Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday 9th April 2007 - Weather: Glorious!

Oh what a beeeeeeee-utiful day! This Easter weekend has been splendid. I was up with the lark today - alarm went off just after 6am and I was on the plot just after 7am. I wanted an early start as I only had until noon as the old boy was off to Southend to join in with all the other bikers. Amazingly for me, not only did I keep notes, but I also took photos!

The broadbean plants that I set out last visit are looking great. All upright and rigid. I still had about 18 seeds left so inbetween each plant, I planted 2 seeds. Hopefully the voles/mice won't get them.

No show of parsnips or radish sown last visit, but that was only 10 days ago...although I thought the radish might have been up by now. I decided to take advantage of the slow growing parsnips, and following on from the half a row of radish that I sowed inbetween the rows of 'snips, I completed the row with a sowing of Lettuce 'Little Gem'.

The sweetpeas that I planted on plot number 2 all looked nicely settled in, and I have now planted a row of Peas 'Fortune' inbetween. I am trying to make much more use of every available space this year. In front of the sweetpeas/peas I forked over a bed the entire width of the allotment and raked it level. The ground is very wet still. I then constructed a 6 foot high netting support and sowed a 4 seed deep bed of Peas 'Alderman'. I will start another batch of Alderman off in the greenhouse in a couple of weeks time to try and get a more continuous crop of peas. I always forget to sow more peas, and they are so great, but so short and sweet.

More digging. Next to the parsnip bed, again on plot 2, I dug over another bed. This is going to be the carrot bed. I plan to broadcast sow my carrots within this bed and will do a packet everytime I visit the allotment. I had about half a packet of Carrots 'Early Nantes 2' so they went in today. I then sowed a row of Spring Onion 'Toga', a red salad onion, along the edge of the section I had just sown carrots in. I am hoping that this will help reduce the carrot fly, but again, trying to make maximum use of every square inch of space! The carrot bed is about 6 foot wide and is the entire width of the allotment so it should be able to take a fair number of carrots....well that is the plan! I will cover them with fleece to also keep the carrot fly off, but I forgot to take scissors to the plot, and my new fleece is waaaaaaay to wide and long so I want to cut it rather than waste it. As this whole bed is only going to fill gradually, I did sow a short row of Radish 'rainbow mix' at the very end.

Getting exhausted now, but I dug another bed, same dimensions as the carrot bed. I did dig this entire plot in the autumn, but as our soil is pretty heavy and wet, it really compacts down, so I find it needs forking through before sowing seeds, especially for the root crops. This is a busy bed! In here I sowed half a row Lettuce 'salad bowl', a whole row of Beetroot 'Detroit and Bulls Blood', half a row of Beetroot 'Opolski', sent to me in late winter by Super Sprout, and a whole row of Turnips 'Purple Top Globe'.

No more digging now - flagging. I tied in the bamboos for the runner beans. I know this is still very early, but if I get all of these jobs done early, when the time comes to plant, if I am short of time, I can get more done. I must say, getting the bean poles in for me, always makes an allotment look 'proper'!

I brought a big old tub of pelleted chicken manure, so the onions, garlic, rhubarb, daffs, peas, broadbeans and globe artichokes all got a couple of handfuls. Should give them all a nice boost.

Last job of the day - harvesting and just standing back and looking at how things are going. The purple sprouting is almost over now, but the white sprouting and 9 star broc is just starting to take over. Also I have 2 caulis, which I am thrilled about as I am yet to succesfully grow cauliflowers on the allotment. Fingers crossed they keep growing. The globe artichokes didn't die down at all over the winter, and the cardoon suffered in the drought last summer, but in the autumn it started leafing up again, and that to has been loud and proud all winter through. The daffs are coming to an end - they have been a joy, and provided me with over 8 vases of cut flowers for the house. I have gladioli in the ground next to them, so heres hoping they do as well.

As usual, saw so many birds, and heard even more! There was a lot of shooting on the farm first thing, getting those pigeons I imagine. But when all was quiet, woody woodpecker tap tap tapped all morning through!

1 comment:

Sweet-pea said...

Glad you're having success with your caulis. This is my first time growing them (or rather last year when I sowed them) and I was so excited last Sunday to find the heads starting to form :-) I have my fingers crossed too.

SP x