Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Stormy weather

It was a big week in the garden. My allotment neighbours helped me do various tasks so now my paths are clear and tidy and the allotment is looking really fab (photos to follow soon).

I have managed to plant the aubergines and the first tomatoes, but many of my first plants have been destroyed after a series of desctructive thunderstorms, so I have had to replant some. I am currently waiting to replant some young courgette plants, to replace the first ones that got washed away!
I also sowed some new peas, as the first sowing is now nearly ready for harvesting, those sweet tender pods are starting to form. they are Kelvedon Wonders which seem to have lots of flowers and buds although they are quite low to teh ground, a bit of a pain to pick.
I made a last ditch effort to get some carrots going, following a meighbour's advice of mixing a large quantity of sand with the soil, mixing carrot and radish seed for easy thinning and watering well (considering the rain we have had, no worries there!).
The 3 sisters bed has been planted, with sweetcorn, drying beans and pumpkins. Let's hope that the recent storms have not done too much damage to the young plants... I planted sweetcorn plants and also sowed a few seeds directly at the same time, hopefully something at least will take. On the pic below, taken a week after planting, it doesn't look like much, but the beans are just starting to peep up

The potatoes are doing fabulously well, lots of foliage and I have been treating them with Bordeaux mixture, so hopefully this muggy wet weather will not cause blight.
On the pic below, the earlies are nearest the onions. They are a variety called "Anoe", I am only just trying them so I don't know what they will be like. They were planted on 2 March so I expect they should be ready to dig up soon. Maybe I should try one this weekend and see what's under it??
After that there are charlottes then Fontana variety, for lates.

Broad beans will be ready very soon, there are many pods, and very little blackfly, I only discarded one plant top that had aphids. I planted these late this year, I didn't get time to overwinter them, but they seem to be ready to give an excellent crop despite that. I love to eat them young, with the skins on, in salads.
Onions and garlic may be the crop of the year. The stems are thick, foliage is healthy (some rust on the garlic, I bordeauxed them too), and they have been well weeded. No bolting yet, which I am delighted about. On the pic below, the garlic is in the foreground and the others behind it, a mixture of echalotes (round ones and Jermor, the elongated ones with a terrific flavour for salads), red onions and yellows, including Stuttgart and a French variety called jeune paille des vertus. You can see that it is relatively weed free for once.

The fruit is growing well, lots of flowers on the raspberries and tiny gooseberries are all over the bushes. We have been eating strawberries for a week now, a punnet every 2 or 3 days and they are sweet and full of flavour.

The artichokes this year are also marvellous, we have already eaten 2 meals of them (deliciously fresh) and the bush is still laden with tiny globes. It is a massive bush this year, about a square metre and a metre high too.

Apart from the carrots, I have also my leeks growing in tubs at home, and small plants of broccoli and Brussel sprouts. I sowed basil for the kitchen windowsill and started seedlings of red cabbage, just a few for the winter time.

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