Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wednesday 2nd May 2005 - Weather: Sunny and breezy

Sorry, bit late checking in this time but I have been so busy with mum coming to stay, then off to Devon for the long weekend, I have only just got my act together to update my blog.

Arrived at the allotment from the school run so find things still very dry indeed. However, our site secretary's garden backs onto the allotment site, and today she said I could use her hose to fill all of my waterbutts, so I quickly accepted her kind and generous offer and got everything I could full of water, and took the chance to water my seed beds because nothing had broken the surface.

First job of the day was to clear all of the leeks over on plot number 2. This area is destined to be 'Brassica Paradise' and I needed the room to get my sprouts in. Also some of the leeks - Autumn Giant - were starting to bolt. I didn't dig the area over too much as I wanted the ground good and firm for the sprouts, so after the leeks had gone, I gave it a weed and a good rake, then planted them. Can't remember for the life of me what varieties, but 3 different ones, 2 green and 1 red. I have more at home in the greenhouse to go up, but I am hoping by staggering the growing I will lengthen the harvesting period. Once in, they all received a very good watering and were then covered with net to keep the pesky pigeons off.

Over on plot one I planted 2 courgette plants. I believe the variety was Pathenon or something similar. The reason I grew them was because the packet said they didn't require pollination to set fruit, so I started them really early and kept them cosy to see if I could get a courgette or 2 before the main harvest begins. I am keeping one back in the greenhouse as back up. As this squash area is now clear I put up 2 large trellis stands which I am going to use to grow a couple of the lighter squashes up to try and make better use of the space. I have another 2 large trellis like panels at home to take up, hopefully next visit. I think I will grow things like the small ornamental gourds, cucumbers, acorns, and mini pumpkins upwards. This will leave room for the butternuts, large pumpkins and other large squash to sprawl.

Now a chancer - well it is May so fingers crossed no more frosts in Essex, I planted several rowns of mini French Beans and climbing Frenchies up the wigwams. Purple, yellow and green podded beans, on both plots. They were all well watered in. Hope the slugs keep off as I am really trying to resist using those horrid blue pellets. Next visit I plan to plant sunflowers and the first batch of tomato plants. I do have some cloches at the ready, but I am sure it will all be okay.

I picked my first globe artichokes and asparagus, my tea time luxury! I also picked all of the thick chunky flowering stems from my bright light chard. I need to dig the chard up really as I have this years crop growing into nice strong little plants in the greenhouse, but for now, the old boys can stay put - they do look so pretty!

I generally tidied and weeded and cut the paths back. Doesn't sound like much, yet I didn't stop all day! Glad to say the spinach and other brassicas I planted a week or so ago are all looking great and obviously growing.


Leonie said...

I am soooooo envious of your artichokes! I planted two a couple of years ago. One died and the other is looking very very miserable. I'm going to dig it up and transplant it to a better location and keep fingers tightly crossed that in a year or two I might have something as handsome as what you have there. Well done!

Emma Jane said...

They really seem to like the location on my allotment leonie. I halved the row last year as the plants were becoming monsters and I couldn't keep up with eating the globes! I tried them out on some friends, but they didn't like them, and the family aren't keen. I haven't been to the plot for a week, goodness knows how many are up now after all this rain!

Leonie said...

Too many to eat! That sounds wonderful! My one is in the garden at home, I think it's getting too crowded with all the other plants in the border and it doesn't get full sun all day which I think it really needs. So this week, when the rain eases off a bit, I'll move it to the lottie where it will have lots more space and plenty of sunshine, when the sun shines that is!

Emma Jane said...

I have moved a couple of artichoke plants into my garden more for the great foliage than the crop. Picked 2 arties today and there are loads on there. They must like being baked dry on my arid allotment!