Monday, June 30, 2008
I started by clearing the patch where the broad beans had been. It's the scraggy looking bit where the bin bags are. Also in this patch are some lettuces, beetroots and some rhubarb chard. The next spot down is the onion patch but they are gradually being dug up...
When I started digging I realised it was full of self seeded pot marigolds. I felt sorry for them as always so found myself clearing the jungle that had sprouted next to the tomato bed and popping them in there, along with my Sweet William seedlings. I admit that I have little hope for either of them but they might take. I managed to finish clearing the broad bean patch, and raked it over and sowed the last hope carrots. A mixture of Colmar and Nantaise 2, mixed with radish seeds ( a tip I heard to let you see where your carrot seeds were sown) and sand. Hopefully they will come up, I have kept watering them and the weather is terrific and warm.
I cleared quite a bit of the same block, where the garlic had been, leaving a coriander plant that sprouted up by itself and two scarole lettuces that are seeding (I will collect those). In its place I sowed -
- A patch of rocket,
- A row of parsnips (in the end I just couldn't resist),
- A new patch of peas, Kelvedon Wonder.
- 4 lovely big sticks of rhubarb that immediately went into an apple an rhubarb pie,
- about a pound of strawberries, really big ones too,
- some raspberries,
- 2 yellow courgettes,
- a lettuce (red batavia, delicious, you can see them in the piccie above)
- about a kilo of peas,
- and about a kilo of early spuds.
- the echalotes seem to be developing very well, they still have a bit of green so I will let them keep maturing for now,
- the brown onions also seem to have healthy looking bulbs this year, quite happy about that,
- the first green beans sowed by the kids have developed very well and are in flower. So beans quite soon.
- the gooseberries are looking terrific. Next weekend I want to pick some and make a pie for my English friend (if it's good I will post the recipe).
- the tomatoes are full of luxuriant foliage and multitudes of flowers. There are already baby tomatoes ripening on them. I pruned them a little but I realise that they have grown a bit out of hand.
The weeds are phenomenal, I dug out yards of bindweed, thistles (mostly now embedded in my hands), a little chickweed, dandelion, redshank which is actually a right little bastard, and grass. Worst of all the bindweed seems to have flowered this year, last year it didn't so I am frantic to pull out all the flowering sections in case they seed.
I felt a nice warm sense of achievement when I left it on Sunday or maybe it was just sunburn and extreme muscle fatigue.
Still, getting it nicely set up for winter. Next tasks:
get the leeks in, get the sprouts in their final positions, get some purple sprouting broccoli from my friend (yay!) and plant that, get in some winter cabbage and celery, if I want to be self sufficient this winter. Thin the beetroot and fennel. Do a big tidy of the fruit area which is getting a bit too grassy and fertilise the strawberries. Start a winter salad bed for scarole, and lamb's lettuce.
As said my wise allotment neighbour this weekend "When you work with nature, the job's never finished."
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