Wednesday 16th May 2007 - Weather: dull but dry
As predicted, on site by 9am. How selfish and self indulgent of me spending an entire working day on my allotment! As you can imagine, it was BLISS!
No picking today, just planting, weeding, some more weeding and maybe a touch more planting. First things to go in, sweetcorn. Two varieties today, Swift and Minipop - a baby corn. I have more at home, but they are much smaller and will go out in about 2 weeks time. Both children love corn on the cob, and daughter number one loves baby corns, so these are great. I had some rotted manure so forked some into the ground before planting. Hopefully this will help water retention - not that we need worry about that at the moment, but will also give the plants a good healthy start. Just got to keep my fingers crossed now that we don't have any late frosts.
Next in were some more brassicas. The brassicas that are already in are going great guns, I have never been so organised! In went some savoy cabbages, spring hero cabbages, wok broc and red brussel sprouts, whose name escapes me. I weeded around them, and made sure the netting was good and secure as I noticed on another plot that the pigeons had completely stripped their brassicas.
As I was over on plot 2, I weeded as best as I could around my Japanese onions, shallots, garlic and red onions. I am really pleased with how the onions are growing. This recent rain will have really really helped. I did notice a couple of my garlics are looking rather sickly. I will keep and eye on them and maybe lift them next visit. The old white rot is a bugger with the garlic. In the past I have found the purple wight variety to be slightly more resistant. I can't remember what variety I have in, but it isn't looking good.
Next I weeded the future tomato bed and planted 3 tomato plants. Only 60 more to go! The problem with all of these plants is getting them to the plot. There are only so many you can fit into the car, especially when you are dropping the children off at school on the way and have them and their clobber to deal with. Big tomato plant out next visit.
In the seed section on plot number 2 I resowed my parsnips as only 1 has germinated! I have never had trouble with 'snips. I resowed with Javelin and Tender and True - a whole packet of each! I will be giving them away by Christmas. I also sowed some more spring onions along the side of the carrot bed, radish alongside the parsnips and some lettuce. I am trying desperately to extend the season by sowing little and often. I planted some 'Purple Queen' French bean seeds along the edge of the onion bed. Hope the meeces leave them alone. Then I planted 2 different batches of French bean seedlings - no idea on variety, both had fancy French names.
The last job on plot number 2, net my poor pea seedlings. The pigeons have had d field day stripping back my young Alderman pea plants, but the good news is, when I investigated properly today I noticed that all of the plants have new young shoots growing from the leaf bases and the base of the plants, so all is not lost. Good netting was put in place securely to thwart the feathered rodents attack.
Back on plot number one I planted some more squash plants in planting holes filled with rotting manure. I have paid a lot of attention this year to potting things on and watering them well, so the plants already seem huge. I hope we don't get a frost! I still have loads in the greenhouse at home, and will bring them up a few at a time each visit. The melons need to go out under cover, so I will leave them until the end of the month before setting them in the ground. I think I will try and get some really fresh hot manure and make a bit of a hot bed for them also.
Lovely old Jack was on the site during the morning and I asked him where he got his bales of straw from as I needed about half a bale for my strawbs. Bless him, he arrived with half a bale for me, wanting nothing in return. That was a spiky job, mulching my strawberry's. Plenty of them on the plants though and some are already pinking up. If we have a sunny spell over the next week, I will be able to easily fill a large punnet.
By the time I left at 2.45, the allotments were looking great and I was feeling great - knackered, but great. The grass paths could do with a cut, but I don't have access to a working petrol mower...yet. I will get back there next week for a couple of hours after work and will get some more toms and squashes in.