Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Does gardening send us barmy?

I am starting to wonder, as maybe that would explain why I was down the allotment at 6.15 pm last night, in office trousers and a pair of wellies planting out a handful of beetroot plants kindly given me by my neighbour, in addition to the rhubarb chard that was sown in the coldframe but was now poking alarmingly out of the top of it. It rained a good portion of the night so they will be well established.
Beetroot is a curious case - I have several patches around the allotment this year, Boltardy and Cheltenham greentop and yesterday I sowed modules of Monoruba, a late bloomer. This is all a great experiment to see which variety works best and whether it should be sown in situ or if it does indeed do well from modules. I always thought the roots should not be touched or disturbed but seems this is not necessarily the case. I followed my neighbour's advice to trim both roots and leaves. We'll see what result that gives.
I also could not resist the temptation to weed the onions a little, they were getting a bit invaded by thistles, fat hen and groundsel and a bit of bindweed too. Seemed easier to rip it out than to hoe. They all seem to be doing well, even the spring onions (which will be summer onions now of course), although the garlic is getting a touch of rust and looking distinctly yellow. Time for it to be harvested methinks. I will have to wait for a dry spell, as harvesting in the rain is a no-no.
I also had the good idea of emptying out the water barrel that is under the overflow to fill the one next to it, as last night we had steady rain and with a bit of luck, both barrels will soon be generously filled. The growth on the plot is quite startling, and Sunday it is going to take a bit of work to weed it all, mulch the tomatoes and peppers and tidy the path and edges. The leeks also need planting as they are now pencil sized and will start hankering for the open ground. Roll on the weekend!

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