Thursday, April 30, 2009

Saturday 25th April 2009 - weather: overcast but warm

Selfish, bad mother and wife! Yup, I spent the whole day on the allotment. BLISS! Woke up at 7am and was on the plot by 8am. Everything is looking lush thanks to the wet, warm weather we have been having. Everything, except the darn peas. Bl**dy pigeons had grazed them all down, some to stumps, so first job of the day was to clean up the bed, resow, add some supports and then net the lot. Took and age, I am rubbish with netting, but let me see the pigeons try now.

Next on the agenda, get in a couple of wigwams of sweetpeas. I like to grow some flowers on the plot for picking and bringing home as I don't like to pick the flowers in the garden. Also it looks lovely when I am working, brings in all the beneficial insects, and gives me good flowers to enter in the summer horticultural show. I have grow a mix of colours, mostly from saved seed given to me by various friends. Two wigwams at the bottom of plot number one by the shed, not an ideal spot as it is shadey for some of the day, but in the great rotational plan, that was the only spot I had vacant.

Over to plot number 2 now to get the runner bean supports up. Several weeks ago I dug a deep trench where the runners were to go, and filled it with manure and shredded paper, soaked it thoroughly, then backfilled with soil. This area has now settled, so the bean poles could all go into place. At the base of each pole I sowed 3 Painted Lady bean seeds - lets hope the slugs and mice leave them alone. I will do another row of beans as I have a packed of Enorma seeds to do. I have to say, for me, an allotment just looks like a patch of earth until it has it's bean supports in. Then it looks like an allotment.

Now some digging and clearing. Actually, the weeds hadn't grown to much and things were looking very tidy. I did some edging and cleared the 2 beds I had left to get spuds in. I finally planted a row of Pentland Javelin and a row of International kidney. I know it is late for the kidneys but mum got them for me and I only collected them a week ago. However I did hear on the radio that providing you got them in before the new moon, all should be well, and it was a new moon Saturday night, so fingers crossed I beat the moon and I should get lovely taters.

Over to the compost heap and I gave that a rough turning. Already the manure that I piled in during the winter has rotted down and to be honest, I think I could use some of the compost, but I won't. I plan to top it up with manure from the heap on the site and then plant a couple of marrow plants in the heap. See if we can get some winners for the horticultural show that way.

I cleaned through the strawberry bed, plenty of flowers, and then sowed a row of dwarf purple french beans. I wanted to get so much more sown, but already time was running out. I did hoe around my broadbeans and make a string cats cradle affair to support them as they get taller. Mine are rather behind but they were late going in. Some peoples on site are already in flower.

Finished the day by having a little pick. Gathered a good bunch of spring onions, rhubarb, purple sprouting brocolli, winter hardy lettuce and some spinach. Not bad for April.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday 10th April 2009 - GOOD FRIDAY - weather: bright

As apparently tradition dictates, today I finished planting my spuds, although I fear I might pick some up from the reduced section in our local garden centre after Easter. Pink Fur Apple, Wilja and another, whose name escapes me. I also sowed another row of carrots, but these are unusual for me as they are a variety my lovely American friend sent me and they are pre-germinated. They are like mini pellets so lovely and easy to sow, so another row will be going in after Easter, and once a fortnight after that until I run out of seeds.

Pleased to report I have a lovely plantation of young chillis, aubergines and tomatoes and now the courgettes, marrow, cucumbers and melons are germinating so at the end of the month, they will be able to start to go into the ground.

It was only a flying visit as we have mum staying at the moment as she has been so unwell and in hospital, but after the Easter hols, once the children are back at school, I plan to have some full days on the plot to get everything sown and planted for the season ahead.

Germinated on plot: Radish, mixed salad leaves, carrots early nantes, peas and broadbeans.
Harvested: Spring onions, purple sprouting broccoli.