Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Friday 30th March 2007 - Weather: wet and windy!

What a miserable day! bbbrrr. However, I had given myself the day off and promised I would spend some serious time on the allotment, so off I went.

First job really was sorting out the brassica bed as a lot of the cabbages and kale had gone to seed and some purple sprouting had finished, so out they came and I started digging. Back breaking work! Because I tromp the ground down on the brassica bed during planting to keep them growing tough, the ground was like concrete. However, I got it smashed down and weeded and I planted a double row of 'Red Epicure' Broad Beans. As I am the only fan of broadies, I don't mind growing fancy ones. I harvested a carrier bag packed full of purple sprouting, and I am glad to report I have 4 cauliflowers, the nine star perrenial broc is starting to head up and the white sprouting has lovely little flowers coming, so the greens should keep going well into late spring. That is the one thing about the seasons climate changing, the 'hungry gap' doesn't seem as long.

I still have loads of spuds to get in, so the next plan was to try and dig another area and get another 2 rows in. Two rows of 'International Kidney' potatoes are in to join the 'Kestrel' that I planted a couple of weeks ago. This leaves me with Pink Fur Apple, Vanessa, Lady Christl and Maxine to get in. I have no idea where yet! I always over do it with the spuds.

I cleared 60 leeks to make room for the potatoes, and this year they are fab. Thick and strong and no sign of rust - the air circulation must be much better up the far end of the allotment. I still have about 50 leeks in the ground over on plot 2, but there is no rush to clear them as I don't need the space at the moment. However, that will be the brassica bed, so their days are numbered.

Over on plot number 2 I forked over an area so I could get 2 rows of 'Tender and True' parsnips sown. I feel like I am very late with everything, but the cold and wet has held me up. Still, things always seem to catch up. I also sowed a short row of 'Big Ben' Radishes in between the 'snips to go with the early cut and come again lettuce that is growing in a trough at home in the greenhouse.

The final job was to plant my sweetpeas. I am determined to grow a few more flowers on the plot as they look great, cheer me up no end, encourage all the good bugs, and give me pretty flowers to bring home so I had a selection of sweetpeas germinated and growing strong in pots at home, and they are now planted up against netting on plot number 2. I also have 20 giant yellow sunflowers in pots at home in the greenhouse as I would like to do an entire row of them like you see in France.

I was hoping to get up there today (Wednesday) with the urchins, but they weren't terribly keen, so I did some pottering in the greenhouse - potted on some red hibiscus I have grown from seed, and spinach, gave everything a good watering and then continued digging the new pond! I will post photos of the ponds progress over the weekend as fingers crossed, by then the sand and lining will be in.

Last piece of news for now - finally I have an appointment to go to the hernia clinic on 3rd May. Hopefully they will decide what to do about it and then I should get a date for the operation. I can't imagine it will be this side of the summer, so by the time I am layed up for a couple of weeks, hopefully things will be quiet on the allotment. Anyhow, mum is coming to stay, so I shall have to boss her around and get her doing my weeding for me.

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