Allotment Adventures: Spring is coming in

It’s weird, I feel like I’ve been waiting on Spring forever. Finally, things are coming alive again, my gooseberry and raspberries have leaves, the blackcurrant and plum are in bud and my rhubarbs have some leaves too.The overwintered onions, garlic, broad beans, spinach, chard and beetroot are perking up and looking a lot less weather battered, Spring is coming folksOn the plot we’ve been weeding and starting prep for the coming weeks. The top of the plot and the raspberries have been subjected to Ma’s attentions and are more or less weed free. I’ve weeded and mulched the blackcurrant and gooseberry bush at the bottom of the plot. I had decided to take them out but I’ll net them this year and see if they produce anything this year, I will probably end up moving or binning them next year but we’ll see. I’ve also weeded the other beds and planted some chives and borage on the herb patch.

The biggest change outdoors is that we’ve turned the U shaped bed into a rectangle and weeded and divided it into 6 squares. That will be the salad bed this year, I’ve moved some of the overwintered chard so that we have beetroot and chard patches.

Indoors, we’ve (Ma helped) sown the summer squash and cucumbers, all the remaining courgette seeds (seven) and 6 of the summer crookneck, pattypans and the three cucumbers (Boothby’s Blonde, Minature White and Wautoma). That’s thirty seven plants! Then we started on the tomatoes, eight each of the Orange Banana and then we ran out of room, so I finished with eight more Amish Paste tomatoes and 20 of the cherry tomatoes. If they all pop up this will be massively more than I need but I have a couple of people who will take the spares..I have had one failure or 100s of little failures depending on how the view it, all but four of the basil seedlings died. I had one good year with growing basil from seed about 20 years ago and no luck since. For this year, I’m going to buy supermarket basil, split it up and plant out later. It worked with the mint and honestly, I’m short on room and patience with it right now.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The sweet peas and leeks are doing ok. The sweet peas are a bit leggy but I’ve pinched them back and we’ll see how they go. With hindsight, I should have sowed the leeks in pots not a tray. I have rectified this by sowing some more in pots and we’ll see which ones do better. I have lots of leek seeds which is good thing, just in case I muck it up again.

The kale got leggy but seems to be sorting itself out, I’ve sowed another 4 pots because I want some of it for salad and some to go through the winter.

That’s it for indoor sowing until next month when I’ll start the winter squash off. Hopefully by that point, some of the other stuff will be outside because it’s getting crowded in my living room! Everything else, I’m sowing direct and I’ll start to do that at the end of the month, with the peas, carrots, beetroots and salad leaves. I’m really looking forward to eating salad again! (This is last year’s salad bed, which currently has onions in it, and it was amazingly productive)img_4518

In other news, the shed won’t get done until April, we have bought the base and will put that in when it arrives, but how we get the shed onto the plot is a problem. I’m beginning to think, I’ll have to have it delivered to the house and then walk it round in pieces, this is not ideal but there is a limit to how much I can impose on other people who have busy lives and don’t know when they can help. We’ve marked the 22 April as the weekend we’d like to do it, I have the week after that off work, so I’ve got lots of time to work it out, although I do also really have to paint the bathroom and kitchen that week! My only goal really is to get it up before I hit my one year anniversary of having the plot, which is the 7 May.


About nicdempsey

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