Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tuesday 17th April 2007 - Weather: Overcast but warm!

I worked this morning so arrived at the allotment just after 12noon. The sky was very dark and heavy and it was quite a muggy afternoon. Today's challenge, get those brassicas in the ground. The new brassica bed is on plot number 2 over with the onions. The theory is, the leeks and Japanese onions will be out of the ground by June leaving me ample room for brussel sprouts and brocolli and any other brassicas that I manage to get planted. The garlic and shallots will be around a bit longer, but I don't think they will cause a problem. The only weeds in this area were buttercups and the volunteer spuds that were left behind last year. Makes me sooooo cross when I dig up a potato volunteer and find a huge, gorgeous, damage free spud that would have been super last autumn. Anyhow, I was rewarded with a handful of little new pots - I reakon they were red duke of york. My darling had them with his chop for supper.

I planted 14 red cabbage and 14 cabbage 'Greyhound'. These are a bit of a cheat as I bought these as already growing plantlets from the nursery. I have completely failed 3 sowings of cabbage this spring, so rather than get left behind, I spend a whole five pound note and treated myself to these. Twenty eight cabbages for a fiver must be good value? I have sat here for ages trying to work out how much each cabbage would cost, but my maths fails me....never did get my o'level in it.

In between these 2 rows I planted Oak leaf lettuce which I had started at home in the greenhouse. Hopefully they will have been harvested long before the cabbages become big.

Finally I planted my cauliflowers 'All the year round'. I have been told that these are a good do-er, and as I have struggled with summer caulis, we shall see.

Everything was watered in, a little lime was scattered and the netting was erected. Have to say, GREAT netting! I brought some net from the aquatic shop for £20. It is netting to cover a pond to keep herons and cats out. Don't ask the measurements, I forgot to look, but it came in a large bag, with 16 or so pegs, it was double the width of my allotment and hugely wide, meaning I was able to net the brassicas in one easy swoop. Definately going to pick up another one when I am there.

Everything that is in and growing, is growing well. The 'Fortune' peas that I planted a couple of weeks ago are coming on well, and the Swiss Chard 'Bright Lights' has overwintered beautifully and will keep us in greens until the spinach grows.

Time was pressing on, so a quick harvest before hot footing it to school to collect the nippers. Picked the last of the purple sprouting brocolli, took my first harvest from the 9 star perennial brocolli, picked my first ever amazing cauliflower and gathered some rhubarb. Considering I was only there for two and a half hours, I think I achieved a lot. Next visit I am going to get the last of my spuds in now that the PSB has all finished.

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