don't have a sudden frosty snap, but as they are growing alongside the tomato house, I do wonder if they will benefit from the protection. The variety I am growing is Enorma.
Next visit I will have to get in the rest of my squashes, tomatos and maybe even my sweetcorn as the children will then be on half term for 10 days so I won't be able to get up to the plot for a while. Yes, I think I will have a big push next week and sow loads and plant everything that I have left. I am going to keep 2 tomato plants in the greenhouse along with the chillis and aubergines, and maybe one melon plant. So much to do, so little time!