Monday, 31 March 2008


At last, a warm and dry day! After a day of torrential rain on Saturday our hopes for some plot time this weekend looked to be dwindling, however, we woke up Sunday morning to bright sunshine so we took the chance and spent some time at the allotment.

While there's still beds to be dug and paths to be weeded it seems wise to take this opportunity to get some stuff planted. Most important to get started were the early potatoes and the onion sets. So, while I took charge of the spuds Melanie get started with the onions.

With plenty of space left in the bed that’s got our garlic in she first raked in some general fertilizer, then got on her hands and knees and planted three long rows of Centurion and two smaller rows of red onions (the variety of which completely escapes me).

Over the other side of the plot I was happily digging a trench for the potatoes. I was planning one row of first earlies (Red Duke of York) and one of second earlies (Saxon), leaving the main crop to go in a separate larger bed in a couple of weeks time.

Once dug I took a leaf out of Gloucester Wombles (from the excellent Fork it... a Gloucester allotment) book and followed his idea of lining the trench with manure covered in shredded paper. Then I spaced the potatoes (in this instance the Red Duke of York) roughly 12 inches apart on top of the paper.

Next all that was left to do was fill the trench back in with soil and start on the next one. We actually had far too many of the Saxon so we've decided to intrude onto the main crop bed with a second row to save wasting them. That was a job for another day though and after a quick blitz of some of the path weeds we packed up and went home for lunch content that things were moving on again.

After lunch it was time to move some of the seedlings into the greenhouse to free up some space so in went the sugar snap peas and mange tout (you can just about see them from here) along with the red cabbage. The plan is to keep the door rolled up during the day and shut it at night just in case it gets a bit nippy. With any luck we'll get the peas planted out on the plot one night this week as they're big enough to go in now I think.

We also did some more sowing, including more tomatoes and Tatsy Grill peppers after hardly any germinated last time and we've started off some lettuce too. There a lot more ready to sow in the next couple of weeks but I think we're now up to date pretty much which means it was a good weekend all in all.


Unknown said...

Nice, looks like you are getting lots done. You are a lot braver at putting pics of yourselves on the blog than myself and the Mrs!

You're gonna have a load of potatoes!

Amy said...

Wow you are doing really well! The potato trench looks very good, will be very interested to see how the spuds get on with the shredded paper. I think my potatoes will have to make do with a hole in the mud!

Hopefully this is the beginning of a long and warm spring :)

Paul and Melanie said...

Thanks, it was lovely to get some visible work done at last. As for th epics, lol I'd not really thought about it, we don't have much to hide esp as we've got a profile pic up. I'm sure the veg is more interesting to look at anyway.. ;)

Anonymous said...

Looks good, I'm still horribly behind progress and after today's events I'm not exactly in the mood to be working hard.

BTW the only red onion (sets) that I've come across are red baron. I heard that because of last year's appallingly wet summer there may be a red onion shortage this year, so we're putting a load in along with our Hercules onions (if you haven't tried them, I thoroughly recommend them, so tasty) and Stuttgarter Giant (new variety for me to try this year). Also hoping to get some early pots in but the pink fir apple apples have barely it just me?

warriorwoman said...

That's a very precise looking potato trench, I'm afraid mine went in a bit higgledy piggledy.

And that's a really useful looking greenhouse, can I ask how much it cost and where you got it from? I could possibly squeeze one of those on the plot.

Anonymous said...

ooh that comment was supposed to be from me, not that strange running bird.

glosterwomble said...

Hey Mr. Cuke thanks for plugging my blog!! :)

Looking good, you really do look like seasoned professionals!

I like to stay hidden out of view on my bog soo you'll never see me on there just those rather looking pics of 'D' !

Nice weather we've been having and SO nice to have extra daylight now clocks have moved.

glosterwomble said...

meant to say 'dodgy' pics of 'D'. I type too fast !!!!!!!!!

Paul and Melanie said...

Thanks for the comments everyone :)

@ Lucy - We have 3 Pink Fir Apple's to go in a tub in the back garden and they've been really slow to chit too, think they'll go in at the weekend regardless... :)

@ Glos Womble - No worries, thanks for the inspiration! The extra daylight is great, been up to the plot both evenings this week so far.

I think we should start a 'post a pic of yourselves' week for all you shy people out there... ;)

sexy said...