Monday 27 April 2009

A good weekends work

Waking up on Saturday morning to see rain pelting down wasn't the best start to a weekend. Thankfully things soon began to look up and by lunchtime I was up at the allotment sweating under the warm sun. It was one of those lovely plot sessions where I didn't feel like I was playing catch up or trying to control something that had gone wrong, instead I was able to potter around, do the jobs I needed too, have a general weed and come away feeling that for probably the first time in the 15 months we've been doing this everything was on track and going according to plan.

Among the jobs that got jobbed was the first sowing of some Swede, Turnips, Kohl Rabi and Chard. Not many of each as I'm going to try to sow these a few times throughout the season to try and avoid any kind of glut.

Also in the ground was the second sowing of sugar snap peas, another row of carrots and a few beautiful looking little gem lettuce plants from one of my plot neighbours. These are well ahead of the ones I sowed a couple of weeks ago meaning we should get to eat some earlier than expected which will be nice.

The carrots, beetroot, radish and lettuce/salad leaves I'd already sown have all sprouted with varying degrees of success. The radish, as expected, have done wonderfully as has one of the rows of carrots and the little gem lettuces. The second row of carrots, the beetroot and the salad leaves haven't exactly flourished leaving some patchy gaps in their rows which is a bit of a shame. Perhaps I'll sow into the gaps and see what happens...

The broad beans seem to be doing ok after their very slow start although the edges of their leaves look like they've been nibbled by something which is a puzzle. I don't know if they should be covered or anything as I'm new to broad beans but the plants look strong enough at the moment so I won't worry too much. I've also put in some wooden edging salvaged from my parent’s garden around the asparagus bed which you can see in the top of this pic.

The early spuds are also well on the way, each time I go up the plot there's more sprouting through needing to be earthed up. To be honest I'm not quite sure when to stop earthing up and just let them grow. I know last year I didn't do much earthing up at all as I was fighting fires elsewhere on the plot which meant we didn't perhaps get the crop we could have done so I want to get it right this year and I'm hoping somehow all will become clear at the time.

Back at home there's also a lot happening and the cold frame is now full to bursting after a mammoth sowing/potting on session on Sunday afternoon. A first sowing of all our summer beans are now in pots hopefully busy germinating. This year we're going for more variety than last year starting with a couple of climbing French beans (Fasgold and the exciting deep purple Blauhilde) as well as a lovely looking golden climbing bean called Goldfield. We’ve also started off a load of Wisley Magic runner beans, which we grew with great success last year, and a few dwarf beans called Borlotto Firetongue which I bought simply because of their amazing looking red pods. Also happy in their new home in the cold frame are the freshly potted on courgettes, marrows and squashes as well as a few cabbage which I've had been growing on the window ledges in the house.

That hasn't left the windows empty by an means, with the impending arrival of our new greenhouse we've had to rush sow some plants to fill it with so there’s a slightly late sowing of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chilli’s and melons still filling the window along side a first sowing of sweet corn which sprouted a tad quicker then expected.


Jo said...

It's all looking good.

I bet it's been exciting choosing plants to grow in your new greenhouse. You'll be able to fill it as soon as it arrives.

Libby said...

Golly, I am way behind you, but never mind plants have a way of catching up!
None of my chillis came up so I may bite the bullet this year and just buy a couple of plants!!

Steph said...

woah mamma! that's a lot of things you've done!! so busy. bet you can't wait for that greenhouse. i am so jealous :)

Matron said...

Great to hear you had a good weekend down on the patch. I just love pottering about and getting stuff done! I am thinking about taking a gamble and planting out some of my tomatoes and a couple of squashes under cloches... it's nearly May after all.