Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Weeding, watering, sowing and brewing.

What a lovely four days. Amazing weather and nothing to do other than potter around the allotment and garden. It was much needed too, the list of things that needed doing suddenly seemed to be getting quite long so the chance to tackle it was much appreciated

At home we caught up on all our sowing and greenhouse planting. The tomatoes and cucumbers are now in the beds along with a second row of spring onions and radish (actual successional sowing... at last!). This years courgettes, marrows, squash and the first lot of sweetcorn were also sown as well as some basil that I'd kept forgetting about.

Up at the allotment it was a mainly a case of watering and weeding, although I did get the red onions in (at last) and a row each of beetroot, spinach and ummm argh, I can't remember (sorry), in the ground too. It was good to spend some time tidying the plot up too, it wasn't horribly weedy, certainly not when compared to past years but I knew if we didn't get on top of them now they'd shoot way at the first sign of rain. A couple of hours with a hoe though and it's all looking much nicer now, just the onions to weed really and I'll hopefully get through them later in the week.

Best of all though was that amidst all the weeds on one side of the plot I found all the asparagus we'd planted three years ago. The first spears were coming through and all being well in the next few days we'll have a mini harvest to enjoy.

It was also nice to see the first spuds I'd moaned about last week have made an appearance too, I think they appreciated the watering we've been giving them. I'll earth these up this week once the last couple are through.

The only real failure on the plot at the moment is the spring brasicas. Most have gone to seed, the Kale in particular went a couple of weeks ago, while the rest are looking pretty ropey. The cabbages may be the only things to work out, they look healthy and are showing signs of hearting up. I'm thinking of digging up everything else in this bed and planting summer brasicas there instead and seeing what happens but that's not exactly being very good on a crop rotation front...

Back at home I also had time to get some brewing done. M gave me a St Peters IPA beer kit for Christmas and I'd been waiting for the warmer weather to set it going. It's a 32 pint kit rather than 40 like the kits I'd done before, which meant I had to re-measure how far I needed to fill my fermenting bin,a bit of a pain but once it was done the rest of the brew was quick and easy. Now it's sat fermenting away in the spare room, the airlock bubbling away reassuringly.

Amidst all this work we also raided the freezer for some homemade squash soup, chocolate courgette cake, chillies, beans and parsnips while also harvesting the last few leeks and a few leaves of the gone to seed kale. There was something massively pleasing about feasting on last years produce while working hard to grow this years, it's moments like these that make you remember what all the work is for. Hope you all had a wonderful Easter too.


Nome said...

Wow, it's great that you're still eating last year's produce. I must get better at preserving and storing stuff!

Mark N said...

I had to work most of Easter but I'll try and get up the plot tomorrow (Friday). Good luck with that IPA!

Sue Garrett said...

I think the dry weather is keeping the weeds at bay - there are lots of weed seedlings where we have been watering.

gillyflower said...

Looks like youve been busy!
How wonderful to have your own asparagus to eat.
Our kale ddint do too well either, but like your, our cabbages are now well away, and as for the spinach..... we are eating it every night in some form or other. Its the first tinme we'vehad a greenhouse so i went raher berserk with the sowing in the autumn!
We are also feasting on two types of lettuce every day, that survived both lots of snow, in the border in the unheated greenhouse.
Nothing compared to your wonderful produce, but I can still share that sense of satisfaction and pride!
My tomatoes not yet ready like yours for planting- left it a bit late sowing them but had good germination and they are getting a decent size now so wont be long.