Sunday 1st May 2011 - weather: bright and breezy
No photos...sorry readers. Still having computer issues, but hope to get that sorted later this week so should have a few snaps to show you, including Tom and Bertha, our 2 new residents (who Flora, are doing great, eating us out of house and home and shagging constantly), and photos of the quail and allotment.
News on the quail, the 3 adults are now as free range as flying birds can be in that they have the whole of the extended greenhouse with exterior run to roam and flap around in, the 5 teenagers are in the greenhouse (aka the Quailarium) but housed in the guinea pig run for another 2 weeks, and the unborn are hopefully hatching as we speak...well, 3 eggs had signs of breakage so all being well, by morning there will be new life. Of the 3 adults, at least 1 is a chap, and a noisy chap at that, but he is the incredibly handsome range colour and is very tall, so he will be our stud. We have rather efficiently ringed the broods so we can make sure we know who is who so when we start hatching our own eggs we don't have any dodgy inbreeding going on.
So, the blog is called Allotment News, so what news have I to report. Well, a flying visit last Wednesday (27th April) cutting paths, watering, weeding and sowing more radishes. I also got the runner bean poles up. For me, an allotment isn't an allotment until the runner bean poles are up. A productive, if rather quick couple of hours. The proper visit took place on Sunday with the family. BBQ packed, trailer full of young plants, off we went. As we approached the plot, I saw movement, and sure enough, Mr Muntjac was grazing happily. Hmm, I don't mind him grazing the grass and young spring buds, just wish he would keep off our allotment.
A full day was planned and whilst I planted and watered, watered and planted, hubby erected the last of the muntjac proof netting, he weeded the tomato bed (!!), he strimmed and strimmed and he sorted out and netted the brassica bed and sorted out and netted the strawberry bed. I hate dealing with netting...it gets all tangled and flaps around. Of course, he did a lovely neat job and it is all secure, so a big old raspberry to the fat pigeons. I planted caulis, cabbages, sunflowers, lettuce, french beans, florence fennel, spring onions endive chicory, runner beans, 2 squash plants, 3 tomato plants and 1 sweet pepper plant. Just for those of a sqeamish disposition, the pepper is under glass and the toms and squash are just a couple of hundreds I have at home, to be honest, the garden is creaking at the seams with plants so I decided I would take a chance. 'Old Jack' doesn't think we will get any more frosts in Essex, especially on our plot as it is very sheltered and the wind doesn't blow that way, and the sun rises over there, and.... you get the idea. The kids played, watered cooked lunch on the BBQ, argued, watered and then demanded to go home, so that was the end of our day.
Things are looking great, and there are little broad beans already developed, the garlic looks great, if only we would have some rain to help swell those bulbs, the spuds are all through and earthed up, the strawbs are smothered in flowers and already have some small green fruits, the raspberries the same, the beet, spinach, chard and salads that I planted are all growing well and I pulled 4 little marble sized radish to scoff with my burger at lunch time. The seeds are proving very slow at germinating, but of course, I blame lack of rain. The beets are just starting to show, as are the carrots, but I thought parsnips were through, but I don't think they are and there is no sign of the spring onions. Rain dance please!!!