Sunday, April 25, 2010

Friday 23rd April 2010 - weather: fabaroonee

Happy St. George's Day

I didn't get onto the allotment until 11ish as I had to work a couple of hours, but when I got there, I knuckled down. I planted the last of my lettuce seedlings out and am glad to report that the ones I planted previously, with no netting or deer proofing, are still intact. Hopefully the muntjac have found a bountiful harvest elsewhere. I then sowed a row of florence fennel, beetroot and spring onions and finished off sowing a block of carrots.

Everything is struggling to germinate due to the lack of rain (although I am typing this on Sunday evening and we have had several welcome downpours today), so I did start watering with my can. Already one waterbutt is empty and 2 others are only half full, and this on an allotment where watering really doesn't take place very often. Action was needed, so I tromped over to see if the allotment neighbour, and site secretary was home. She was, and after some polite chitchat she was more than happy for me to run her hose across her garden, fill my waterbutts and water the plot. It was a bit of a carry on as the hose was blocked with algae, which I managed to clear, and of course, it was in a tangle, which I undid, but after about 20 minutes, I had lashings of water spraying about with gay abandon. The hose ended up being on for a good couple of hours, during which time, all of my butts were filled to overflowing, and the seed bed and all of my recently plants seedlings received a good water. Now that was a seriously good job well done.

I still have a couple of varieties of spud to get in, so I cleared the last of my spring onions, and planted half a row of a maincrop variety called Bambino. I then wandered down plot 2 and dug up the grass/weed infested path so that I can plant another row down that end on my next visit. Whilst down that end of the plot, I took the time to weed around my Japanese onions, and I must say, the white ones have really put on a burst of growth. The red ones however, very weedy. Talking of hunions, old Jack had left a tray of what looked like blades of grass, but what I knew were maincrop onion seedlings, so I went back over to plot number one, and planted them on a spare square of ground up by the cardoon. I watered the ground well first and once it had all soaked in, I planted roughly 25 maincroppers. Generally, I don't have any luck at all growing maincrop onions due to the white rot on the allotment, hence this year I am growing my garlic in troughs at home, but I will give them a go. If I have to pull them very young and use them as salad onions, I haven't lost anything.

The globe artichokes are looking fab after I was a tad worried a few weeks back, and the cardoon is growing like a triffid. The rhubarb is also growing at quite a rate of knots and we have already had several delicious feeds from it. I also still have a lovely thicket of parsley, but I know this will quickly go to seed now as it is left from last year. I really should pick it all and freeze it, but I don't have any problems getting it to germinate, so I never bother.

Hopefully I will get back to the plot next week, but I have a pretty full working week ahead of me. If nothing else, we need to get to the plot to deliver our new chum, Bill, who we made to try and deter the deer. He is rather dashing, don't you think?

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