Wednesday 18th April 2007 - Weather: hot and sunny
Well after a cloudy but warm day yesterday, today was sunny but breezy. Fabulous weather considering it is still only April. I couldn't work today as I had to wait in for Argos to deliver our new exercise machine and for British Gas to come and service the boiler. They were both due between 7am and 12noon, and both had been and gone by 11, so quick change and off to the plot.
Jack was on site today, haven't seen him for months. Had a little chat, I meant to ask him for some straw for my strawbs, but I forgot. I could do with getting a bale anyhow as the kids want to make new scarecrows.
Down to business. First job of the day, dig the final bed on plot 2 and get the spinach plantlets in. A lovely row of strong plants. I won't necessarily keep them all, but they do provide nice summer salad leaves when young, then I will pull out plants as I need to space, leaving just a couple for later in the year. To be honest, I prefer the chards as they are more bulky, have a better flavour, and look pretty. There is still planting room in this bed for the other seedlings which are growing away at home in the greenhouse.
Next on the list, watering. I can't believe I am watering in April! Where are those April showers and whoever has them, could we have them back now please?! Still no show from the parsnips, radish, spring onions, beetroot or carrots, but the rocket, salad bowl leaves and turnips are all up. Hopefully a drop or two of water will get the seeds going.
I planted a few runner bean seeds and protected them with glass panes, just to see if they germinate and get away. It will only be another 2 weeks and I will be planting the first half of the main crop. I will plant the first proper batch at the start of May, then a second lot at the start of June. Hopefully this should carry us over. I am going to grow more French beans than runners though as I find them much more versatile and delicious.
The cabbages and lettuce that I planted yesterday are all looking great and perky which is very satisfying.
Back to plot one and I cleared all of the purple sprouting brocolli as it has finished now. I still have the 9star and white sprouting. Clearing the PSB enabled me to get another few rows of spuds in, so today I planted Pink Fur Apple, Maxine, and Annabel. I still have a few odd tubers left which I will bung in when I have a bit of cleared ground, plus 2 or 3 rows worth of Lady Christl, so I need to get the white sprouting out soonish to get them in.
Saddad from the A4all website kindly sent me some Sorrel for the plot - a veg I have never grown before. He sent me Buckler leaf and red leaf I believe, and they were both planted infront of Supersprouts artichokes. The reason I decided to grow Sorrel was due to the TV program The Big Dig, which I am really enjoying. Discussion on the board started and as I love my salads and greens, it seemed like I was missing out on something special. Not any more!
I spent a while tidying up the strawberries, getting out the darn buttercup that seems determined to take over my allotment, and I moved a couple of stray plants. I gave them a good watering so hopefully they don't know they have been moved and they will continue to grow. There are plenty of flowers, so hopefully we will get a good harvest from them. All the soft fruit is laden with flowers and the apple trees are packed with blossom, so, providing we don't get a sudden cold snap, and the bees and other pollinators do their thing, 2007 will be a good fruity year.
As I was leaving I glanced at the globe artichokes, and what do you know, the first globe is forming nicely. Ten days or so and I shall be enjoying that one. And speaking of artichokes, the Jerusalem fartichokes that Supersprout sent me are through and growing.