What a glorious May Day bank holiday. The sun has shone, the birds have sung and BBQ's have been lit far and wide.
I have had two visits to the allotment since my last blog entry and the allotments are starting to look shipshape and well planted at long last.
Radishes and cut and come again salad leaves are up and growing, as are my International Kidney and Salad Blue spuds. The onions, shallots and elephant garlic are all loving the spring sunshine and are growing quickly with strong green shoots. Half of the elephant garlic are from my own stock of cloves harvested last year. I will be interested to see if there is any difference in yield, if not I will save my own again this year, the plan being that eventually I won't need to buy in. Elephant garlic grows well for me as it doesn't seem to suffer from onion white rot as they are related to leeks more than onions.
The Jerusalem (f)artichokes are poking through, grown in memory of an old Allotments 4 All chum, (Sarah) Supersprout who sadly left us all several years ago. We aren't keen, but they are good in winter stews and soups. The rhubarb is a trifid, but it is always is. It gets a good winter top coat of manure and is eternally grateful. I am going to make a large batch of curried rhubarb chutney which sounds curious but tastes devine and is a firm favourite of the brother and sister in law.
I planted a row of peas which are growing well and a double row of purple mange tout which are growing away quickly and the sweetpeas are climbing up the wigwam. The top fruit is smothered in flowers so we should have a great crop of currants, rasps, jostaberries and goosegogs. The apple blossom is ready to burst, any day now as there are masses of tight, pink buds.
I have canes up ready for the climbing beans and have planted lettuces all around the edges as they will be long gone before the beans start romping and I have planted a giant sunflower at theends of the canes. Definately trying to grow more pretties this year. I have directly sown some climbing french beans but they aren't braving the spring air yet.
I still have a few leeks in the ground but am using them up as quickly as I can before they all run to seed, just gotta find 101 recipes to use them up in new and exciting ways. I have planted green curly kale and bright light swiss chard along with purple sprouting brocolli,cabbages and spring onions. I have sown carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, swedes, lettuce and kohl rabi. So all that is left is for me to finish clearing last years pumpkin patch and I will be ready to plant toms, squash and sow whatever else I have to use.
So there you go, an overview of both allotments. It is all going on at this time of year, the greenhouse is bursting at the seams with young plants, desperate to get out but waiting until the risk of frost has passed.