Wednesday 28th June 2006 - Weather: bright and sunny , 27'
A midweek visit! Luxury! I couldn't believe my eyes. Those darn weeds just loved that rainfall and now the bright warm sun. So, first job of the day was to weed in the brassica bed. Whilst in there I cut a lovely iceburg style lettuce, a greyhound cabbage and picked some more purple sprouting brocolli. I also took a light picking from the rhubarb. Growth on that has really slowed down now, saddly, so I thought I would just take a few stems to make a nice crumble at the weekend, then leave it alone until next year. I must remember to get some chicken manure or something to give it a good feed so it can be stronger next year.
I filled a carrier bag with peas again. Kelvedon Wonder, not glory like I keep saying. The early onwards have pretty much finished although there are new flowers appearing. I need to decide whether to oik them out and sow something new, or leave them to see if I get a second crop. Thinking aloud, I will probably have them out on Friday as I have the Alderman peas which are going to start next week, and another row of Kelvendon Wonder at the bottom of the plot which have just come into flower. Plus I bought a packed of late peas from Marshalls, Fortune I think they were called.
Half filled a carrier with my lovely Red Epicure broad beans. Some have been munched by a furry or feather critter, but not many. That chicken wire really did the trick. Will grow those again next year for certain.
Loretta came onto the plot today and I haven't seen her since Christmas. She told me all the gossip about her house build and about the allotment and the locals and then she asked if I could find a home for a few leeks! Of course I can!! It meant digging up a large patch of spuds to make the room, but that was fine, they were only Red Duke of York volunteers, and clearing them meant I filled yet another bag with lovely spuds varying in size from marble to fist!
After lunch I weeded up in the flower bed as it has become obvious what are weeds and what are flowers. In tidying the bed up I cleared a large area and was able to plant another 24 leeks, sow 3 short rows of Spinach 'matador' and a half row of little gem lettuce. I needed to thin the row of little gems that have been growing quickly, and ended up, yes you guessed it, filling yet another carrier with perfectly formed little lettuces! Have no idea what I am going to do with so much salad, but as I have plenty of peas, tomorrow night I might try the braised lettuce with peas that Nigella does.
So, a general overview. The brassicas are all growing great, the kohl rabi are about the size of golf balls and the sprout plants are getting steadily taller. The celeriacs are now begining to 'ball' nicely but the celery is incredibly slow. The sweetcorns, both mini pop and sugar sweet are growing tall and strong. I have never grown such outstanding looking corn. I have high hopes! Carrots and salad crops everywhere, wherever there is a gap! Need to think about sowing some winter roots like the 3 different types of mooli I have, and more kohl rabi. The pumpkins and squashes are all growing like crazy and I expect to start picking courgettes next Friday, cucumbers any time after that. The pumpkin seeds I shoved in just to see if they would germinate directly, have! There is a touch of black fly on the runner beans, but I sprayed very very carefully just on the stems and the leaves with a soft soap type spray. There are plenty of beans there already so again, next Friday I reakon I will be able to have a light picking. At some point I need to start digging my 'proper' spuds. I haven't needed to because the volunteers have kept us well fed, but I need to think ahead and I could do with some room to sow winter peas, salads and roots.
Mr and Mrs Pheasant strolled around the site all day making a racket. They are a very handsome couple and I tried to sneak up and snap a photo....and the batteries run out in the camera! tch! Better luck on Friday!